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Sunday, September 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Chiefs 28, Jaguars 2

By Adam Teicher


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Reaction from the Kansas City Chiefs' 28-2 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars:

What it means:  The Chiefs thought themselves to be playoff contenders. And while the Jaguars may be the worst team in the league, the Chiefs did to them what the better teams do. They dominated Jacksonville. That speaks well for their drive toward a playoff berth.

Stock watch: A lot of arrows on defense are pointing up. The Jaguars had no answer for outside linebacker Justin Houston, who with three sacks continued his ascent toward becoming one of the league’s top pass-rushers. Nose tackle Dontari Poe was a force against the run and brought a pass rush that had been lacking from the middle of the defensive line.  Cornerback Brandon Flowers and linebacker Tamba Hali each had an interception, with Hali returning his for a touchdown.

Finding the end zone: As dominant as the Chiefs were on defense, this stat maybe meant the most: The Chiefs' offense scored a touchdown on each of its three trips inside the Jacksonville 20. If the Chiefs continue to score touchdowns rather than settle for field goals, they will realize their dream of being postseason contenders. Having to repeatedly kick field goals last season was one problem for a faltering offense. The Chiefs were last in the league in 2012 by scoring touchdowns on just 27 percent of their trips inside the 20.

Backing up the Jaguars: It may not have mattered that much given the suffocating performance of Kansas City’s defense, but another key was Jacksonville’s horrible starting field position. The Jaguars started drives at their 20, 26, 20, 20, 20, 19, 19, 19, 14, 20, 12, 20, 24 and 20. A mistake-free Chiefs offense made certain the Jaguars had to go a long field each time it received the ball. It was evident early on that Jacksonville was incapable of driving a long distance with any frequency.

What’s next: The Chiefs open their home schedule with a much tougher test. They play the Cowboys next Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. If the Jacksonville game hasn't already done so, the Chiefs can stamp themselves as legitimate by beating Dallas.