KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The main post-game theme at times felt like the only theme.
The Jaguars lost to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday – and while there was respect for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson afterward voiced a theme that player after player reiterated following a sixth loss in seven games.
The Jaguars had many opportunities against one of the NFL's premiere franchises.
And way too many were missed.
"We left a lot of points out there," running back Travis Etienne Jr. said after the Jaguars' 27-17 loss to the AFC West-leaders at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Added quarterback Trevor Lawrence, "It's hard to overcome when you miss that many opportunities early in the game against a good team."
The Jaguars on Sunday scored two touchdowns on three red-zone trips – all in the second half – but it was during the first half that Pederson and many players felt the game was lost.
"It just goes back to shooting ourselves in the foot," Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk said. "When you're playing a team like this, you can't expect to come in and play a crappy first half and try to walk away with a win. That's a playoff team year in and year out.
"For us to get to that level, we have to be at our best and limit the turnovers and missed opportunities."
The Jaguars not only recovered a game-opening onside kick, but they also forced two first-half takeaways and had five possessions in Kansas City territory. They scored just seven points off those opportunities – a touchdown on a three-yard pass from Lawrence to Kirk with :11 remaining in the second quarter.
"We've got to a better job playing complementary football," Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson said. "You come into a place like this and get three turnovers … the defense turns the ball over we should be able to go on the field and go right back down the field and get points.
"The thing for these games, and ultimately this team, is just finishing and finishing opportunities we have and starting to capitalize on those opportunities."
The Jaguars for the game forced three Chiefs turnovers, with the only points off those takeaways coming when Lawrence threw a 19-yard touchdown to Kirk in the fourth quarter after safety Andre Cisco intercepted Mahomes. The Jaguars punted after recovering a Chiefs fumble on the first Kansas City drive and Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt after the Jaguars recovered a fumble on a kickoff return following Kirk's second-quarter touchdown.
"That's the difference between a win and a loss, us not cashing in on those opportunities," Etienne said. "That's the reason we lost."
Said Cisco, "You have to capitalize on every opportunity you get, offensively and defensively. There were times when we had a chance to swing the momentum and get off the field on third down and do some stuff like that and we didn't get a chance to. And that's what you've got to do to beat these teams."
- Etienne on Sunday rushed for 45 yards and no touchdowns on 11 carries, his fewest rushing yards since moving into the starting lineup in a Week 6 loss at Indianapolis. "They were just shooting the gaps," said Etienne, who entered the game as the NFL's fifth-leading rusher and who now has rushed for 725 yards and four touchdowns on 131 carries in 10 games. "They weren't really giving me outside to the perimeter and the cutback wasn't there because the [line]backers were shooting the gaps. They had a good game plan. I have to be better and make a guy miss, try to do something special and make a spark for the team."
- The Jaguars on Sunday allowed a season-high five sacks for 19 yards, the third time this season they have allowed four or more sacks. The Jaguars also this season have had five games in which they have allowed no sacks. "They brought pressure early, but I don't think it's anything we weren't prepared for," Robinson said. "I just know to a man we probably have to look in the mirror and just probably demand a little more from ourselves. That's everyone, including myself. I think that's all I really can say about it."
- Lawrence: "We're right there in winning those games. Everybody believes in what we're doing. Everybody believes in where we're headed. We know that, but it's still frustrating when you feel like you're in these games and you don't make all the plays you have to make to win them. It's about us, the things we can control, we have to execute."
- Etienne: "We have to keep overcoming. That's what football's about – the highs and lows. We just have to find ways to keep overcoming."
Week 10 game action in photos💥. Swipe through to view the top live game photos from Jaguars vs. Chiefs.