Chiefs vs. Jaguars: Live Grades and Analysis for Kansas City

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Chiefs vs. Jaguars: Live Grades and Analysis for Kansas City
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Image edited by Brett Gering

An asphyxiating Kansas City Chiefs defense pitched an offensive shutout as Andy Reid's red-and-gold debut was punctuated with a 26-point victory.

Final:

Kansas City - 28

Jacksonville - 2

 

Kansas City Chiefs Grades
Position Unit 1st Half Grade Final Grade
Pass Offense A- B+
Run Offense B+ B
Run Defense A+ A
Pass Defense A A+
Special Teams D+ D
Coaching A- A

vs. Jaguars Week 1

 

Game analysis for the Kansas City Chiefs

Pass Offense: Alex Smith and Co. cooled off in the second half. That being said, No. 11 still distributed 21 completions to nine separate receivers before the final whistle blew. Behind a fortified offensive front, Smith methodically picked apart the Jaguars secondary all afternoon. 

Run Offense: Jamaal Charles was held to just 1.9 yards per carry throughout the preseason—that number improved to 4.8 at Jacksonville. The ankle-breaking slasher was the benefactor of an impressive premiere for Kansas City's offensive line. 

Run Defense: Maurice Jones-Drew's return from his Lisfranc injury didn't unfold as planned. He only cradled one less rushing attempt (15 overall) than Charles, but Jacksonville's bulky back posted 32 fewer yards (45 total) on the ground. Kansas City's front seven consistently shadowed any glimpses of daylight.

Pass Defense: Before this afternoon, players described Bob Sutton's defense as relentless. After today, "relentless" seems like a borderline insult. At the end of the third quarter, Blaine Gabbert averaged the same amount of yardage per pass as Maurice Jones-Drew averaged per run (3.3). Justin Houston, who corralled Gabbert in the backfield on three occasions, was one sack away from being tried for attempted manslaughter.

Special Teams: Dexter McCluster made a pair of noteworthy returns. However, they were on the heels of Dustin Colquitt's blocked punt, which accounted for Jacksonville's only points of the contest. 

Coaching: Throughout the game, Alex Smith was forced to burn timeouts to circumvent potential penalties. But that's a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things. Andy Reid crafted a play-calling collage on the offensive front, while Sutton's defense effectively showcased a blitzing barrage.  

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

 

First-half analysis for the Kansas City Chiefs

Pass Offense: Alex Smith's first attempt of the season was a rollout that traveled 20-plus yards and sliced through the hands of Anthony Fasano (the tight end's first drop since 2010). The aerial attack redeemed itself, though, as Smith continually dissected coverage with snap judgments and robotic precision.

Run Offense: Misdirection, draws, tosses—you name it, Andy Reid called it. A culmination of the creative play-calling generated creases for Jamaal Charles, and the fleet-footed blur delivered. On No. 25's touchdown run, the Chiefs utilized three linemen left of center: Jeff Allen, Branden Albert and Donald Stephenson.

Pass Defense: Justin Houston netted the first sack of the Andy Reid era, while miscommunication led to Brandon Flowers tallying the first interception. Bob Sutton's blitzes required that Kansas City's cornerbacks be left on their respective islands, and the secondary rewarded their coordinator's confidence: Blaine Gabbert was held to 60 yards passing with one interception.

Run Defense: The Chiefs' run support was stingy. Kansas City's defensive line plugged gaps with ease and stonewalled Maurice Jones-Drew (14 yards on six carries). Even when the Jaguars resorted to running the wildcat with Denard Robinson, the Chiefs suffocated the line of scrimmage. 

Special Teams: Kansas City prematurely left to cover Dustin Colquitt's opening punt of 2013, which resulted in Jacksonville's first points of the season. However, Dexter McCluster partially vindicated the unit with a pair of praiseworthy punt returns. 

Coaching: At times, Reid's heavy dosage of shifts and motions confused the Jacksonville defense. Sutton effectively utilized stunts and delays to create quarterback pressure. Penalties, as well as penalty-negating timeouts, sporadically bogged down drives, though. 

 

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