This game got off to a poor start for the Kansas City Chiefs with some opening trickery from the Jacksonville Jaguars on an onside kick. Perhaps they should have saved that for when they really needed it.
Kansas City has proven that it can overcome poor starts time and time again. This game was no different in that regard. Once the team jumped out to a lead, they never looked back.
So what else did we learn about the Chiefs in their latest game?
Final Score: Chiefs 27, Jaguars 17
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This game seemed to prove that the Chiefs are deeper than they might appear on the offensive side of the ball. I was particularly impressed with what the receiving corps was able to accomplish down both Mecole Hardman and losing JuJu Smith-Schuster during the game. Kadarius Toney, Justin Watson, Skyy Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling all had key plays in the win.
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Chiefs Wire Game Ball: QB Patrick Mahomes
Harrison Butker Rookie of the Game: LB Leo Chenal
Casey Wiegmann Veteran of the Game: DE Carlos Dunlap
Jamaal Charles Offensive Player of the Game: WR Kadarius Toney
Bobby Bell Defensive Player of the Game: LB Willie Gay Jr.
Morten Andersen Special Teams Player of the Game: CB Chris Lammons
Otis Taylor Play of the Game: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s 36-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
Wesley Roesch Stat of the Game: 7.8 average yards per gain on offense for the Chiefs.
Quick-hitting observations and analysis
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A rarity occurred at the start of this game. The Chiefs elected to receive after winning the toss. That doesn’t happen for Andy Reid’s team unless it’s overtime.
This game got off to an ugly start with the Jaguars recovering an onside kick to start the game. We mentioned in our game preview that this felt like the type of game where Doug Pederson was going to pull out all of the stops, including some trickery on special teams.
The offense shot itself in the foot a few times early on in this game. They had some untimely drops and then rookie RB Isiah Pacheco had his first career fumble.
Patrick Mahomes played a near-flawless game, but he got caught trying to do a little bit too much in the middle of the fourth quarter. He’s been guilty of that a few times this season, notably in the Buccaneers game back in Week 4.
Isiah Pacheco was the team’s only true running back with a carry for the majority of the day. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had practically no snaps in the first half and very few opportunities in the game overall. Jerick McKinnon and Michael Burton both got carries in the fourth quarter.
It feels like the Chiefs really won the Kadarius Toney trade. It feels like he’s just scratching the surface of the type of receiver he can be in this league. He had his hopping touchdown reception and made a bunch of other explosive plays during this game. I’m excited to see what he can do.
Jerick McKinnon was huge in this game, both as a pass-catcher and as a blocker in the passing game. He seems like he’s one of the most vital pieces of the offense in its current form.
Prince Tega Wanogho filled in for Andrew Wylie (elbow injury) at right tackle and actually did a really nice job. He had a few moments in the run game, where he looked overmatched. I wonder if he won’t earn another opportunity there in the future.
Special teams are still an abject disaster from Kansas City. The return game, the coverage units, the kicking game. This was probably their worst game of the season. It feels like it’s just a matter of time before this unit costs the team again.
The NFL may not have called any penalties on Jaguars S Andre Cisco for his hits on JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but I’d wager he’ll have a note from the league office later this week about a fine.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a huge game, catching his first touchdown pass in Kansas City. He also made the play of the game in the fourth quarter. Inconsistency has been an issue for him, but he seems to perform in the biggest of moments.
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The Chiefs will head to Los Angeles for their second matchup with the Chargers this season. The game was flexed to “Sunday Night Football” on NBC because it likely has some significant playoff and AFC West implications for Los Angeles.