The Kansas City Chiefs still haven’t fully found their footing offensively, but thanks to just enough from that side of the ball and a show-stopping performance from their defense they edged out the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-9 on Sunday.
That result brings both teams to 1-1 on the season.
For the second week in a row, the Chiefs went scoreless in the first quarter. In fact, they didn’t get their first points until the final 30 seconds of the second quarter when they were already trailing 3-0. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes found wide receiver Skyy Moore for the latter’s first career regular-season touchdown, putting Kansas City ahead just before the break, a lead it held the rest of the day.
“I’m an offensive guy, but that was a beautiful thing defensively” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Offensively, we’ve got to take care of the penalties and the turnovers, but to battle through it shows me a little something.”
While the offense sputtered, the Chiefs’ defense played as well as you could ask for, especially on the defensive line. Kansas City sacked Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence four times in the win, with defensive tackle Chris Jones and defensive end George Karlaftis recording 1.5 each. For Jones, it was his first action since Super Bowl LVII after ending his high-profile holdout earlier this week.
“Defensively, great to have Chris Jones back. Obviously, he influenced the game in a positive way for us,” Reid said.
Mahomes found another returning player, tight end Travis Kelce, for a nine-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter, the final touchdown of the game for either team. Kelce returned in Week 2 after missing Week 1 due to a knee injury.
“Obviously, too many penalties, too many miscues, but there’s stuff we can learn from,” Mahomes said, adding: “If you play bad and win, it’s better than playing bad and losing.”
The teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter, with the Chiefs clinging to their eight-point advantage when the Jaguars started their final possession with 8:10 left in the game. Jacksonville swiftly moved deep into Kansas City territory, setting up first down at the 14-yard line with about five minutes to play.
That’s when the Chiefs’ defense stepped up one final time, allowing no more yards and forcing a turnover on downs before the offense ran out the rest of the clock.
Mahomes, on his 28th birthday, went 29-of-41 passing for 305 yards in the win, throwing for two touchdowns and one interception. Moore was his favorite target, rebounding from his zero-catch performance last week with three grabs, 70 yards and a score on Sunday.
The Chiefs’ defense limited Lawrence to just 22-of-41 passing for 216 yards with no touchdowns.
There are still 15 games left this season, but this win was a useful one for Kansas City in regard to the AFC standings. It draws the Chiefs even with other contenders like the Jaguars and Buffalo Bills, both of whom are now 1-1, and ahead of teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers, both of whom are 0-2.
Next up for the Chiefs is a return home to Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday, Sept. 24, to face the Chicago Bears, another 0-2 team after they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. That game will kick off at 3:25 p.m.
For more on the Kansas City Chiefs’ 17-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, check out 580 Sports Talk Monday from 2-6 on 580 WIBW.