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FILM ROOM: Jaguars defense struggles vs. high powered Chiefs offense

Kansas City Chiefs v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

“I think the first thing you do as a coach when you go out and you put a performance like that on the field is you have to look at yourself and how you put the players in the position that they were in. We had a plan going in that we were going to try and eliminate explosives early in the game and I think at some point in time they hit three in a row. And some things that we did differently, maybe I tried to get too cute versus a great offense. So, the first thing I look at is how I put them in position; did we practice the things that we’ve seen? We did have breakdowns and it happened across the board, to be honest with you. So I think when that happens the first thing you do is look at yourself, and I have to do a better job. You have to look at yourself first, because I’m in charge of the defense. So, did we practice the things we needed to practice? Did I call the right things at the right time?”

The Jacksonville Jaguars took a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday in over 100 degree weather. The last time the Jaguars played the Chiefs in Week 1 was when this team fielded the likes of Jonathan Cyprien, Will Ta’ufo’ou, Geno Hayes, and Jason Babin.


But let’s look at how the box scores compared because even though we have playmakers on that side of the ball, the end result looked largely the same.

2019 vs. 2013

Passes Defended Sacks Combined Solo Assisted TFL QB Hits FR Yards TD FF
Passes Defended Sacks Combined Solo Assisted TFL QB Hits FR Yards TD FF
3 1 46 46 0 2 4 0 0 0 0
0 0 47 45 2 3 4 0 0 0 0

The top row is how we performed in 2013.

The bottom row? Last week.

The Jaguars are league known to have a tough secondary. In 2018 they were second in passing yards allowed per game, fourth in passing touchdowns allowed per pass, and sixth in passing first downs allowed percentage.

After listening to defensive coordinator’s Todd Wash’s press conference, it is hard to know why exactly the secondary was sent into the game without a solid game plan. There were times where only cornerback Jalen Ramsey was in man-to-man defense. His receiver would motion, leaving half the field wide open.

If you have Ramsey in man-to-man that is fine but then a linebacker or safety take his zone, instead, Myles Jack and Jarrod Wilson were covering the same guy 30 yards down field with Travis Kelce wide open coming across the field. Andy Reid had some great play calls but still played his game — crossers, Hi-Lo routes. His quarterback takes big chances and his running backs are quick. Small plays gaining four yards at a time and then big shots down field and Cover 1 is not the defense you would expect to see the Jaguars come out in.

The Hi-Lo concept is exactly how it sounds. There are low and high routes to force a defender to make a choice on who to stick with. He had two wide receivers attacking the defense’s high safety and the tight end running across the field either underneath or above the linebackers.

On Sunday it was mostly above.

The first two drives of the game were hard to watch with Ramsey staying in man-to-man while the rest of the team was caught chasing guys in the zones that they weren’t in.

Two safeties are playing high with the one at the bottom of the screen being the strong safety. In this case he is watching the running back. The strong safety will follow. On these two first plays, Reid is watching the free safety — if he tries to cheat forward, he will throw deep down the field and if he hesitates the second level near the linebackers he’ll be open. This is where Mahomes throws his third pass of the game which ends in a touchdown by Sammy Watkins.

The second defensive drive of the game the Chiefs got to the red zone after just two plays. Wilson refuses to get beat after just giving up a touchdown. But unfortunately, on the very first play, he decides to stay with Watkins leaving his area empty for Kelce to catch and run for 22 yards. When you have a player like Kelce lined up on the other side, it’s more than a one man job — A.J. Bouye should have had some help if lined up in press.

However, I can not let any defensive back get off easy after the poor tackling performance they showed.

Let’s hope I never have to make a montage like this one ever again…

With all that being said, we should still have faith in this defense going forward. One bad game is okay — the concern is the place Todd Wash put them in position-wise. Ramsey addressed that on Wednesday:

“I like our game plan. I like what he’s going to allow me to do and let me play my game.”

We were all hoping this would be a closer game than last year with John DeFilippo as newly hired offensive coordinator who is familiar with a Doug Pederson style offense (which came from Reid) but unfortunately, it didn’t look like the message made it to Wash.

Nonetheless, Sacksonville could very well be in effect Week 2 going against Deshaun Watson if the Jaguars carry the same momentum from last year’s game against their offensive line. The Jaguars came away with six total sacks and one forced fumble.

As long as Wash gives strong safety Ronnie Harrison some help in deep coverage, and this team fixes the tackling issue, the Jaguars have a good chance walking away from this Sunday with a record of 1-1.

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