KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs extended their winning streak to four games with a 19-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but hardly turned in a performance worthy of a championship contender.
“Disappointed with our discipline out there, starting with Travis Kelce,” said coach Andy Reid, reference the tight ends’ double unsportsmanlike foul calls leading to his ejection. “I didn’t appreciate the way he handle that. It’s been addressed.”
The Chiefs, 6-2, used a Nick Foles touchdown pass to Albert Wilson and four field goals from Cairo Santos to knock off the Jaguars, 2-6. Kansas City won despite committing eight penalties for 75 yards surrendering 206 yards on the ground to the league’s 30th-ranked rushing attack.
Linebacker Derrick Johnson said the defensive side of the ball committed way too many mistakes. Missed tackles and blown assignments allowed the Jaguars opportunities to move the ball, which they seized through the game.
“It doesn’t happen a lot of times in the league when you can have this many mistakes and still win.”
Jacksonville out-gained the Chiefs in total yardage 449 to 231. But four devastating turnovers contributed to the Jaguars digging themselves into a hole from which they could not emerge.
“The four turnovers I think where the tell of the game there,” Reid said.
The Chiefs started the game without three offensive starters, including quarterback Alex Smith, running back Spencer Ware and left guard Parker Ehinger. They finished the game without starting tight end Kelce, and starting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
The groin injury that limited Maclin in practice during the week acted up, forcing him from the game on the team’s first series.
Foles said the team adjusted well with Maclin out.
“Albert and Tyreek (Hill) were moving in and out of positions and I thought they did a great job of going in there and making plays,” Foles said. “Albert had some big catches today.”
Foles finished the day 20-of-33 passing for 187 yards and touchdown. Wilson caught three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.
The display from Foles in his first start for the Chiefs paled in comparison to glossy relief performance a week ago against Indianapolis.
Kelce and Foles got off to a hot start early, connecting for a 23-yard gain on the team’s first offensive play. Kelce led the team in receiving with 58 yards on five catches.
But it was an end-zone pass intended for Kelce that set off the fireworks. Kelce felt Jaguars defensive back Prince Amukamara committed pass interference on the play, and demonstratively argued with the officials afterward.
A penalty flag for unsportsmanlike conduct prompted Kelce to throw his towel on the field in protest. The move earned him a second unsportsmanlike penalty and automatic ejection.
“I threw the flag to show him how much I him throwing his flag,” Kelce said after the game.
Foles deferred to his tight end on whether pass interference proved justified.
“I’m going with my teammate,” Foles said. “He felt like he was held, and he usually goes up and makes plays like that, so for him not to come down with the ball something had to happen.”
Foles said Kelce understood he can’t let emotions hurt the team, but the quarterback doesn’t want him to back down.
“He’s going to make so many plays,” Foles said. “It goes back to I’d rather Kelce be emotional and care like that than the other way. He was trying to make a play, he’s emotional. That’s what you want in this game.”
The win temporarily moved the Chiefs into a first-place tie in the AFC West with Denver and Oakland. The Broncos and Raiders played Sunday night, with the winner moving a half-game in front of the Chiefs. The loser falls a half-game behind in third place.
Kansas City next travels to visit the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers. The game kicks off at noon Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.