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Jaguars face defeat in first home game against conference rivals

The Jaguars suffered their first loss of the NFL regular season Sunday afternoon at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions.

The Jaguars were coming off a divisional matchup victory against the Indianapolis Colts, whereas the Chiefs had just been defeated by the Detroit Lions.

 Chiefs were without star players last week, including tight end Travis Kelce, who was out for week one after an injury sustained during practice, and defensive tackle Chris Jones, who was on holdout following contract disputes with the team.

But with both players back at their starting positions for week two, the Jaguars had their hands full going into the game. 

After a loss to the Chiefs in last season’s divisional round, much was on the line for quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his offense going into Sunday’s week two matchup. A win against the Chiefs in this game would go a long way in proving their dominance in the AFC and keeping fans optimistic for a deep playoff run or even a first-time Super Bowl appearance. 

However, that was not the case. 

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, center, is hit by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, left, and Kansas City Chief’s linebacker Nick Bolton, right, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sep. 17, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fl. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Sunday’s game was off to a slow start; four punts in the first quarter resulted in zero points being scored by either team, and it was beginning to feel more like a grueling match of tug-of-war than a professional football game. Both Kansas City and Jacksonville’s defenses took center stage in this matchup. 

Jacksonville was first to score in the second quarter when a fumbled punt return was recovered by special teams player and backup wide receiver Tim Jones, which put them in range of a field goal, which was made by kicker Brandon McManus, newly acquired from the Denver Broncos, bringing the score to 3-0.

 Another fumble ensued in the second quarter from each team, and an interception made by Jaguars safety Andre Cisco electrified the Duval crowd, giving the offense another chance at putting the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. 

Unfortunately, a turnover on downs put the Chiefs in scoring position and Mahomes was able to find receiver Skyy Moore in the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown pass.

With just 27 seconds left in the first half and all three timeouts remaining, Lawrence was able to hurry the ball downfield into field goal range, making the score 7-6 Chiefs just before halftime. 

Kansas City received the ball to start the second half, and after a nine-play drive and 81 yards, Mahomes threw the ball to Kelce in the end zone for another touchdown. The extra point scored by Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker was good, making the score 14-6.

 The remainder of quarter three was scoreless, and neither team would put up another point until the Jaguars kicked another field goal in the fourth quarter, making the game 14-9. The Chiefs got the ball back and went down the field but were held to a field goal.

With the ball back and only minutes to go on the clock, the Jaguars needed a touchdown and a successful 2-point conversion to tie the game. On 4th and 12 at Kansas City’s 16-yard line, Lawrence aired one out for wide receiver Calvin Ridley at the back of the end zone to no avail. 

Despite putting up over 200 yards in the air, and to the dismay of thousands crammed into the seats of EverBank Stadium, the Jaguars were unable to find the end zone even a single time on Sunday.

This is still a young team in the process of developing under Super Bowl-winning head coach Doug Pederson. Between the addition of star wide receiver and former Atlanta Falcon Calvin Ridley, and a draft class that includes  Anton Harrison, Brenton Strange, and Tank Bigsby, it is likely the Jacksonville Jaguars will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Tristan Larrabee, Reporter
Tristan is a student at the University of North Florida majoring in communications with a concentration in multimedia journalism. With a background that includes 6 years of photography experience, Tristan aspires to one day be a photographer for the NFL.

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