Key takeaways from first half of Chiefs vs. Jaguars

It’s a Defcon 1 situation for the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of the AFC divisional round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars despite leading 17-10. Patrick Mahomes is injured and out of the game, replaced by journeyman Chad Henne. It’s currently unclear if he’ll return after halftime, but the team will get the ball to start the second half.

Here are a few quick takeaways from the first half of play:

Special teams remain the Chiefs' biggest weakness

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Special teams has been the biggest weakness for the Chiefs this season and it seems that will persist in the playoffs. This time around it was the kickoff coverage unit for Kansas City. The Chiefs let up a 63-yard kick return to Jaguars WR Jamal Agnew after their opening drive touchdown. It took just five plays and 39 yards of offense for Jacksonville to march down into the red zone and score after that. That’s something you can’t allow to happen again if you’re Kansas City, especially with the current circumstances surrounding the game.

Feed the run game and Travis Kelce with Patrick Mahomes hurt

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With Patrick Mahomes on the sideline and injured, there might never be a better time to unleash the running game. The Chiefs have seldom utilized and leaned on their rushing attack this season despite a dominant interior offensive line and a great backfield. Chad Henne is a veteran, but you don’t want him throwing the ball too much in this one. He’s been accurate and poised in his opportunities in the first half, but you don’t want to push it. The connection he needs to utilize in the passing game is Travis Kelce. He’s 3-of-3 for 11 yards and a touchdown targeting Kelce already. He would be 4-of-4 if not for a roughing the passer penalty.

Offensive tackle changes in 2023 are necessary

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Chiefs fans have watched their bookend tackles surrender pressure far too often this season. At one point in the season, they were No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in pressure allowed. In the playoffs, that allowed pressure now has Kansas City’s star quarterback on the sideline with an injured ankle. It’s laughable that Orlando Brown Jr. wants to be the league’s highest-paid offensive tackle if he’s going to get beat like a drum in the most important game of the season. Changes might not be the most feasible, but boy are they necessary this offseason.

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire