Chiefs defense (yes, the defense) shines in 30-14 win over Jaguars
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes had finally thrown an interception, the first all season for the Chiefs’ talented young quarterback, and the Jacksonville offense had shuffled back onto the field.
The Chiefs immediately strip-sacked Blake Bortles to take the ball right back.
Their beleaguered defense also picked off Bortles four times and sacked him five, and Chris Jones took one of those interceptions back for a touchdown, proving during a 30-14 romp over Jacksonville on a soggy Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium that the Chiefs are more than just an offensive dynamo.
“It shows what kind of team we are,” said Mahomes, who finished with 313 yards passing and ran for a touchdown. “I’m just excited to come out with a win on a day the defense made plays.”
Oh, the league’s highest-scoring offense still made plays.
Kareem Hunt ran for 87 yards and a touchdown, and Travis Kelce hauled in five catches for 100 yards, helping the Chiefs (5-0) move the ball at will against the NFL’s top-rated defense.
Tyreek Hill, who was frequently matched up with the Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey in an entertaining one-on-one affair, added four catches for 61 yards as the Chiefs rolled up 424 yards total.
“That play calling was something I’ve never seen before,” said the Jaguars’ Tashaun Gipson, who picked off Mahomes before leaving with a groin injury. “Tip your hat to them. Obviously, the offensive personnel they’ve got — they came out here and they beat us.”
The game eventually grew into a testy affair, resulting in a pair of ejections.
Jones was booted in the second half after he dropped an elbow on a Jaguars lineman while both were on the ground following a point-after attempt. Then, pass rusher Dee Ford joined him in the locker room when he was whistled for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
“You can’t let emotions get the best of you,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
If anybody had reason to get frustrated it was Bortles, who was 33 of 61 for 430 yards with a touchdown and those four interceptions. Most of his yardage came in garbage time, and while he ran for a touchdown, he also was strip-sacked during Jacksonville’s miserable first half.
Mahomes led the Chiefs 73 yards on their first possession, finishing the drive himself with a short scramble for a touchdown. Then he led the league’s high-powered offense 82 yards for a field goal a few minutes later, leaving Jacksonville’s vaunted D second-guessing itself.
Meanwhile, the Jacksonville offense was having all kinds of problems.
Jacksonville (3-2) drove inside the Kansas City 5 early in the second quarter, but an incomplete fade on third down and another incompletion on fourth turned the ball over. Bortles was stripped on the first play of the Jaguars’ next possession, and he threw the pick-six to Jones on the first play of the next.
The calamitous half ended when Bortles, trying to force a pass into the end zone, instead bounced it off his offensive lineman’s helmet and right to Steven Nelson for another interception.
“It felt a lot like some games we’ve had in the past, just moved the ball, there were some good things done, we had some bad turnovers,” Bortles said. “You can’t turn the ball over.”
In Bortles’ defense, his offensive line didn’t give him much time. Along with the five sacks, the Chiefs were credited with 11 hurries, spending most of the game in his face.
Bortles’ only real highlight came late in the game, when he escaped the collapsing pocket and angled toward the sideline, then lowered his shoulder to finish off a 21-yard touchdown run .
The Jaguars recovered the onside kick, only for the Chiefs to force another turnover on downs.
“They did a good job early in the game getting a lead. They did a good job early on third downs in the game. Offensively, we didn’t execute,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “Again, we had a poor showing in the red zone, we had turnovers, and the game got out of hand. Got to play better. We’ve got to coach better, play better. We got to go back and get this team back on track.”
RAMSEY VERSUS HILL
Hill had nothing but praise for Ramsey after the game, though he did beat the Jacksonville cornerback for one long gain. As for Ramsey? “I felt like I did pretty well. Really well, to be honest,” he said. “I won the majority of the matchups today, put it that way.”
STATS AND STREAKS
The Chiefs’ first TD was the first allowed by Jacksonville on a team’s opening possession. … The Jaguars have not started 2-0 on the road since the 2007 season. … Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon had 53 yards rushing. … Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins had six catches for 78 yards.
Jaguars: RB Corey Grant (foot) and LT Josh Wells (groin) left in the first half. Ramsey left on the opening series after taking a knee to the helmet, but returned to play the rest of the game.
Chiefs: OLBs Justin Houston (hamstring) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (ankle) and FSs Armani Watts (groin) and Eric Murray (lower leg) left the game in the first half. RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif left in the final minutes with a fractured fibia in his left leg.
Jaguars: Visit the Cowboys next Sunday.
Chiefs: Head to New England for a Sunday night showdown.