Discipline all that’s missing as KC cruises past Jags to 5-0
The only thing missing from the Chiefs’ rout of the Jaguars on Sunday was discipline.
The Chiefs forced five turnovers on defense, returning one of Blake Bortles’ four interceptions for a touchdown. Their high-scoring offense gained more than 400 yards behind Patrick Mahomes’ efficient air assault and Kareem Hunt’s hard running. And their special teams were simply steady.
But a little of that shine was dulled by the ejections of defensive tackle Chris Jones and pass rusher Dee Ford, both in the second half of the Chiefs’ 30-14 victory .
Jones, whose pick-6 electrified Arrowhead Stadium earlier in the game, was crushed to the ground as Jacksonville attempted an extra point. For no apparent reason, Jones drove his right elbow into the thigh of the Jaguars player beneath him, right in front of an official a few yards away.
Ford’s ejection was a bit less egregious. He was flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct, the second of which came for standing over Bortles after chasing him into the Kansas City bench area.
“We have to keep ourselves under control emotionally. When two good football teams play each other, there’s going to be emotion,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “This is a team that’s going to try to be physical and push you around at your place and you can’t let that happen, either, so you have to put your foot down. But you have to do it the right way.”
Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones (95) runs for a touchdown after intercepting a pass by Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (Ed Zurga/Associated Press)
Jones and Ford were both absent from the locker room after the game.
“We have to learn from that. You surely can’t be ejected from the game. That’s not smart football,” Reid said. “Nobody is going to push us around anywhere, but be smart with it.”
Especially considering the Chiefs (5-0) visit New England next weekend.
The Jaguars (3-2) also were chippy throughout the game, but they at least had reason to unload their frustration. Bortles and the offense struggled with turnovers, and a defense that was ranked No. 1 in the NFL coming into the game watched Mahomes, Hunt and the rest of the Chiefs move the ball at will.
“I thought that we came out and played flat, myself included. I think they had points on every possession in the first half,” Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson said. “You can’t call yourself the best defense in the National Football League. I don’t care who coaches or who’s the quarterback, it just shouldn’t happen. But it happened today. So, again, they’re best offense in the National Football League for a reason. They definitely came out and showed us today.”
In truth, the Chiefs made a solid argument that they’re also the best team.
“I don’t think (Jacksonville) is physical. I think they want to pretend like they’re physical when everything’s going good,” Chiefs cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. “I think we’re a really physical team. I think we play a physical style of defense. I think we play a very simple style of defense and do what we do better than you do what you do.”
If not for the ejections, they would have done it to perfection on Sunday.
Here are some other takeaways from the Chiefs’ victory over the Jaguars:
RAMSEY VS HILL
Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill played mostly to a draw after trading barbs last week. Ramsey broke up a couple of passes and Hill managed to haul in four for 61 yards, though not all of them were with the Pro Bowl cornerback covering him. “Me and Tyreek are cool,” Ramsey said. “I respect him as a player.”
The Jaguars were already without Leonard Fournette because of a hamstring injury when Corey Grant went down with a groin strain. That left only T.J. Yeldon, who’d been nursing an ankle injury, and journeyman Brandon Wilds to run the ball. “We’ve been banged up quite a bit this year. It’s one of those things,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “We’re not going to use that as an excuse.”
SPEAKING OF INJURIES
The Chiefs, already without starting safeties Eric Berry and Daniel Sorensen, lost backups Armani Watts (groin) and Eric Murray (lower leg) during the game. Jordan Lucas was pressed into service and picked off a pass. “You got to be ready at all times,” he said. “When your number is called, you got to be confident in your preparation during the week and I was.”
PRAISE FOR PAT
Mahomes threw his first two picks this season, but he also threw for 313 yards and scrambled for a touchdown while making at least one fan on the Jacksonville sideline. “He’s a heck of a quarterback,” Marrone said. “I said it before. He was good on film. He was good in person.”
The Jaguars’ road doesn’t get a whole lot easier with a trip to Dallas up next, while the Chiefs head to Foxborough to face the reigning AFC champions. “The sky is the limit for this team,” Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley said. “I think this team can be pretty dangerous.”