‘Defense is playing lights out’: Jaguars show major strides in keeping Chiefs in check

KC tight end Travis Kelce had just 4 receptions for 26 yards, TD on Sunday

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 17: Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball during the second quarter against Andre Cisco #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on September 17, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) (Sam Greenwood, 2023 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heading into the Week 2 matchup between the Jaguars and the Chiefs, many people thought this would have been a high-scoring game. Both teams have very good offenses, but for the second week in a row it was the Jacksonville defense that kept it in the game in a 17-9 loss.

The offense could not find the end zone, kicking three field goals to get on the scoreboard.

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“The defense is playing lights out,” Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk said. “They’re playing such good football. That’s such a high-powered offense and for them to hold them to 17, they gave us every shot to go out and win the game and we didn’t do it.”

While the offense was lackluster against the Chiefs, the defense limited one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

“When you look at the scoreboard and you’re not up, it really doesn’t matter how well we’re doing because you got to do better,” Jaguars safety Andre Cisco said. “You got to somehow come up with a play and score on defense, whatever it takes. In games like this you have to have complete games in the NFL.”

Although it was not a complete game by the Jaguars, the defense still filled the stat sheet. Combining for 65 tackles, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries and eight passes defended.

”Not every game is going to be pretty when it’s a gritty, grimy game,” Jaguars inside linebacker Foye Oluokun said. “Those one play here, one play there you got to be able to come up with the win and we didn’t do that today so that’s on us.”

The defense disrupted Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and was able to get him into tough situations quite a few times. In the second quarter alone, Darious Williams forced a fumble that Oluokun recovered. Then, Cisco intercepted Mahomes and outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson recorded a sack. Cornerback Tre Herndon also forced a fumble in the third quarter.

”Obviously it was a loss so that’s a lesson to me,” Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker said. “I feel like us as a whole, as a group, not just defense, offense, us as a whole, as long as we come together everything that we want is in front of us.”

The Jaguars defense limited one of the best tight ends in the league. Travis Kelce only had four receptions for 26 yards and touchdown on nine targets in the entire game.

“What did he have like 26 yards or something like that?” Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins said. “I think they all came from zone coverage. Any time he was matched up with me I handled my business.”

But Jaguars fans, don’t fret, the team will go back to the drawing board and fix their mistakes before hosting the Houston Texans in Week 3.

“It’s Week 2. We’re 1-1. We’re in a great spot,” Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said. “You know we lost to a good football team today. We didn’t play great. Guys know that. Guys are going to rally. Guys are going to bounce back. We’ll be better next week. A lot of football ahead of us. It’s so early in this season that one game is not going to define who we are and it’s not going to define our season.”

Despite the 17-9 loss for the Jaguars, holding Mahomes and the Chiefs to only 17 points is a positive takeaway for the Jaguars defense.

About the Author:

Alessandra Pontbriand joined WJXT4 as a sports anchor and reporter in May 2023. She is excited to join the extremely talented sports team and have the opportunity to tell stories across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia from local high schools, universities, and pro teams!