The Chiefs came into this game with something to prove, they escaped with a win over Tennessee. The Jaguars needed to prove they can compete with the big boys of the league. The Chiefs came into a trap game and didn’t blink.
The Chiefs were able to withstand the early surge of the surprise onside kick and a fumble in the redone and then scored 20 straight points. One of the biggest moments came when JuJu Smith-Schuster was knocked out of the game on a dirty helmet-to-helmet hit that somehow wasn’t a penalty.
JuJu was taken to the locker room and currently is still in concussion protocol on the next play, the same defender had another hard late hit and no flag on that play. But the Chiefs continued to play great football and Patrick Mahomes has been targeting Travis Kelce and Kadarius Toney to great effect. The Chiefs gave up some plays late but looked every bit like the championship-caliber team they are.
Here are some takeaways from the Chiefs’ ten-point win over Jacksonville.
The Chiefs Won the Kadarius Toney Trade
When the Chiefs traded for Kadarius Toney before the bye week, many thought it was going to be a good trade but they would bring Toney along slowly. But with the injury to Mecole Hardman during practice this week put Toney in a bigger role against Jacksonville. He was more than ready and got the first receiving touchdown of his career in the first quarter and made fun of his “injury” status in New York.
After the JuJu Smith-Schuster injury, he was pushed into the offense more and was able to use his explosiveness all over the field. Totaling over 100 all-purpose yards from receptions, rushes, and punt returns, Toney had a great game all around and will be used a lot more even after Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster’s return.
Special Teams Have Been Abysmal This Season
While the offense and defense have been playing pretty well this season, the special teams unit has been the worst in the league. The Chiefs’ special teams unit has had four muffed punts, two fumbles, and seven (you read that right) seven missed extra points all in the first nine games of the season. Some of this was due to Harrison Butker missing time with an ankle sprain and using replacement kickers, but a lot of it has to do with personnel outside of the kicking room.
Dave Toub has been one of the best special team coaches in the league for a long time, but this year he has been awful. The use of Skyy Moore as a punt returner, the missed field goals, extra points, and the fumbling by returners. Toub needs to be held accountable for not handling this unit which seems to have the talent to be really good and effective but has been missing the easy stuff.
The Chiefs have the most missed field goals and extra points this season and it’s not relatively close, Harrison Butker has been inconsistent and looks hurt at times and it might be time to move on if he can’t clean it up.
Isiah Pacheco Lived Up to the Hype
Isiah Pacheco has been one of the most overhyped players in training camp for the Chiefs, he finally delivered on all of that promise against the Jaguars. The seventh-round pick had his third-straight start for the Chiefs and looked every bit the rookie when he fumbled the ball on the first offensive drive for the Chiefs in the red zone.
It was an early mistake, and instead of benching the rookie, the Chiefs went right back to him and he thrived. He had 16 carries for 82 yards and had two ten-yard gains for the Chiefs throughout the game. Pacheco proved why so many loved his game, he runs hard and he makes the right read to get the most yards.
After last week where he seemed to not read the holes in the blocking correctly, he showed patience and explosiveness and ran through holes for big gains. It will be interesting to see what Pacheco can do with more carries going forward and expect the rookie to be the lead back going forward.
Patrick Mahomes is the Frontrunner For MVP
There have been a lot of storylines in the MVP race this season; Josh Allen has been throwing deep touchdowns and can run, and Tua is the most accurate QB. But everyone knows the truth, Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league and it’s not relatively close.
Patrick Mahomes leads the league in Passing Yards, Touchdowns, and Total Touchdowns and he’s on pace to have a better season than his 2018 MVP Campaign. The Chiefs have relied on Patrick Mahomes and his talents for years now and he’s been great, but he’s been almost perfect this season at points. In the game against the Jaguars, he only made one mistake and it was an interception while up 17 in the fourth quarter.
Mahomes missed 9 passes all day and threw four touchdowns to four different receivers, including newly acquired Kadarius Toney and his favorite target Travis Kelce. It was a masterpiece by a player who has been playing good football over the past three games. It should be clear that Patrick Mahomes is the front-runner for MVP and as I always say:
DON’T TAKE PATRICK MAHOMES FOR GRANTED