KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Senior writer John Oehser examines five key plays from the Jaguars' 27-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in a 2022 Week 10 game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday
1. Fuuuumble. The Jaguars figured to need multiple breaks – and multiple takeaways – to stay with the NFL's highest-scoring team Sunday. They got plenty, including one early when Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins forced a fumble by Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco on first-and-10 from the Jaguars 13. Jaguars rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd recovered and returned it 17 to give the Jaguars first-and-10 from their 24 to keep the score 0-0 with 8:56 remaining in the first quarter. The Jaguars punted on the ensuing possession, but the early turnover helped keep the Jaguars close despite the Chiefs dominating the first quarter between the 20s. The Jaguars also punted on their first possession after recovering their own onside kick on the opening kickoff. If you count an onside kick as a turnover, the Jaguars forced four such plays Sunday. They scored just seven points off the situations. "That's the game for me," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "It comes down to missed opportunities."
2. Wiiide open. The Chiefs took the lead late in the first quarter on a drive that featured an easy touchdown because of two too-easy plays. First, Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce came 10 yards open on a long crossing pattern, a pass play he and quarterback Patrick Mahomes turned into an easy 46-yard gain to the Jaguars 21 on first-and-10 from the Chiefs 33. Mahomes three plays later capped the five-play, 80-yard drive with a short pass to the sideline to second-year wide receiver Kadarius Toney. The 2021 first-round selection by the New York Giants was also wide open, hopping down the final yards down the sideline for a six-yard touchdown reception and a 7-0 Kansas City lead with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter. Kansas City outgained the Jaguars 163-41 in the first quarter and averaged 10.1 yards per play. "I think it has to come down to watching the film and I can give you better answer, quite honestly," Pederson said of the open Chiefs receivers.
3. Over and over. The Chiefs pushed their lead to three touchdowns in the second quarter Sunday in similar fashion to how they took the lead – with Mahomes completing touchdown passes to receivers who were far too wide open for Pederson's liking. First, Mahomes found wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling open in the middle of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown two plays after Toney ran 32 yards around left end. The Jaguars forced a punt on the next Kansas City series, but Mahomes drove the Chiefs 86 yards on eight plays late in the second quarter giving the Chiefs a 20-0 lead when he found tight end Noah Gray in the corner of the end zone behind Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen with :46 remaining in the half. Mahomes completed 15 of 21 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns in the first half and the Chiefs had 304 yards offense at halftime. "He's a great player," Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said of Mahomes, who completed 26 of 35 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. "You're never going to completely stop those guys, but I thought our guys did a good job of taking advantage of some things and making it harder on them."
4. Big-time catch, big-time drive. The Jaguars turned in their most impressive drive of the first half – and one of their best drives of the season – late in the first half to cut into the Chiefs lead. Lawrence led a five-play, 61-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown pass by Lawrence to wide receiver Christian Kirk with :11 remaining in the half. Lawrence completed three of four passes for 43 yards on the drive and also ran once for 18 yards. The Jaguars missed a chance to cut further into the lead when kicker Riley Patterson missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt on the last play of the half – a play that came two plays after the Jaguars recovered a Chiefs fumbled kickoff. Patterson missed from 51 yards earlier in the quarter.
5. Oh no. A primary storyline for the Jaguars Sunday was missed opportunities, and perhaps no missed chance hurt as much as one late in the third quarter. The Jaguars, trailing 20-7 at halftime, drove impressively and methodically to start the second half and appeared to pull within a score at 20-13 when Lawrence passed four yards for a touchdown to tight end Evan Engram with 6:33 remaining in the third quarter. But left tackle Cam Robinson was called for being illegally downfield and Patterson's 35-yard field goal with 5:46 remaining capped a 17-play, 58-yard drive. The Chiefs drove 75 yard on 10 plays on the ensuing possession and took a 27-10 lead on Mahomes' fourth touchdown pass of the game – a seven-yarder to All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce with :38 remaining in the third quarter.