By Hal Estep
On a rainy Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense finally found its groove. Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles was consistently being pressured by the Chiefs’ pass rush, forcing him into making errant throws and many mistakes. Bortles was sacked 5 times, which is Kansas City’s season-high for sacks in a game so far this year. Bortles would end up completing 33 out of 61 passes, for 401 yards, 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions.
The Chiefs defense forced a whopping fiver Turnovers. Linebacker Dee Ford had a strip sack in the second quarter immediately following quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ first interception of the season. Defensive lineman Chris Jones had a monster game, with a sack and an interception returned for a touchdown- including a nifty juke past Bortles on the way to the end zoen. Both players werealso both ejected from the game- Jones for throwing a punch after an extra point attempt, and Ford for having two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Three other Chiefs also sacked Bortles- linebacker Terrance Smith, defensive tackle Xavier Williams and defensive end Allen Bailey. Sunday was Bailey’s 4th straight game with a sack. Jones, cornerback Orlando Scanderick, cornerback Steven Nelson, and safety Jordan Lucas each had an interception on Sunday. Scanderick had an especially strong game, intercepting a Bortles pass on the last Jacksonville drive and, laying out Jaguars wide reciever Dede Westbrook with a punishing hit, and preventing a catch. This game easily been the defense’s strongest showing this season.
Mahomes had his worst performance of the year, even though it wasn’t that bad. He was 22 for 38 with 313 passing yards and his first two interceptions on the season. He also added a rushing touchdown. Running back Kareem Hunt had a solid game, with 22 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker remained perfect on the year, making all three field goal attempts on Sunday.
The matchup many were watching was wide receiver Tyreek Hill against Jacksonville’s elite cornerback, and resident trash talker, Jalen Ramsey. They had traded friendly barbs throughout the week leading up to Sunday, and neither of them really got the best of the other. Hill had 4 receptions for 61 yards, including one on a streak route that he burned Ramsey on. If it came down to a decision, I’d call this matchiuip a draw, or a split decision to Hill.
Tight end Travis Kelce had a strong game, catching 5 passes for 100 yards. Wide reciever Sammy Watkins bounced back from his hamstring injury with 6 catches for 78 yards.
Overall, this was very strong game for the Chiefs. They took on one of the best defenses in the league, an AFC title contender at that, and dismantled them. The defense showed that they are capable of dominating a game, and that they don’t need Mahomes to be perfect every time out.
Elsewhere in the AFC West, the Denver was defeated in New York by the Jets 34-16. The Los Angeles Chargers beat the Oakland 26-10. The Chiefs own first place, with Chargers in second, Broncos in third, and the Raiders in last.
Next up, Kansas City takes on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 7:20 on NBC.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org