Jaguars fantastic season comes to an end with frustrating loss to Chiefs

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ amazing season has come to an end following their 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the 2022 NFL Playoffs. While there’s no such thing as a moral victory, the Jags should feel proud about how far they came since the end of the 2021 season.

After all, the consensus projected them to win just five or six games in 2022 and it looked like they were done for the year after losing to the Chiefs in Week 9. However, they managed to finish 6-2 after their Bye and ended up making the postseason and winning the AFC South.

Along the way, the Jags proved to be a resilient bunch that wouldn’t give up even when things seemed bleak. Also, they showed the ability to overcome big deficits, winning three games — including one in the playoffs — after trailing by 17 points or more. Unfortunately, they didn’t come through against the Chiefs and are now ready to enter the offseason.

The Jaguars fought but it wasn’t enough to win the Chiefs

The Jags’ loss to Kansas City wasn’t caused for a lack of effort. Rather, their execution wasn’t optimal, they made mistakes throughout the game that could have potentially changed the final outcome. For example, wide receiver Christian Kirk had a drop near the end of the second quarter and Jacksonville had to settle for a field goal to make it 10-17 at halftime. But if Kirk had caught the pass, they may have drawn to within 17-14.

With 3:55 left in the fourth quarter, return specialist Jamal Agnew caught a pass at the Chiefs’ 3-yard line but he fumbled it and Kansas City recovered. In the Jags’ following drive and trailing 27-17, Trevor Lawrence threw an interception.

The defense then forced the Chiefs to punt and the offense got the ball back. The Jags then put together a six-play 47-yard drive that ended on a field goal. Trailing 27-20, Jacksonville attempted an onside kick with 23 seconds left on the clock but it fell flat. Lawrence finished with a 61.54 percent completion rate for 217 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

On the other hand, the defense had no answer for the Chiefs’ offense despite the fact that Patrick Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter, had to exit at one point, and wasn’t 100 percent when he returned. But before he got hurt, Mahomes had no trouble getting rid of the football and evading the Jags’ pass rush. He went 22-of-30 for 195 yards with two touchdowns.

Tight end Travis Kelce caught four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown in Kansas City’s first offensive possession. He finished the game with 12 receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Similarly, running back Isaiah Pacheco had a field day, toting the rock 12 times for 95 yards. Meanwhile, Travis Etienne had 10 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Looking back, this is a game the Jaguars could have won and it will probably leave a sour taste in their mouth. However, it doesn’t look like they are a one-year wonder. They have the foundations for sustained success. With Trevor Lawrence and head coach Doug Pederson leading the way, this might in fact be the first of many playoff trips the Jaguars will have in the upcoming year.

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