The Kansas City Chiefs opened the regular season on Sunday with a 40-26 demolishing of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Patrick Mahomes led Kansas City on seven consecutive scoring drives to open the game in the victory.
There was no honeymoon phase for Mahomes, the 2018 MVP of the league. He hit Sammy Watkins for a 68-yard touchdown on the third play of the game to put Kansas City on top, and never looked back. Mahomes threw for 211 yards and two scores in the first quarter alone!! He finished the night 25-of-33 for 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. Watkins caught nine of those passes for 198 yards and three scores.
Kansas City’s defense was not great on Sunday, but held the Jaguars to just 13 points through the first three quarters and forced a pair of turnovers. Newcomer Frank Clark had a nice debut, getting a tackle, a deflected ball and an interception. Rookie Juan Thornhill led the team with eight tackles.
Here are five most important facts we took away from Sunday:
1. Patrick Mahomes is RIDICULOUSLY good
We heard all summer that Mahomes would take a step back, that his stats would fall off after the league got a year of film on him…not the case on Sunday! Mahomes torched the Jacksonville defense, one of the tops in the league, for 211 yards in the 1st quarter. He finished with 378 yards despite not having Tyreek Hill for much of the game and suffering an ankle injury in the 2nd quarter.
2. Sammy Watkins is worth every penny (when healthy)
Watkins’ health was the talk of training camp all around Kansas City and he showed why on Sunday. He finished with 9 catches for a career-high 198 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game. Watkins showed what he can do when he’s healthy, something Kansas City fans saw flashes of a season ago. If Watkins can stay healthy in 2019 he is going to have a MONSTER season.
3. Injuries took a toll on Sunday
The Chiefs lost star wide receiver Tyreek Hill early in Sunday’s game to a shoulder injury that sent him to the hospital. Kansas City has not disclosed a ton of information (not shocking), but we do know that Hill will miss at least a few weeks.
Kansas City fans also got a huge scare in the second quarter when Patrick Mahomes went down with a left ankle sprain. Mahomes did not miss a single play due to the injury, but he was noticeably not as mobile after the injury. He is listed as questionable for week two, but all indicators point to him playing next week.
4. The defense is noticeably improved
The new-look Kansas City defense looked solid on Sunday, limiting the Jaguars to 13 points through the first 50+ minutes. The defense looked great in the third quarter, holding Jacksonville scoreless. The two biggest improvements on the defense was clearly tackling and stopping the run. The defense tackled very well, limiting the big play. They also limited the Jacksonville rushing attack to just 81 yards.
5. The defense still has a lot of room to improve
While the defense looked better on Sunday, there is still a lot of room for them improve. Nobody expected perfection from the defense out of the gate, but it’s easy to see they have a ways to go to be considered as one of the top-20 defenses in the league.
The defense struggled to get off the field in the first half after the first possession of the game, allowing Jacksonville to stay in the game. The team did not blitz often, but when they did they were burned for a few big plays. It will be interesting to see the difference in the defense from week one to week two.
Next Up: Kansas City (1-0) at Oakland (0-0) | 9/15/19 @ 3:15 p.m. CST
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