JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Despite losing star receiver Tyreek Hill early, Patrick Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a testy and tactful 40-26 victory over the injury-riddled Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Mahomes took a beating and even had to leave the game to get his left ankle taped in the second quarter. He nonetheless looked every bit as good as he did during last year’s MVP campaign, leading the Chiefs to scores on each of their first seven possessions.
Sammy Watkins caught nine passes for a career-high 198 yards and three TDs. Watkins slipped through the middle of Jacksonville’s defense for a 68-yard score on the third play of the season and added a 49-yard TD reception late in the opening quarter. He made defenders Ronnie Harrison, Jalen Ramsey and Miles Jack look silly while strolling into the end zone twice. He beat Ramsey again for a short TD in the fourth period.
Jacksonville had major issues on both sides of the ball, fairly reminiscent of last year’s 16-point loss at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 5. This one may have been more of a debacle – and maybe more costly.
Mahomes picked apart what some believed is an elite defense, throwing for 313 yards in the first half and doing most of it without Hill. The three-time Pro Bowler departed after landing on his left shoulder near the sideline.
But considerably more concerning for the Jaguars, they lost quarterback Nick Foles to a left shoulder injury in the opening quarter, and rookie linebacker Quincy Williams (knee) in the second half.
Chris Jones hit Foles as he released a 35-yard TD pass to DJ Chark. Jones landed on top of Foles, but did not draw a flag.
Foles looked to be in pain as he walked to the sideline to be evaluated. He then jogged into the locker room for further tests and did not return.
The Jaguars gave Foles a four-year, $88 million contract in April with the belief he would solve the franchise’s two-decade-old search for a quarterback. He didn’t make it through a quarter, and now Jacksonville might have rookie Gardner Minshew under center for a stretch. Minshew was the team’s lone bright spot: He completed 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards, with two TDs and an interception.
The Jaguars already were without starting left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) and backup Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring), leaving guard Will Richardson to make his first career start at a new position.
Jaguars linebacker Jack was ejected in the second quarter after taking a swing at Chiefs receiver Demarcus Robinson. Jack had to be restrained by team officials and essentially pulled off the field.
Jack and receiver Sammy Watkins got into a shoving match after a fumble, and then Robinson came in and shoved Jack in the back. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and others joined in, prompting officials to throw five flags and a hat onto the ground. Jack eventually got the boot after a lengthy discussion.
Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette gained 66 yards on 13 carries and fumbled for the first time in his three NFL seasons. Damien Wilson stripped the ball out of Fournette’s hands after a catch in the flat.
It was Fournette’s first lost fumble since Nov. 12, 2016, during his junior year at LSU. That came at Arkansas.
Chiefs: play at rival Oakland. Kansas City has won eight of the last nine in the series.
Jaguars: play at Houston. The Texans swept Jacksonville last season.