JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars opened the 2019 season with one of the worst quarters of football imaginable.
They saw Patrick Mahomes carve up the Jacksonville defense and watched as quarterback Nick Foles leave the game with an injury after his first touchdown pass in a Jaguars' uniform in an eventual 40-26 loss.
Here are my four big takeaways from the game:
1. Preseason matters: Especially early in the game, the Jaguars looked like a team adjusting to the speed and intensity of the regular season opener. By the time the Jaguars got their first score, the Chiefs had already taken control.
2. Lack of discipline: We saw it in the preseason. We saw it last year. We saw it in 2017. It has continued. The Jaguars committed numerous and untimely penalties (10 for 71 yards). One of their defensive captains, linebacker Myles Jack, was ejected in the first half when he threw a punch (and connected) with a Chiefs player.
On the same play, Jalen Ramsey could have been flagged and possibly ejected. Jack then lost his cool again when he was ejected and went after an official. Not a good look. In the third quarter, with the Chiefs driving, Ronnie Harrison was flagged for taunting. That led to a KC touchdown. Everybody in the NFL knows you can get under the Jaguars' skin. Every team will have that in mind when they prepare to play Jacksonville. Will the Jaguars be able to handle it?
3. Foles' injury and Minshew's performance: With 5:23 to play in the first quarter, Nick Foles rainbowed a high spiral to the side of the end zone. It landed in the waiting arms of DJ Chark who made an over-the-shoulder grab for the Jaguars first touchdown of the year.
While the Jaguars celebrated the score, Foles was on the ground clutching his left shoulder. He was immediately taken to the locker room and, shortly thereafter, ruled out for the game. Gardner Minshew handled himself well as a sixth-round pick getting his first regular season NFL action, completing his first 13 passes and finishing 22 of 25). Losing Foles to an injury 10 plays into the season is not what Doug Marrone envisioned when he held the quarterback out for all but four series of the preseason.
4. Dealing with adversity: I pointed this out as one of the big keys to the Jaguars' season. How would the team respond when faced with adversity? Sunday's on field response didn't leave anyone with n optimistic feeling. How they handle the loss this week as they prepare for a trip to Houston to face the Texans will be a much bigger hint to how the team will be this season.