The Jacksonville Jaguars’ home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs jumps off the page as an opportunity for revenge. The Jaguars, eight months after their 2022 Cinderella run ended at Arrowhead Stadium, get the chance to beat the team that eliminated them from the playoffs.
The Jaguars don’t quite see it that way, though.
“I don’t bring it up,” head coach Doug Pederson said of the playoff loss Wednesday. “Even though it’s in our cutups and it’s in the tape study for this week and all that, but I don’t really go back. It’s why they call it history. It’s in the past, and we focus on the future and focus on the present and try to get better today.”
Jacksonville traveled to play the Chiefs during the 2022 regular season, but lost 27-17. The Jaguars wasted plenty of opportunities in that contest, failing to capitalize on a surprise onside kick to open the game as well as three Chiefs turnovers.
In the rematch, the Jaguars again came up short and lost, 27-20. While Kansas City finished without a turnover in that game, Jacksonville again failed to seize the moment with mistakes that included dropping a deep pass, allowing a 98-yard drive led by Chad Henne, and fumbling near the goal line.
The Jaguars will look for a cleaner, more complete performance against the defending champs Sunday. That’ll include studying up on what went wrong in 2022. But revenge? That’s not on the agenda.
“It’s a new year, we’ve both got different teams, it’s a new season,” Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said Wednesday. “There’s a different set of challenges.
“You got to use the tape from the previous meeting, but obviously you’re not carrying those emotions and feelings over. This is a new season and we got to prepare and put our best foot forward to win this game.”
Including the two losses last season, the Jaguars have now dropped seven straight against the Chiefs. Their last win against Kansas City was a 2009 home game with Jack Del Rio and Todd Haley coaching on the sidelines.