NFL Nation: 2013 Week 1 KAN at JAC
September, 8, 2013
By Adam Teicher | ESPN.com
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.
September, 8, 2013
By Michael DiRocco | ESPN.com
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A few thoughts about the Jacksonville Jaguars after their 28-2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:
What it means: It was a dismal start for the Jaguars, who couldn’t do anything on offense and managed to score only because of a blocked punt for a safety. Nobody was expecting this team to make a run for the playoffs because new general manager Dave Caldwell and new coach Gus Bradley have made it clear that the roster needs to be rebuilt. However, fans were expecting the team to at least be competitive. Instead, they got one of the worst performances in franchise history. The enthusiasm generated by the new regime is going to evaporate pretty quickly.
Stock watch: This season is all about finding out whether the franchise can build around quarterback Blaine Gabbert. He was not very good against the Chiefs, managing just 121 yards and throwing two interceptions -- including one returned for a touchdown. But it wasn’t all his fault. The offensive line struggled and gave up six sacks. The receivers were not getting any separation and dropped five passes. The Jaguars flirted with setting the franchise record for fewest yards in a game (117 versus Houston last season) until just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
No Shorts-age: Cecil Shorts was the Jaguars’ second-leading receiver in 2012 -- Justin Blackmon had 64 catches and Shorts had 55. But with Blackmon out for the first month, Shorts was going to have to be the top target. He was MIA until the game was already well out of reach. He didn’t catch his first pass until 8:36 remained in the fourth quarter.
MV-Punter: Punter Bryan Anger's leg is sure to be pretty sore on Monday. He punted a franchise-record 11 times against the Chiefs, breaking the old record of 10 (Adam Podlesh versus Tennessee in 2008). Anger, the Jaguars’ third-round draft pick in 2012, averaged 50.5 yards on those 11 punts.
What’s next: The Jaguars play at Oakland next Sunday. The Chiefs host Dallas.