Jaguars fans headed for the exits early during Sunday's home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, though given the home team's performance, you can't fault them. It could be another long year of empty seats at EverBank Stadium and home blackouts in Jacksonville.
And of the fans that stayed throughout the fourth quarter, a lot of them sure were red-clad.
The Jaguars' offense was inept, incompetent and impotent throughout the game, tallying just 178 yards, surrendering six sacks, and not moving into Chiefs territory until late in the fourth quarter in a 28-2 loss, the first such final score in NFL history.
For Kansas City, it was its third straight week one blowout, but this time they weren't the ones getting shellacked. In 2011, the Chiefs lost 41-7 to Buffalo and last season fell 40-24 to the Falcons.
This year, there are certainly signs that the Andy Reid and Alex Smith era will be far different than that disastrous 2-14 2012. After the Jaguars scored first, getting their safety on a blocked Dustin Colquitt punt, the Chiefs immediately responded, culminating with an touchdown pass from Smith to Donnie Avery. Just three minutes into 2013, the Chiefs had a lead in regulation. That didn't happen until the ninth game of 2012.
The Chiefs found the end zone three times in the first half, and given the 19 point lead, were seemingly content to wait out the second half and leave town with the win. Though much of that could be contributed to the absence of star running back Jamaal Charles, who was hurt on a third-and-one play.
After he walked off the field, Charles limped to the locker room with what the Chiefs said was a quad injury. He didn't return, and in his absence, the Chiefs offense stagnated.
However, that wasn't nearly as severe as the stagnation of the Jaguars' offense. If Sunday represented the possible change of fortunes for the Chiefs under a new head coach, it resembled more of the same for the Jaguars and coach Gus Bradley.
Blaine Gabbert struggled throwing downfield when he had time to pass and Maurice Jones-Drew couldn't break anything longer than a 10 yard carry on the ground. Gabbert also threw two interceptions, including a pick-six to linebacker Tamba Hali, who hardly had to move for the pass that Gabbert threw right to him.
Jacksonville did set a franchise record, but it was for punts in a game at 11.
Gabbert played despite a hairline fracture of his right thumb and left the game in the fourth quarter with blood oozing from his right hand. He was replaced by Chad Henne, who drove the Jaguars inside the Chiefs' 10 late in the fourth quarter before running out of downs.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Kansas City Chiefs