KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This started ugly and never got pretty.
The much-hyped matchup of the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense versus the NFL's No. 1 defense was stunningly one-sided at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday, and the Jaguars – they of the No. 1 defense – were never really in a 30-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs' offense looked lightning fast early, and the Jaguars never fully recovered. Three second-quarter Jaguars giveaways and three missed chances inside the five-yard line killed.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles' five turnovers hurt, too.
The Jaguars are 3-2 now. This doesn't mean they're not good. It doesn't mean they won't make the postseason. But injuries are mounting, particularly on offense, and the Jaguars must recover quickly and negotiate the rest of a tricky October much better than they managed the month's first game. Because Sunday was ugly from the start, and it never got prettier.
Let's get to it …
QB Whisperer from Middleburg, FL
OK, it's time to move on from BB5!
They're ba-a-a-a-a-a-ack.This was a common theme Sunday and I imagine it will be a common theme in some circles moving forward. (Again). It's obviously not going to happen. Bortles had a rough game Sunday. I didn't expect it. I don't think anyone around the Jaguars expected it. I anticipated the Jaguars and the offense playing well against a struggling Chiefs defense. This much is true: The Jaguars can't win with Bortles committing five turnovers, including four with the game in doubt. This much is true, too: The absence of running back Leonard Fournette matters to this offense. But here's what's perhaps most true: Whatever the personnel, and whatever the injury situation, the Jaguars aren't going to win many games throwing 61 times and running 17. That's a formula that will lead to turnovers – but while the five turnovers did call to mind the Bortles of seasons past far more than the recent season and a half, it's not time to move on. And the Jaguars aren't moving on. (Obviously.)
Conrad from Blue River, WI
Jensen from Lake Jackson, TX
… and this.
Roger from Greenbush, ME
Not a question but an opinion: This Jaguars team is way too inconsistent for any type of a playoff run. Smelling an 8-8 season coming our way.
What were you smelling last October?
Jonathan from Jacksonville
Big O', today's game was atrocious. Where do you think we stand at winning another division championship?
The Jaguars' chances at winning the division championship are the same Sunday night as they were Sunday morning. I say that not to be snide, but to point out that the Tennessee Titans lost to the Buffalo Bills Sunday and are 3-2 – just like the Jaguars. Sunday was rough. And ugly. But there's a long way to go in this thing.
Shane from Atlanta, GA
I feel absolutely terrible. I stopped watching during the third quarter. What's wrong with me?
Nothing. That was hard to watch.
Joe Dirt from Jacksonville
Both Marrone and Hackett have to go!
Stop, for your own sake.
Anoon from Scottsdale
We must have forgotten we had a game today but let me guess your response, "Fans gonna fan." Solid.
Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows he is – will tell you that I rarely if ever discuss fans fanning after losses. Losing stinks. Fans are supposed to be angry. Do they overact to losses? But of course. What else are they supposed to do?
Justin from Jacksonville
There's going to be a lot of water out there today in KC. Good thing Jax brought a BOAT.
This was the much-anticipated, much-ballyooed, oh-so-awesome First Email of the Game. Well, not so much …
John from Jacksonville
I will never understand why a team that is running well then has a brainstorm to pass twice at third-and-two on the four-yard line. You basically have six run plays to get four yards and a touchdown. You run twice to get the two yards needed for the first down, then you have a new set of downs to get two or less yards to score. When we passed twice for incompletions at the four-yard line, I knew it was over because that was a critical turning point for us.
That indeed was a turning point. Head Coach Doug Marrone afterward said the Jaguars believed the Chiefs would be in cover zero on third-and-two, which meant man-to-man coverage – which meant the situation called for a pass. They believed correctly, so Bortles made the right decision on the play. The idea is that you don't want to run into stacked fronts, and the Jaguars were passing into single coverage. Still, it did seem running would have been preferable. I had less of an issue with the pass than the decision to go for it on fourth down. A field goal would have pulled the Jaguars to within a score. I believe in taking the points there and cutting into the lead. Marrone felt the Jaguars needed the momentum and the points against a high-scoring offense. He's aggressive. When it works, he's a genius. When it doesn't, he gets criticized. The life of a head coach.