Nov 6, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson (20) celebrates after defending against Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson (15) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas City Chiefs defended their home on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a win, but the play of the Chiefs leave much to be desired.
The Kansas City Chiefs put in the definition of an “ugly win” on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Getting four turnovers and putting constant pressure on Blake Bortles allowed the Chiefs to have virtually no offense but still get the win.
The stakes are clear: win and the Chiefs maintain pressure on the Raiders for the AFC West lead; lose and they fall behind in the race. This game felt a lot like Houston in 2013, the Chiefs played well enough to win but it was difficult to watch.
With every week the Chiefs get themselves closer to an AFC West crown and a home playoff game for the first time since 2010. These games against bad teams in November are must wins if the Chiefs want to bring the first ever Arrowhead AFC Championship.
Nov 6, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Nick Foles (4) throws a pass during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The offense was bad on Sunday. How bad? They finished one drive with points that started outside of Jacksonville territory. That drive started at the Kansas City 44-yard line. It ended after the Chiefs failed to get a first down following a double unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty called on Travis Kelce. At that point the game had reached its ugliest.
Backup quarterback Nick Foles struggled throwing 20-of-33 for 187 yards and one touchdown. Luckily he didn’t have an interception in the first quarter as he consistently overthrew Albert Wilson. I still believe that Alex Smith does not miss this pass to Tyreek Hill. The run game didn’t save the Chiefs either. Charcandrick West couldn’t get traction with only 39 yards on 13 carries. When they ran Hill around the edge they had success but only tried that play twice.
It mostly comes down to the injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Without Alex Smith, Spencer Ware, and Jeremy Maclin the offense loses rhythm. The offensive line was unable to open holes for the running game and while they played well in pass protection, Foles couldn’t accurately find the holes in the Jaguars defense.
Remember this is a Jaguars defense that let just about every other team move the ball at will. Those clamoring for a more permanent quarterback change got a real look at what the offense is with Foles. He’s a solid backup, but there’s a very apparent reason for his role. With Smith back next week the offense will find more continuity.
Nov 6, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws a pass as Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford (55) pressures during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The defense won this game by forcing turnovers. However it was not a perfect day. While Marcus Peters was rarely targeted in coverage, he did give up one of the bigger plays of the day in the 4th quarter. Philip Gaines, Ron Parker, and Steven Nelson all missed interception opportunities that hit them right in the hands.
Parker and Gaines could have prevented a touchdown at the end of the half. The turnovers that were created were key in winning the game as the Chiefs needed to be in field goal range any time they started a drive to get points.
One of the most impressive players on the Chiefs defense continues to be Ramik Wilson. He was third behind Josh Mauga and Justin March-Lillard during training camp but has emerged since he has been given his chance. He notched an interception along with four solo tackles and always seemed to be around the ball.
Another player that we officially need to recognize is Dee Ford. No more bust talk. That man has been on a tear the last few weeks and no one can seem to stop him. Before Sunday night, Ford led the league in sacks with nine. If he continues his current work then he will finish in the top two and be in serious discussion for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
If you were to tell me this last year I would have laughed and told you to do your research. Somehow Ford has developed a bend in his outside rush and a pretty good inside rip move in a very short amount of time. I drool over the possibility of Justin Houston, Ford, Tamba Hali, and Chris Jones all getting after QBs at the same time.
Nov 6, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos (5) kicks a field goal during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Special Teams: A
The only aspect of this game that looked good was special teams. They created a turnover on a punt to give the Chiefs points in the first half. Tyreek Hill impressed me with his return game and his decision making. Cairo Santos was perfect and Dustin Colquitt dropped punts deep in Jags territory.
This is where the Chiefs can separate themselves from other teams in the league. If they have an off day on one side of the ball, there is usually some aspect of their play that keeps them on track. Not every team can say that even if we have a bad day on offense, the special teams got our back. The Chiefs can and that will be big as the pressure grows this season.
The coaching of this game looked poor all around. There were so many stupid penalties and just unfocused moments. The Chiefs were lucky more than they were good and that points right at how the game was managed by the coaches.
While we all found Travis Kelce’s tantrum hilarious it cost the Chiefs a touchdown opportunity and he may even be suspended for a game. Andy Reid did not find it one bit amusing. Nor did he find Peters’ punt into the stands after recovering a questionable fumble amusing at all. The offense was a mess and the defense gave up too many big plays.
The redeeming quality about Andy Reid is that he can right the ship quickly. The Panthers may find themselves in for a long game next week as the Chiefs look to make a statement.