The Chiefs trounced the Jaguars in their Week 1 of the NFL season with a final score of 28-2. While the Jaguars came out swinging on special teams with a blocked punt and a safety, the other Jacksonville units evidently did not get the memo. The Chiefs ran up and down the field on Jacksonville early in the contest and dominated the Jaguars' offensive line when Kansas City was on defense. Both teams finished with a 2-14 record last season, but Kansas City displayed an improved defense and a cohesive offense that is capable of scoring points.
Matthew Fairburn of Big Cat Country is being realistic with expectations after the Jaguars' abysmal performance on Sunday:
After an offseason filled with optimism and hope for the future, the Jaguars were reminded what rebuilding looks like. Jacksonville's roster was gutted in the offseason, and that was obvious in Sunday's 28-2 loss to the Chiefs in Week 1.
The Jaguars' failures started up front. Eugene Monroe and Luke Joeckel both struggled in pass protection at times, but the interior of the offensive line struggled even more. In all, the Chiefs sacked Blaine Gabbert six times. Justin Houston had three sacks on his own. Last season, Tyson Alualu led the Jaguars in sacks with 3.5.
The rest of the offense was just as bad. Gabbert threw two interceptions and dealt with his fair share of drops throughout the game. He didn't lead a drive into Chiefs territory until the fourth quarter when the Jaguars were losing by 26 points. The Jaguars narrowly avoided setting a franchise record for the lowest offensive total in history. To make matters worse, Gabbert left the game on the Jaguars' final offense drive with a laceration on his throwing hand.
Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride believes that Sunday was the start of something special for the Chiefs' defense:
Elite? That's a loaded word in the NFL so I'll just say that this team can be very, very good on defense. The key components to a dominating 3-4 defense is a pair of pass-rushers, strong nose tackle and a ball-hawking secondary.
The Chiefs knew they had two good pass-rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, but it's possible that Houston is in the beginning stages of becoming one of the league's best pass-rushers. He has shown it over the last year and a half. How good is Houston? Tamba had a touchdown and he did not have the best game among the linebackers.
While the Jaguars seem destined to finish among the leagues worst teams, Jacksonville still has a whole season to improve their team. The Chiefs on the other hand seem poised to improve from last season's struggles, with new quarterback Alex Smith and new head coach Andy Reid.