JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If there was ever a time for a Jaguars football team to steal one on the road, it was Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were beat up. At 5-2, they were enjoying a very good season under Andy Reid, but injuries kept their starting quarterback, starting running back and best defensive player off the field. And it showed.
The Chiefs struggled, staying on the field offensively. Without Alex Smith, the offense had difficulty converting 3rd downs. Defensively, the Chiefs had a tough time stopping an effective running game. Yes, I said effective running game. This game was ours to win.
So what happened? Turnovers happened. One muffed punt, two fumbles and an interception. You simply can't win in the NFL turning the ball over.
Most of the Chiefs points were "given" to them by good field position. We just didn't take care of the football which has truly been our biggest problem this season. We can't seem to get it on defense and we too often give it away on offense.
We did see improvement in multiple areas, however. Offensively and defensively, we looked like a better football team.
On offense, our run game came alive. At halftime, we had 132 yards rushing and finished the game with 205. Impressive. It looks as if Nathaniel Hackett has made some much-needed improvements. He still has work to do of course with our quarterback. Too many inaccurate throws and poor decisions in the passing game. But running the ball effectively gave us a chance at the end.
The defense once again did their job. The Chiefs on offense were stuffed on 3rd down with a 7% conversion percentage. Also, holding a team to 19 points and allowing only 62 yards on the ground should amount to a victory.
Again, we suffered another frustrating loss. I think we would all agree that with a 2-6 record at the midpoint of the season, it doesn't look promising.
We still have quite a few tough games ahead of us. All the team can do is take it one game at a time. Next up are the Texans at home. I'm confident our team will improve based on what we saw in some areas but we have a long road ahead. It's not time to give up as Jaguar fans. Keep believing and keep cheering for our team. That's what true fans do. Go Jags!
As far as plays to show, we can go with the turnovers. The muffed punt, the fumbles and the INT. That was the difference.
What part of the team do you think needs the most improvement and why?
Too many areas to name just one. Our quarterback certainly needs to improve, but I thought he at least looked a little more comfortable in the first half that I've seen in previous games. It was great to see our run game get better.
Bortles had a lot of overthrown balls today. Do you think that’s more on Bortles or the receivers?
Overthrown footballs are usually on the QB. Blake needs to be more accurate. He's still missing on some critical throws. He did improve however on 3rd down and made some nice plays in the 4th quarter. Progress.
What changes in the offense have you noticed now that Nathaniel Hackett is calling the plays?
I was pleased with the run game. Obviously, we were committed to being more productive on the ground at it showed. This only helps our QB.