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Five Takeaways From Chiefs-Jaguars

Five Takeaways From Chiefs-Jaguars

By Matt Derrick

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill expects to return to Kansas City on Monday after staying overnight in a Jacksonville hospital receiving treatment for a dislocation involving both his clavicle and sternum sustained during the team’s 40-26 win Sunday over the Jaguars.

Hill was able to have the dislocation reduced – the process of returning the clavicle and sternum to their normal locations – without the need for surgery. Head coach Andy Reid outlined no timetable for his recovery.

“We’ll have to see when he gets back there how he’s doing and just kind of monitor that here as we go through the week,” Reid said.

While the Chiefs have remained mum on Hill’s prognosis, orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Chao postulates Hill could miss several weeks. Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow went on injured reserve starting the 2018 season with a similar injury and didn’t return to practice until Nov. 21.

Reid said he spoked to Hill on Monday. He said the receiver showed a positive attitude and was happy with the team’s win.

“He had good spirit to him and he just wants to get back here,” Reid said. “He doesn’t want to be in a hospital, he wants to get back and get settled in back here.”

Other takeaways from Reid’s conference call on Monday:

Defense got off the field

Sunday’s game marked the true debut of the new defense under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo featuring six new starters on defense, and Reid like what he saw in the first outing.

“I liked how aggressive we were,” Reid said. “I thought the intensity maintained strong and tempo was fast throughout the game. I think the guys are in shape. I just think it’s becoming more familiar with the defense. I think that as time goes on here, they’ll just keep getting better and better that way.”

Not everything proved perfect against the Jaguars, however. The defense yielded 350 yards passing, most of that to rookie Gardner Minshew in his regular-season debut in relief of injured Nick Foles. That includes four pass plays longer than 35 yards, topped by the 69-yard completion from Minshew to DjJ. Chark.

The Chiefs also surrendered five third-down conversion in 10 tries, a bit worse than their 41.5 percent success rate last season that ranked 25th in the league. But they held to the Jaguars to just one touchdown in three red zone trips, a marked improvement from the 72.4 percent rate at which the defense allowed touchdowns from inside the 20 last season.

Reid saw enough to leave him optimistic for the future.

“You want to get off the field the best you can, and for the most part we did that,” Reid said. “We had a couple that again we were right in the position to make a play, which I look at. Those things are the things that you know are going to get better here as you go on and keep working, working the defense.”

Matt Moore ready to play

Backup quarterback saw his first playing time with the Chiefs right off the bat, taking over late in the fourth quarter with the Chiefs up 37-19. Moore failed to connect on his only passing attempt, as the Chiefs kept the ball on the ground during his two drives.

But Reid said the team asked Moore to identify what parts of the game plan he felt most comfortable with entering Sunday’s game.

“He did for the most part, it was most of the game plan,: Reid said. “We didn’t have to cut out a bunch of stuff for him, but we had a separate game plan sheet for him in case he needed to go in. So we were prepared for that.”

Reid said even though Patrick Mahomes remains critical to the team’s offense, his wary of putting his star pupil on the field if he’s not cleared to play. He leans on the team’s medical and training staff to make the right call.

“Some guys, like Pat, you’ve got to keep an eye on because they’ll go out there at times when maybe they shouldn’t go out there,” Reid. “You’ve got to make sure you stay in tune with your medical staff there.”

Running back by committee plan

Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy divvied up the majority of the workload out of the backfield on Sunday. Williams played 66 percent of the team’s offensive snaps with 19 touches for 65 yards and a touchdown. McCoy chipped in 29 percent of the offensive snaps with 11 touches for 93 yards.

That’s how Reid wanted to see the running back committee work, with a couple of opportunities for rookie Darwin Thompson, who caught one pass for 3 yards on two snaps.

“It kind of worked out how I anticipated there,” Reid said. “You have two veteran players there that love to play, and they give you different flavors. I figure that’s kind of how it would work out, somewhere in that area.”

No Limit on the Mahomes’ no-look

The Chiefs might have left some points on the board on their second drive Sunday when Mahomes misfired on a throw to seemingly wide open Travis Kelce in the end zone. The incomplete pass on third down from the Jaguars’ 9-yard line left the Chiefs settling for a 28-yard field goal by Harrison Butker.

Mahomes kept his eyes glued on the Jaguars’ Sam linebacker over the middle in an effort to freeze cornerback D.J. Hayden who coverage underneath. Replays show Mahomes looking toward the middle of the end zone while floating a pass over the head of Kelce too long.

“I understood why he did it,:” Reid said. “Now I have the pictures here so I can see it along with my own eyes. But when you look at it, you guys have access to it, just look at that underneath coverage guy and you’ll see what he was thinking there.”

Reid argued Kelce was only open because Mahomes used his eyes to misdirect the defense. Mahomes took blame for the misfire after the game, but Reid defended his quarterback on Monday.

“I know he mentioned to you guys that he thought might be a little bit flatter than higher and all that, but when you’re not looking at it, it’s hard to tell if it’s flatter or higher,” Reid said.

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and a contributor for Sports Radio 810 WHB. Follow him on Twitter @mattderrick.