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Well, that was easier than anyone would’ve expected. Kansas City scored the game’s first 23 point lead and cruised to a 30-14 victory over Jacksonville (3-2). Better still for the Chiefs long-term prospects, the win was delivered largely on the backs of the team’s embattled defense.

The win lifts Kansas City to 5-0, leaving them as the only undefeated squad in the AFC. Even though it’s still early, it also puts them squarely in control of the AFC West, two games ahead of Los Angeles.

As is our norm, Sports Al Dente highlighted three key matchups for the Chiefs heading into the game. How did the team do in those areas? Not too shabby.

Jalen Ramsey vs. Tyreek Hill

Last week, the Jaguars All-Pro cornerback and Kansas City’s speedster engaged in a fairly tame war of words in the media. The biggest takeaway was that Ramsey had no belief in Hill’s ability as a wide receiver.

There was concern going in that fellow wideout Sammy Watkins would be limited because of a sore hamstring. The Chiefs, though, had their full complement of receivers to challenge the vaunted Jacksonville secondary.

Kansas City’s passing attack was held out of the end zone, but managed to pile up more than 300 yards through the air. Travis Kelce led the team with 100 yards on five catches, but Hill and Watkins combined for 10 catches and 139 yards.

The Jaguars defensive backs still had their moments and made Patrick Mahomes look more like a second-year player than anyone else has this season. As per usual, don’t worry, the loss didn’t diminish Ramsey’s confidence even a little bit.


Patrick Mahomes vs. Todd Walsh

Mahomes entered the game with 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions. One of those numbers changed and it wasn’t the good one.

A.J. Bouye and Tashaun Gipson handed the sophomore signal caller his first two picks of the season. Mahomes managed to run for a score, but he was held without a touchdown toss for the first time this year.

Walsh’s Jacksonville defense only notched two sacks but made the Chiefs’ quarterback uncomfortable plenty of times. Kansas City’s offense, though, was aided by a strong effort from Kareem Hunt. The second-year running back had 87 yards and a touchdown.


The Chiefs settled for field goals more often than Andy Reid would like but any score is a good one against this Jaguars team.

Blake Bortles vs. A Very Moveable Object

Yes, that was a shot on Kansas City’s defense. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and his men had earned every one of the slings and arrows hurled their way during the season’s first quarter.

With their performance on Sunday, however, they deserve nothing but superlatives. The Chiefs made Bortles look like the quarterback that used to give Jaguars fans nightmares.

Kansas City made a red zone stop on fourth down early in the second quarter, and the defense suddenly had confidence.


On the Jacksonville’s next possession, Dee Ford notched a strip sack of Bortles that was recovered by Breeland Speaks. On the possession after that, defensive end Chris Jones picked off the Jaguars quarterback and rumbled into the end zone.

Bortles ended up throwing four interceptions, including a beauty by Jordan Lucas.

The Chiefs defense had it going to the point that they were trying out their celebration dances.


The downside for the defense wasn’t about their play. Justin Houston, Armani Watts, and Eric Murray all left the game with injuries. Jones and Ford were both ejected from the game. Because he threw a punch, Jones is potentially looking at a suspension.

That’s for another day, though, since Sutton’s crew deserves at least a day to revel in holding an opponent to less than 20 points.

They’ll have their work cut out for them when the Chiefs travel to Foxborough to face New England on Sunday Night Football. Stopping Bortles is one thing, but shutting down Tom Brady is a whole different ballgame.

Brendon McCullin

Author Brendon McCullin

Once a mover & shaker in Los Angeles, I made the bold move to move to the Midwest, where I now write about sports and entertainment industry topics. A long suffering Philadelphia sports fan, I've learned to trust the process but never trust Pete Rose.

More posts by Brendon McCullin

Sports Al Dente 2019

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