The Kansas City Chiefs offense got off to an inauspicious start after a three-and-out, a blocked punt and a safety on its first series.
However, it was all Chiefs (1-0) after that en route to a 28-2 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) at EverBank Field.
The scoring output proved a far cry from the 2012 Chiefs, who scored more than 21 points just three times.
But this year’s version is clearly a new team under coach Andy Reid.
Quarterback Alex Smith completed an efficient 21-of-34 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns.
While Smith’s line isn’t eye-popping, he took advantage of a short field during his two first-half scoring drives, hitting wide receivers Donnie Avery on a 7-yard pass and Junior Hemingway on a 3-yard pass.
Running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. Charles added three catches for 23 yards to his production before leaving the game in the second half with a quad injury.
[Update: Charles is “fine,” ProFootballTalk.com reports.]
Special teams also chipped in with a big play on a 37-yard punt return by Dexter McCluster.
Still, if there’s a concern from today’s game, it’s how the Chiefs offense sputtered in the second half.
The same concern doesn’t apply to the defense.
Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s unit turned in a dominating performance, notching six sacks, including three from third-year linebacker Justin Houston; scoring on a pick-six touchdown from linebacker Tamba Hali; and picking off Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert twice.
Second-year defensive tackle Dontari Poe, last year’s first-round draft pick, also enjoyed success, as he totaled six tackles (five solo) and 1.5 sacks.
In the meantime, the Chiefs have to feel good after losing the season opener two years in a row heading into the 2013 campaign.
The Chiefs return to Kansas City, Mo., in Week Two to host the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium.
And given the team’s Week One’s impressive performance, the Arrowhead faithful should be out in full force.