Jaguars offense can’t afford another slow start vs. Chiefs

The Jacksonville Jaguars got a couple huge breaks in the opening minutes of their Week 10 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

On the opening kickoff, Riley Patterson perfectly executed a surprise onside kick to steal a possession for the Jaguars offense. The ensuing drive crossed the 50-yard line, but fizzled and the Jacksonville settled for a punt.

Then the Chiefs’ first drive of the game ended with a fumble in the red zone. Again the Jaguars crossed the 50-yard line on the ensuing drive, and again the team punted.

Five of Jacksonville’s first six drives in that November contest ended with a punt. The other was a missed field goal from 51 yards out.

It’s become a frequent problem for the Jaguars. During the team’s six-game win streak, Jacksonville’s opponent has scored first five times. On Saturday, the Jaguars allowed the Los Angeles Chargers to score the first 27 points of the game before pulling off a miraculous comeback to win, 31-30.

The resiliency of the Jaguars isn’t to be scoffed at. The team never quits and can never be counted out of a game.

But the Chiefs aren’t the Chargers. Kansas City finished the 2022 regular season No. 1 in both points scored and total yards. The team scored at least 17 in every game this season and the Jaguars would be fortunate to hold the team to 27 points like they did in November.

Or in the words of Jaguars coach Doug Pederson:

The Jaguars never turned the ball over against the Chiefs in that game. But the 17 points scored by the offense were too little, too late.

Counting on another comeback in the Divisional Round is a recipe for an end to the season for the Jaguars.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire