Late in a game that went against script, the Jaguars still had a chance to win.
No, it didn’t happen.
The Jaguars, in a “benchmark” game in the 2023 regular-season home opener against the defending Super Bowl champions, couldn’t quite overcome Patrick Mahomes – or their own missed opportunities and mistakes – and the Kansas City Chiefs held on for a 17-9 victory in front of 69,615 on Sunday afternoon.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said, “You can’t beat yourself when you play good teams and well-coached teams.”.
“Our execution is the glaring thing,” added Pederson.
This was the Jaguars eighth consecutive loss to the Chiefs (1-1) dating back to 2009, with Kansas City beating the Jaguars twice last season and once in this year’s AFC Divisional Playoff.
During the offseason, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said, “This is the team that beat us last year in the playoffs. The schedule comes out, and you get a match against Kansas City in Week 2. We took care of business week one, and now we get a chance to do it at home…
It’s pretty frustrating to lay an egg offensively.
For the first time since a 13-6 loss to Houston in Week 2022, Lawrence compared the two losses on Sunday, with the Jaguars scoring nine points for the first time since then.
” It’s disappointing” Jaguars tight end Evan Engram said. We should have won this game. We are accountable as an offense. We have to be better. We have to help our defense. We have to keep them off the field. We have to score in the red zone.”
There are a lot of things we need to improve.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes capped drives with touchdown passes to end the first half and start the second half, turning a slim Jaguars lead into a lead the Chiefs held.
In the first half, Mahomes passed nine yards to wide receiver Skyy Moore, then completed the next Chiefs drive – the first of the third quarter – with a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce.
With 4:18 left in the game, the Jaguars trailed by a final margin and drove to a first down at the Chiefs 14. Lawrence’s incomplete pass to Calvin Ridley on fourth and 12 from the Chiefs 14 ended the drive.
After the officials ruled Ridley didn’t have possession, the Chiefs kneeled out the clock to end the game inside the Jaguars 5 yard line.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 17, 2023
Teams ranked in the Top 10 in offense in 2022 combined for two touchdowns and four turnovers in what was expected to be a shootout.
Mahomes completed 29 of 41 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, while Lawrence completed 22 of 41 passes for 241 yards and zero touchdowns.
Five Jaguars drives past midfield in the first half yielded six points Sunday, compared to seven points in the first half of a regular-season loss to Kansas City last year.
On three possessions inside the Chiefs‘ 20, the Jaguars scored six points.
Pederson said, “We did it to ourselves.”
A sack was registered by linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, fumbles were recovered by wide receiver Tim Jones and inside linebacker Foye Oluokun, and a pick was recorded by safety Andre Cisco in the second quarter.
This season, the Jaguars have five sacks and six takeaways.
We have to execute better. We have too many guys on offense, veteran players. We all need to do better. It starts with me. Pederson said.
Through the first quarter, each team drove past midfield once and punted to end the possession.
The Jaguars started off well in an eventful second-quarter with a turnover that gave them the 3-0 lead. This happened after Jones recovered a muff by James at the 17 yard line. The Jaguars forced three turnovers and Kansas City one in the same quarter, leading to Mahomes’ nine yard pass to Moore which put the Chiefs ahead 7-3 with just seconds left in the half. Lawrence’s 26-yard pass to Ridley helped pave way for McManus’ 49-yard field goal before the end of the quarter, thus keeping it neck and neck going into half time.
As the third quarter ended, Mahomes threw another nine-yard touchdown pass to Kelce to give the Chiefs a 14-6 lead with 11:30 remaining.
The Jaguars cut the lead but missed an opportunity early in the fourth quarter. After a pass interference penalty, they faced first-and-goal at the one. After Lawrence lost three yards on first down, McManus’ 22-yard field goal with 13:43 remaining cut the Chiefs’ lead to 14-9. The Chiefs led 17-9 with 8:10 left when Harrison Butker kicked a 38-yard field goal.
This is noteworthy:
Inactives for Sunday’s game were safety Antonio Johnson (hamstring), rookie wide receiver Parker Washington, rookie wide receiver Elijah Cooks, and running back JaMycal Hasty. With ankle injuries sustained in a Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts, right guard Brandon Scherff and center Luke Fortner were listed as questionable on Friday’s final injury report of the week.
Report on injuries:
In the second quarter, Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones sustained a knee injury.
In the third quarter, outside linebacker Josh Allen sustained a shoulder injury and returned to the game.
In the fourth quarter, running back Travis Etienne Jr. left with cramps.