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Winners and losers from Jaguars’ loss to Chiefs

Defense shines again as offense sputters in ugly loss.

Kansas City Chiefs v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Well, that wasn’t terribly pretty.

There were moments on Sunday, but the Jaguars’ offense was unable to muster a touchdown and ultimately fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 17-9 in the Jags’ (1-1) home opener.

Here are your winners and losers from an ugly game.


Defense, again

Somehow, someway, the Jaguars’ defense is the best unit on the team.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but through two games, the defense has been practically lights out.

Against the Chiefs, the defense forced two turnovers and the special teams recovered a fumble. Through two games, the Jags have generated six total turnovers.

Andre Cisco snagged a pick and Darious Williams forced a fumble. Tim Jones recovered the fumble on special teams. In both games this year, the team has won the turnover battle.

The pass rush still has trouble getting home, with K’Lavon Chaisson being credited with the team’s only sack, but there are plenty of opportunities.

Travon Walker, Chaisson and Williams each had a tackle for loss and the secondary broke up eight passes, though it felt like more.

Holding the defending Super Bowl champs to just two touchdowns is a winnable strategy, it is just too bad it happened on a day where the offense didn’t score one.

Christian Kirk and Evan Engram

Head coach Doug Pederson said Christian Kirk would be the guy against the Chiefs. He certainly wasn’t lying.

After being held to just one catch last week, Kirk had a team-high 11 catches for 110 yards.

He was a factor all game and, as Pederson thought, was the number one option in the passing attack.

His numbers might have seen an inorganic uptick as Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones each dealt with injuries, but the result is impressive regardless.

Kirk paired with Evan Engram, who hauled in six balls for 57 yards.

Kirk and Engram were the only Jags to catch passes on the final drive of the day, with Kirk catching three and Engram catching two.

Outside of those two however, it was slim pickings on offense.

Trevor Lawrence was off — especially in the red zone — and Ridley was essentially a non-factor with two catches for 32 yards. The run game generated just 74 total yards.

Kirk and Engram impressed, but it was not enough.


Overall offense

Not scoring a touchdown against the Chiefs just simply isn’t going to work.

Across 11 drives, the Jags ran 64 plays for just 271 yards and no scores.

Meanwhile the Chiefs ran 64 plays of their own, on 10 drives, and put up 399 yards.

Lawrence was sacked four times on the day, furthering the discussion about the shakiness of the offensive line.

In the red zone, the team went a disgusting 0-3. The Chiefs went 2-3.

On a day where the Jaguars committed to passing, Lawrence did not complete a single pass in the red zone, finishing 0-7.

The team ran 13 total plays in the red zone. Four were runs for 10 total yards. Of the passing plays, Lawrence threw four incompletions out of the back of the end zone and took a sack.

On third down, the team finished 3-12 for the second straight week. The team also went 0-2 on fourth down.

Simply put, the game plan just did not work on offense outside of quick passes to Kirk.

Play Calling

This one is weird.

Obviously, no one knows for sure what the intricacies are between Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor calling plays. Taylor calls them, but Pederson does have some say as the head coach.

However, some of the play calls and designs were not great.

Throwing the ball consistently in the red zone when your team only needs a yard in a choice. Having Kirk throw a pass that resulted in -1 yard was also a choice.

Lawrence looked uncomfortable all day and the offense looked out of sync. Flush this one.

Since Pederson and Taylor took over, the Jaguars have only scored three times on the team’s opening drives.

The Jaguars

What is the identity of this team?

Are the Jaguars a passing offense this year? Do they want to establish the run? Is the defense going to have to carry the team all season?

It is too early to tell on all of that, but through two games, it isn’t exactly clear what the strategy is.

The sky is certainly not falling though in Jacksonville after one loss to a good team.

There is a get-right game next week against the winless Houston Texans and with a victory, the team will have a firm lead on the AFC South and momentum heading into London.

Maybe then we will get an opportunity to figure out what this Jaguars team is trying to do in all facets of the game.

But after two weeks, it is a bit confusing.