The Kansas City Chiefs began their season on the right foot. After a 40-26 victory over the Jaguars, it’s time to look at the report card. Who’s stock is either rising or falling entering Week Two. Let’s take a look, with this week’s version of three up and three down.
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Sammy Watkins was in need of a big season. He started it off on the right foot. Many people noticed he looked both stronger and faster entering the season. Watkins was every bit of that and more in Week One. From his first catch to his last, Watkins made Jaguars defenders look silly. He left them in the dust, left defenders whiffing on tackles and set career highs. Hopefully, his new career high in receiving yards (198) and touchdowns (3) is just the beginning. Especially with Tyreek Hill suffering a serious injury, this was a more than beneficial week for Watkins.
Of all the linebackers in Week One, Damien Wilson impressed me the most. Anthony Hitchens had the most tackles among linebackers. However, Wilson made a handful of plays that were more impactful. The way in which he flew around and clogged plays up was encouraging to see. The speed Wilson brings to the table, is important for the Chiefs defense. Another big moment for Wilson, was what largely ended any of Jacksonville’s momentum. After Leonard Fournette made a catch, Wilson hit the running back and forced a fumble. That was ultimately the first takeaway for Kansas City this season.
Going into the Jaguars game, LeSean McCoy was still learning the offense. He knew enough to wreak havoc in the running game. McCoy’s pace and burst is different than that of the other Chiefs rushers. He also is tremendous when making cuts upfield. That’s how most of carries looked like on Sunday. McCoy also finished with the most individual team rushing yards in the win.
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Charvarius Ward has struggled to improve. In every game this preseason or on Sunday, Ward seems to be giving receivers too much room. The short routes he has got beaten on, often lead to miss tackles. That cannot happen. Another big play Ward allowed, was to DJ Chark. Chark burned past him, then made Ward look even more silly when the defender struggled multiple times to bring him down.
The Offensive Line
The Chiefs offensive line could have done worse. But overall, there were too many consistent shots on Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes took one hit that resulted in him suffering an ankle sprain. Obviously, the quarterback finished the game. Though there were no sacks allowed, keeping the quarterback clean has to be done more consistently.
Reggie Ragland‘s status has nothing to do with a Week One performance. He was inactive for the game, as Kansas City made him a healthy scratch. This was a surprise, considering Ragland was listed as a starter entering preseason. The team obviously felt the rest of the depth behind was needed against Jacksonville. Following that move, it makes many wonder if Ragland could be on the move. Will the Chiefs eventually trade Ragland down the line?
That will wrap our three up and three down results from Week One. We hope to continue to do these every week after each game. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– 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.