It was a hot and humid day in north Florida as the Kansas City Chiefs kicked off their 2013 season in Jacksonville against the Jaguars. And it was all Chiefs all day. The boys in red started the Andy Reid era in winning fashion, beating the Jags by a score of 28-2 and besides the first couple of possessions, this game wasn't close.
After the Chiefs offense stalled during their first possession, P Dustin Colquitt's punt was blocked and went through the back of the endzone for a safety as the Jags took an early lead 2-0. Although it was a bad break and it was just the 1st quarter, the thought of "here we go again" entered the minds of Chiefs fans. But the next possession proved otherwise. After a forced punt by the defense, Dexter McCluster returned a kick deep in Jaguars territory setting up the first TD of the year from QB Alex Smith connecting with WR Donnie Avery on a 5-yard out. And from then on out, it was a fun afternoon for the Chiefs and their fans.
The story of the day from this game was no doubt the play of the defense. This unit had one of the best performances in recent years and although it was the Jags, it was a great thing to see and huge confidence booster moving forward. There were playmakers all over the defense from Justin Houston to Tamba Hali to Dontari Poe to Brandon Flowers. Houston made his way to the QB backfield a lot yesterday, recording three sacks in the first game. Dontari Poe had one of his best games as a Chief, building on the great offseason he had. As a first-round pick last year, it's nice to see big contributions from him. Flowers and Hali had an interception each, with Hali walking into the endzone for a pick 6. QB Blaine Gabbert and the Jacksonville offense had no answer for coach Bob Sutton's group as they look to show the rest of the league that they are for real.
QB Alex Smith's debut for the Chiefs went just as planned, with a win. Smith had 2 touchdown passes and no turnovers and although the offense struggled in the second half while having great field position, that is something they will work on. But a team that ranked last in red-zone offense a year ago that went 3 for 3 in touchdowns in the RZ yesterday shows Smith was a significant upgrade at quarterback. RB Jamaal Charles added a TD run in the second quarter building the Chiefs lead to 21-2 at the half. Charles hurt himself in the game with a quad injury after someone stepped on him, but he was able to return for a couple plays in the second half before exiting with the game in control.
This lop-sided win for Andy Reid's Chiefs was the biggest margin of victory for an opening day win for the organization in 50 years. The 1-0 start is also something the Chiefs have not been used to in recent years. As voice of the Chiefs Mitch Holthus mentioned in his post-game comments, in the last 6 out of 7 years, 7 out of 9 years, and 9 out of the last 13 years, this team has started 0-2. In another words, the Chiefs have made it a habit of starting off slow and digging themselves an early season hole that is very difficult to get out of in this league.
But not this time. This team has worked hard all offseason to be ready for this opening game that they deservedly earned. The Chiefs will not be 0-2 this year and will instead go into their home opener against the Dallas Cowboys with a win under their belt and hungry for more. The barbeque will smell that much better, and the anticipation will be that much higher. Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking and that's because the new era in Kansas City under GM John Dorsey and HC Andy Reid is off to a great start.
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