Instant analysis of Chiefs’ AFC divisional round win over Jaguars

Much like the first game against the Jacksonville Jaguars this season, the Kansas City Chiefs pulled out a win in spite of poor circumstances. Things were looking quite dire when Patrick Mahomes left the game with an ankle injury. Thankfully, he was able to return and play through the issue in the second half of the game. The team clearly benefited from the veteran experience of Chad Henne being put in the situation against the Cleveland Browns in the 2020-21 postseason and they managed to hang on in a very difficult situation.

So what else did we learn about the Chiefs in their first postseason game of the year?

Final Score: Chiefs 27, Jaguars 20

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The Chiefs definitely have some things to clean up after this game, but they did a really good job of fighting through adversity, which is what the playoffs are all about. We saw some rookies stepping up and making big plays on both sides of the ball. We saw veteran prowess from a number of different players who’ve been in the postseason before. If they can build on that next week, the team will be pretty tough to beat.

Weekly Awards

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  • Chiefs Wire Game Ball: QB Patrick Mahomes

  • Harrison Butker Rookie of the Game: RB Isiah Pacheco & CB Jaylen Watson

  • Casey Wiegmann Veteran of the Game: QB Chad Henne

  • Jamaal Charles Offensive Player of the Game: TE Travis Kelce

  • Bobby Bell Defensive Player of the Game: DE Frank Clark

  • Morten Andersen Special Teams Player of the Game: K Harrison Butker

  • Otis Taylor Play of the Game: Chiefs rookie CB Jaylen Watson’s one-handed fourth-quarter interception.

  • Wesley Roesch Stat of the Game: Chiefs 5.5. average yards per gain.

Quick-hitting observations and analysis

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  • It’s incredibly disappointing to see Mahomes hurt in this game because he was playing such a great game prior to his injury. He got by with his injured ankle and put up a gutsy performance, but he was looking at his best before the injury.

  • Chad Henne earned his paycheck and then some against the Jaguars this week. He now has a piece of Chiefs history, leading a 98-yard scoring drive. That’s the longest postseason scoring drive in franchise history. He might even have a case as the best postseason backup QB in NFL history. I’m only kind of kidding about that.

  • Nick Bolton had a chance at an interception on the opening drive, but that was the closest the middle-of-the-field defense was not particularly good in this game. Dump-offs to Travis Etienne and Evan Engram were very open.

  • The Chiefs were forced to lean on the ground game in this one and the results were pretty good. Late into the fourth quarter of the game, Isiah Pacheco was averaging 9.1 yards per carry.

  • The Chiefs’ offensive tackle situation has been problematic all season and this game only magnified the issue. There is no chance for changes in the playoffs, but I think you have to make some changes next season, be it a trade or otherwise.

  • The Jaguars’ right tackle has mastered the ability to false start and not have it called on him. Apparently, it’s been happening for a while per 1010XL’s Mia O’Brien.

  • Jerick McKinnon has been so incredibly valuable for the Chiefs on blitz pickups. He’s the best pass-blocking back on the team by a mile, but I think he’s in consideration for the best in the NFL. Here’s a look at his best block in the game from Touchdown Wire.

  • The defense came alive for the Chiefs in the third quarter, forcing back-to-back punts when K.C. needed it most. Frank Clark and Khalen Saunders made some key pressure plays to throw Trevor Lawrence off his mark.

  • At the onset of the fourth quarter, the defense was a much different story. They struggled with Trevor Lawrence scrambling on third down. They didn’t make tackles on first contact, with two or more defenders needing to make contact to bring Jaguars defenders down.

  • Harrison Butker put up an incredible performance after one of his worst NFL seasons to date. He was 2-of-2 on 50-yard field goals, which no other Chiefs player has ever done before in a playoff game. He was perfect on extra points. He had a key tackle on kick coverage to save a score.

  • I was really impressed by Chiefs rookie CB Jaylen Watson in this game. He made that game-sealing interception and had some really good tackles earlier in the game. Not a bad start to his postseason career.

Up next:

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The Chiefs await the winner of the Bills-Bengals game on Sunday to find out whether they’ll host Cincinnati at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium or travel to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Buffalo at a neutral site. Either way, they’ll be one half of the AFC Championship Game for a fifth-straight year with a chance to punch their ticket to their third Super Bowl in the last four seasons.

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire