It’s halftime at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs lead the Jacksonville Jaguars 10-7 in their Week 9 tilt. Here are some quick thoughts.
1. Everybody wanted to see what Chiefs quarterback Nick Foles could do with more work, including myself. So far, we’ve seen his strengths (good arm strength and a willingness to uncork the deep ball) and his weaknesses (inconsistent footwork, accuracy). I wrote in today’s paper that the Chiefs’ coaches have worked with Foles on his footwork, and it has improved, but his pocket presence and ability to stand in the pocket and deliver are works in progress that won’t be solved in a mere three months (which is how long he’s been a Chief). He has completed 9 of 17 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
2. It’s been a little amusing watching the Jaguars go full Jag throughout most of the first half. Quarterback Blake Bortles’ overthrow down the sideline, the fourth-down drop by receiver Allen Hurns, Bortles’ interception directly to Ramik Wilson ... the Chiefs are letting these guys beat themselves, as they should. And that’s good, because the Chiefs haven’t been playing well enough on offense to win any other way.
3. That said, the Chiefs’ run defense has been subpar. Far too many missed tackles. The Chiefs are playing with fire by letting the Jaguars churn it out on the ground. They’re gaining confidence, and it protects Bortles, whose mechanics have been erratic for the last several weeks. Chris Ivory has 10 rushes for 83 yards. He was averaging 3.2 yards per carry entering the game.
4. The Chiefs need to dial it up on the ground. They’re just not running the ball effectively enough against one of the worst run defenses in the league. They’ve rushed for 33 yards on eight carries. Make these guys prove they can stop it.
5. That third-down pass interference on Steven Nelson near the end zone seemed a little bogus. It cost the Chiefs, too; after a dropped interception by Ron Parker, Bortles connected with Allen Robinson for a short touchdown over the middle to cut the deficit to three before halftime.