To begin 2019, the Kansas City Chiefs picked up right where they left off during last season. Patrick Mahomes was extremely accurate and too much handle for a good Jaguars defense. Sammy Watkins had a career day.
Despite losing star receiver Tyreek Hill to injury, the Chiefs offense had no problem lighting up the scoreboard. It also didn’t take that long to get on the board either. From the jump, Kansas City was in control in route to a 40-26 victory. With that, let’s dig in more to this Chiefs-Jaguars recap.
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Sam and Mahomie
Mahomes started things off with a bang. In fact, he could not have been any hotter. In the first quarter, Mahomes finished eight of nine passing with 211 yards and two touchdowns. The ease with which he had goes back to how simply he can look off receivers, and force them to essentially freeze in space. Credit goes to the play calling and receivers to lead to so many open looks, as well. The quarterback was hobbled throughout the game after suffering an ankle sprain in the first half. But overall, Mahomes had a strong day.
For Watkins, he amassed new career highs in receiving yards (198) and touchdowns (3). His first catch was a touchdown, after he took it the distance following a short completion. Watkins said he entered this season feeling really good and healthy. That looked very true on Sunday. Watkins was faster than last year, and he made defenders whiff with ease. Hopefully for him, this is just the beginning of a career year.
The Chiefs defense had a wishy-washy game against the Jaguars. The run defense looked to be better than the pass defense. While the defensive front provided a push, the defensive backs will need to tighten things up. There were times they allowed catches with good coverage. However, being more consistent with communication and play recognition will need to improve.
Back to the defensive front, there were times when the pressure had no chance. The Jaguars were getting rid of the ball quickly, whether it was Nick Foles or Gardner Minshew. Frank Clark had a better outing than some may realize. He did a nice job of recognizing plays, like quick passes for example. The defense just needs to finish and miss less tackles. The biggest play for the defense was when Damien Wilson forced Leonard Fournette to fumble after a reception. The Chiefs forced the Jaguars to fumble and lose momentum in Chiefs territory. From that point, Jacksonville could never catch up.
Hoping For Health
The injury suffered by Hill is a rare and awkward one. It looks like he may have dodged a bullet. Meanwhile, the receiver may still miss some time. The way trainers described it, Hill’s collarbone went into his sternum. There is also reports that the injury was to his shoulder. Whether he misses a couple of weeks or several weeks, the Chiefs have the receiver depth to make up for missing Hill. We should know more on the timetable for his return later this week.
Another road game awaits the Chiefs next week. It will be their first division contest of the season, when they travel to Oakland to face the Raiders. Kansas City has defeated Oakland in eight of the last nine meetings.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.