The highly-anticipated matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs took place on Saturday. Star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, faced off with a future star at the QB position, Trevor Lawrence. Additionally, head coaches Doug Pederson and Andy Reid go head-to-head as former protégé and mentor. Pederson, in his first year as head coach of the Jaguars, has made a significant impact by implementing many of the concepts he learned under Reid.
Despite the Jaguars’ impressive turnaround this season, they faced a daunting challenge as they headed to Arrowhead Stadium, where a victory against the Chiefs was no easy task. This game was sure to be a thrilling showdown between the two teams, as both battled for a chance to advance in the playoffs.
First Half Highlights
The Kansas City Chiefs came into the game as the number one offense in points and yards during the regular season, and they quickly demonstrated their dominance on the opening drive. Mahomes, the star quarterback, was on fire, spreading the ball around to different receivers. He was throwing jump passes to Travis Kelce and slingin’ it sidearm to Juju Smith-Schuster. With 8 minutes to go in the first quarter, the Chiefs ran a nice misdirection play that resulted in a touchdown pass from Mahomes to Kelce.
The Jaguars were not to be outdone, however. With 5 minutes to go in the first quarter, Doug Peterson dialed up a terrific play, forcing rookie defensive end, George Karlaftis, into man coverage on wide receiver Christian Kirk. Trevor Lawrence hit Kirk with a perfect spiral to get the Jaguars on the board.
Late in the first quarter, Patrick Mahomes sustained an ankle injury after throwing a pass. The injury occurred when Jaguars outside linebacker Arden Key fell on Mahomes’s lower leg from behind. Mahomes left the field for one possession, with backup Chad Henne taking over, but he ultimately returned for Kansas City’s first drive of the second half. Up to this point, Mahomes had completed 12 of 15 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.
In Henne’s only drive of the game, the 37-year old former University of Michigan quarterback led the Chiefs 98 yards down the field. The immaculate drive was capped off by a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce, the tight end’s second of the game.
At halftime, the Chiefs led the Jaguars 17-10.
As the second half opened up, the fans at Arrowhead Stadium erupted when they saw Patrick Mahomes take the field. Despite his injury, Mahomes continued to lead the Chiefs offense with precision and poise, showing the determination and grit that has made him one of the league’s elite quarterbacks.
With 7 minutes left in the game, Mahomes’ magic was on full display. Despite his ankle injury, he managed to escape some pressure and find Smith-Schuster in the back of the endzone, helping to extend the Chiefs’ lead.
OFF ONE FOOT. Mahomes to MVS!
📺: #JAXvsKC on NBC
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/3PQhoYeSUP pic.twitter.com/dDFMLPHlC3
— NFL (@NFL) January 22, 2023
The Jaguars got the ball back and were threatening, however, a costly fumble by wide receiver Jamal Agnew put a damper on Jacksonville’s energy and excitement.
Fortunately for the Jaguars, they were able to stop the Chiefs on the ensuing drive without much time coming off the clock. Could we be witnessing another thrilling comeback by the underdog Jaguars? Lawrence took control and began to lead the Jaguars down the field. However, heartache would strike once more as Lawrence would quickly turn the ball over again. Jaylen Watson, a cornerback for the Chiefs, would make a spectacular catch to corral an interception along the sideline.
Too Little, Too Late
With the ball back in their possession, the Kansas City Chiefs did everything they could to milk the clock and prevent the Jaguars from attempting any comeback. They succeeded, as the Jaguars only had a few seconds left on the clock to attempt any sort of comeback. The Chiefs’ defense stood strong and held off the Jaguars’ last-ditch effort. They allowed a late field goal to bring the game to 27-20. On the ensuing onside kickoff attempt, Kadarius Toney scooped up the spinning football, securing the victory for the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite the injury to their star quarterback, the Chiefs were able to pull off a win and continue their dominance.
Final Score: Kansas City Chiefs 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 20
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