My first Sunday of Chiefs football did not start out how I planned. I was driving down the interstate as Sammy Watkins scored the first touchdown of the season on the third play from scrimmage against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That was not what I was expecting.
Then again, I am not sure what I was expecting because once I was seated on a couch surrounded by equally excited fans, it was no surprise to any of us when Patrick Mahomes lobbed a pass – without setting his feet – into the open field to Watkins for another score.
At that point, the Jaguars’ opportunity to avenge their embarrassing loss in Kansas City last season was slipping away. So to make their presence known, they started playing dirty.
It made sense in a few instances since Jags’ quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken clavicle after – unintentionally – being fallen on by Chris Jones in the first quarter. Mahomes was hit a handful of times in one drive, the worst being one where his left ankle got twisted underneath a pile of linemen, forcing him to limp off the field.
Between the extracurriculars after the play and the time the officials took to retain order, Mahomes was taped up and jogging back on the field.
Prior to Mahomes’ close call, Tyreek Hill suffered the wrath of an upset Jalen Ramsey. The Jags’ cornerback had already been burned by Watkins and after Hill beat him on an out route, Ramsey took him down, falling on him hard. It wasn’t a flag worthy hit, but Hill went to the locker room and didn’t return. Thankfully, Watkins made Ramsey look like a fool again for his third touchdown of the day.
Nonetheless, it was an interesting game to start the season. The defense obviously needs to continue working on its improvement. Gardner Minchew II looked too good throwing the ball for a rookie who had no intentions of playing that day.
LeSean McCoy showed flashes of what he was in Philadelphia and Damien Williams was exactly what we need him to be. These guys aren’t going to be asked to do a lot if Mahomes keeps it up.
The only abominable performance Sunday was the offensive line. On the play Mahomes’ ankle was nearly crushed, Eric Fisher got served by Yannick Ngakoue, who ran a circle around the pocket to get to the ball. It could have been worse but those guys have to improve their pass blocking.
I’m not sure what to think of the Raiders going into this Week 2 matchup. The win over the Broncos on Monday surprised a lot of people. It makes this game a lot more interesting. Mahomes will likely rest a lot of this week to be ready and that is fine because he looked magnificent on one ankle.
But I have a feeling Jon Gruden will have his guys fired up for this one.
Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org