JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars made their first trip to Arrowhead Stadium in Week 2 of the 2002 season.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin was hanging on in Jacksonville and would be gone at season's end while Chiefs Head coach Dick Vermeil was in his second season in Kansas City working to build an offense that would rival his great teams in St. Louis.
Vermeil's second Chiefs team finished as the NFL's No. 1 offense but was still struggling to find its rhythm in Week 2. Coughlin's defense was racing to the ball and wouldn't let the defending NFL rushing champion Priest Holmes get started.
Anywhere Holmes ran, Jaguars strong safety Donovin Darius was waiting. Holmes was effective enough to stake the Chiefs to a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter on a pair of field goals by kicker Morten Andersen.
Meanwhile, on the other sideline, Jaguars running back Fred Taylor was back from an awful groin injury that cost him nearly the entire 2001 season. After a solid but unspectacular debut against the Indianapolis Colts on Opening Day, he was planning to show the entire NFL he was back, but he rushed for just 18 yards on seven carries in the first half against the Chiefs.
But after Jaguars safety Marlon McCree intercepted Chiefs quarterback Trent Green near midfield, Taylor rushed for five yards then gained 14 yards on a screen pass from quarterback Mark Brunell to set up Brunell's beautifully thrown, rainbow of a pass to wide receiver Jimmy Smith streaking down the sideline for an explosive 37-yard touchdown.
A botched snap cost the Jags the extra point and they settled for a 6-6 tie.
An eight-minute drive put the Jaguars in a position to add to their lead, but Chiefs linebacker Mike Maslowski ripped the ball out of Taylor's hands and the Jaguars came away with nothing. The look of disappointment on Taylor's face was exceeded only by the look of disgust on Coughlin's.
The look of disgust became disdain when kicker Hayden Epstein missed a 43-yard field goal on the ensuing drive. The Jaguars were beating the Chiefs, but they were also beating themselves.
The game was tied with 6:57 remaining and it seemed as if neither team was capable of taking it from the other.
The Jaguars' offense looked anything but explosive, but on second down from the Jaguars 21-yard line, Brunell lofted a high, arching pass down the middle of the field for wide receiver Patrick Johnson, who beat safety Jason Belser for a 79-yard touchdown and a 16-9 Jaguars lead.
The offense would do it again. After Rob Meier's third-down sack of Green forced a punt, the Jaguars had just over three minutes to kill. A simple dive play to Taylor got it started and ended the game. Taylor ran off the right side between right guard Chris Naeole and right tackle Maurice Williams, who had cleared a huge hole by pile driving defensive tackle Derrick Ransom and end Eric Hicks. Taylor's 63-yard touchdown signaled to teammates and anyone interested he was fully recovered and ready to roll.
Taylor would finish with his first 100-yard game since late in the 2000 season while the Jaguars' defense limited Holmes – who would run for 1,615 yards in 2002 – to only 84 yards on the day.
The Chiefs got a late touchdown to make it 23-16, but the Jaguars flew home with a win and the belief that their offense was back on track.