Jaguars grade vs. the Chiefs matches performance in Week 10

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid shakes hands with Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid shakes hands with Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Trevor Lawrence played well for the second straight week and the Jacksonville Jaguars were able to get three extra possessions off turnovers. However, it wasn’t enough to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10. Nevertheless, the Jags didn’t give up without a fight and there were a few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing loss, which is why they got an adequate grade.

John Breech of CBS Sports graded all NFL teams for their performances in Week 10 and Jacksonville got a C. Breech likes the Jaguars’ aggressive approach to start off the game but points out that they couldn’t simply keep up on the scoreboard. Similarly, he brings attention to Riley Patterson’s two missed field goals, which played a role in the loss.

"The Jaguars (3-7) opened this game with a big surprise when they went onside on the opening kickoff, but that was about the only risk that Doug Pederson took against the Chiefs. If you’re going to beat Kansas City, you need to throw the kitchen sink at them, but this was a game where Pederson punted twice from Kansas City’s territory. The Jags’ offense just didn’t have quite enough firepower to keep up with the Chiefs and it didn’t help things that kicker Reiley Patterson melted down with two missed field goals."

It’s possible that Pederson didn’t attempt more field goals even though the Jaguars got to Chiefs territory precisely because Patterson wasn’t having a good day. Having said that, a penalty by left tackle Cam Robinson also wiped out a touchdown reception by tight end Evan Engram. Had Patterson nailed the two attempts and Engram’s score had stood, the Jags might have had a realistic shot to beat Kansas City.

The Jaguars had to be perfect vs. the Chiefs but they’re making strides

There’s no such thing as moral victories. You are ultimately what your record says you are but coming off a season in which the Jags managed to muster three years and their offense was the worst in the league, they should be encouraged by the progress they’ve made this year.

Sure, the margin for error against the Chiefs was slim, and on a day in which the Jags couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, Trevor Lawrence’s 72.1 percent completion rate and 106.1 quarterback rating may be overlooked. This is more impressive when you take into account that he was sacked five times. If the offensive line had given him better protection and the defense had managed to contain Patrick Mahomes, the outcome of the game might have been different.

Pederson told analyst Bucky Brooks after the game that the team has to execute better and he’s right. It was great to see the defense register two takeaways and the offense didn’t turn the ball over even once. Yet, it wasn’t enough to beat the Chiefs because the Jaguars failed to do the small things, committing penalties at critical moments and missing tackles that led to big gains and touchdowns.

“Missed opportunities, I think it’s the name of the game,” Pederson said. “Three takeaways on onside kicks to start the game and only 7 points to show for it. Then two missed field goals, so for me, this is what I shared with the team after the game, ‘when you’re playing good football teams or going against good football teams and you have that many opportunities, you’ve got to capitalize, you’ve got to score points and we didn’t do that today”.

The Jaguars are far from a finished product but they’ve taken several steps in the right direction this season. It hasn’t been enough to go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the league but that doesn’t mean their progress hasn’t been noticeable.

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