From Arrowhead Stadium
It would have been quite a story had the final score not turned out the way Sunday’s game did for the Jaguars.
With their quarterback position decimated by injuries, the Jags re-signed Todd Bouman early last week. The next day they added Patrick Ramsey. Both quarterbacks were out of football, but starter David Garrard and backup Trent Edwards were injured. Help was needed to face the Chiefs.
So Bouman got the call, and then he got the start. It came 2,122 days after his last previous NFL start. That came on January 1, 2006, in the final game of the 2005 NFL season. He was with New Orleans then and started against Tampa Bay. Since then, he had stepped on the field for a regular season game just once, earlier this season against Philadelphia.
But Bouman did not show much rust as he led the Jaguars offense into Arrowhead. The 38-year old out of Minnesota completed 18 of 34 passes for 222 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He also threw a pair of interceptions, including one that LB Derrick Johnson took back for a touchdown.
“He played great, he played above what we really hoped and needed from him,” said Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio. “To have Todd Bouman step forward and play the way he did and give our team a chance, to not take advantage of that performance and do more with it was extremely disappointing.”
For his part, Bouman wanted four of those 34 passes back, including the two that were intercepted by Johnson and SS Eric Berry.
“The first half went well,” Bouman said. “I’d like to get four throws back; obviously the interception for a touchdown. Those are the plays I remember the most that could have done something better to help us win the game.”
His teammates were impressed by what Bouman was able to do on such short notice.
“He came out throwing the ball well,” said RB Maurice Jones-Drew. “We were able to make some plays to open up the running game as well. He played well and put up some points and did some good things, but we didn’t win, so what does that count for?”
ROLLING THAT FOURTH-DOWN DICE AGAIN
It was early in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs had the ball and an eight-point lead over the Jaguars. They faced a 4th-and-3 situation at the Jaguars 24-yard line. There was just over 11 minutes to play.
Normally that’s an automatic field-goal time in the NFL coaching book. But Todd Haley’s copy did not come with a quarter on when to go for it on fourth down.
Haley decided to eschew a 42-yard field goal attempt and they ran Jamaal Charles to the right, where he was stopped for a one-yard loss.
Ultimately it did not mean a thing in the big picture as the Chiefs defense answered with a stop of the Jacksonville offense.
“We’re used to it; we’ve been doing it all year,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “When fourth down comes we’re not even thinking of punting the ball on defense anymore. Coach Haley, he loves living on the edge like that.”
QB Matt Cassel said there was no surprise for the Chiefs offense that they stayed on the field.
“As soon as we got the first down, he said we were in four-down territory,” Cassel said. “I think everybody recognized that he’s probably in that mindset and so it’s our job to get the first down in that situation.”
Haley wasn’t sharing any thoughts about his fourth-down strategy after the game.
“I’m not going to disclose thought processes in the game, I just don’t think that would be good from a competitive standpoint,” Haley said. “I will say everything is well thought out and has a purpose. Some may be short-term purposes and some may be long-term purposes. I’ll assure you that they are all well thought out. Some work and some don’t. Some look better than others. Ultimately I’m happy with all the decisions we made in the game, how could I not be? And, I’ll leave it at that.”
On the season, the Chiefs are five of nine on fourth down plays.
ON THE INJURY FRONT
As is their custom these days, the Chiefs did not provide a post-game injury report. But OLB Mike Vrabel had to leave the game with just under 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter because of a right-hand injury.
Trainers took him underneath the stands to look at the injury. Vrabel returned to the sideline, but did not return to the field.
For the Jaguars, they lost their starting RT Eben Britton to a shoulder injury in the second half. He was replaced by former Chiefs OT Jordan Black.
Also from the Chiefs, there were only two players who were inactive for the game because of injury: S Reshard Langford (lower left leg) and WR Chris Chambers (left ring finger).
SPECIAL TEAMS REPORT
It was not much of a day for the Chiefs special teams. Here’s how they broke down:
PUNTING â€“ Dustin Colquitt averaged 45.3 yards on three punts, with a 50-yard long punt. But his net average was just 29 yards thanks to the 49-yard return that eventually was fumbled back to the Chiefs.
PUNT COVERAGE â€“ WR Mike Thomas had the only return, that 49-yarder where he broke Chiefs containment on the right side and went for 49 yards before fumbling. Thomas had a fair catch on another punt and the third went out of bounds.
KICKOFFS â€“ Ryan Succop’s did not produce the distance that he has at other times this season. The air was a bit thick and muggy on Sunday, but his kickoffs went to the 6, 5, 10, 7, 8, 5 and 1-yard lines. That’s an average of the 6-yard line.
KICK COVERAGE â€“ Returner Deji Karim returned five of the kickoffs for an average of 21.2 yards, with a 35-yard long return. WR Tiquan Underwood returned two kicks for a 26-yard average.
RETURNS â€“ With WR Chris Chambers down, WR Dexter McCluster saw more offensive playing time, so the returns were all handled by CB Javier Arenas. On punts, he had three fair catches. On kickoffs, he returned two for an average of 22 yards and two others he did not bring out of the end zone, taking touchbacks. A fifth kickoff went out of bounds.
COVERAGE â€“ The players credited with special teams tackles were Arenas, Succop, SS Eric Berry, LB Cory Greenwood, S Donald Washington, WR Verran Tucker and LB Corey Mays.
The crew of referee Jerome Boger worked the game. They seemed to really enjoy throwing the yellow hankie, as they marched off 13 penalties. There were seven against the Chiefs for 92 yards. That’s the most penalty yardage against the Chiefs in the Haley Era.
“I knew I was going to jinx it by talking about penalties,” Haley said. “So that’s my fault. I’ll take the blame for that.”
It wasn’t so much the number of flags, but the severity as the Chiefs were hit with a pair of costly defensive pass interference penalties. Here’s how it broke down on the flag patrol:
- Defense â€“ CB Brandon Flowers, illegal use of hands to the face, minus-5 yards.
- Offense â€“ LG Brian Waters, chop block, half-the-distance, minus-12 yards.
- Offense â€“ LT Branden Albert, holding, minus-10 yards.
- Defense â€“ CB Brandon Carr, pass interference, minus-18 yards.
- Defense â€“ SS Eric Berry, pass interference, minus-37 yards.
- Offense â€“ WR Dwayne Bowe, false start, minus-5 yards.
- Offense â€“ RG Ryan Lilja, false start, minus-5 yards.
Although Haley did not throw his red instant replay challenge flag, there were plenty of reviews during the game. Jacksonville challenged Dwayne Bowe’s second TD catch, but they lost that one as the Chiefs receiver got both feet down in the end zone. The other two replay reviews were called from the booth and upheld both calls made on the field.
SOME QUOTES FROM THE LOCKER ROOMS
- “The past three weeks we are minus 10 (turnover ratio) that doesn’t win for your in this league.” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio.
- “We don’t worry so much about sacks, it’s more just him (Cassel) getting hit or getting touched and that’s some areas we feel that we still have to get better in.” Chiefs LG Brian Waters.
- “We wanted to stay balanced. Everyone thought that we would come in and run the ball a lot. We just wanted to stay balanced.” Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who caught five passes for 74 yards.
- “Honestly, I could care less about who somebody thinks should be starting. I’m here to do my job. I get paid to make plays. I’m not getting paid to start.” Chiefs RB Thomas Jones.
- “I didn’t feel like the guy in front of me was a lot better than me, or that they had game-planned well. They ran plays that we knew were coming. We didn’t execute and we weren’t in our gaps.” Jaguars DT Terrance Knighton.
OT Ryan O’Callaghan and WR Verran Tucker played their first games for the Chiefs in the 2010 season. O’Callaghan was active for the first time since late in the pre-season because of a groin injury. He was part of the PAT-FG protection unit.
Tucker was promoted on Saturday from the practice squad, replacing fellow rookie WR Jeremy Horne. Tucker was active and part of the punt team.
That makes 53 players who have been active for one of the first six games. The only players on the roster who have not played are backup QB Brodie Croyle, rookie LB Justin Cole and newly signed DL Atiyyah Ellison.
C-G Rudy Niswanger was inactive on Sunday for the first time since his rookie season back in 2006. As far as anyone knows, he was healthy. WR Chris Chambers did not play for the second week in a row. Whether he was inactive because of his left ring finger injury is unknown.
Game-day inactives were Cole, Niswanger, Chambers, Ellison, CB Jackie Bates, FB Tim Castille, S Reshard Langford and LB Charlie Anderson.
Inactives for the Jaguars were QB David Garrard, RB Rashad Jennings, FB Brock Bolen, OL Kevin Haslam, DL C.J. Mosley, Austen Lane and Aaron Morgan. Newly signed Patrick Ramsey was the Jaguars inactive third quarterback.
Besides Bouman making the start, the other starting lineup change for Jacksonville was Vince Manuwai opening at left guard for Justin Smiley.
EVEN MORE EXTRA STUFF
TE Leonard Pope was the head coach’s choice to be the extra captain for this game â€¦ the Chiefs announced paid attendance at 69,105, but there were plenty of open seats in all sections â€“ upper, lower and club level â€¦ after going one for 10 on third down conversions against Indianapolis, in the last two games the Chiefs are 15 of 27 for 55 percent â€¦ the Chiefs have won their first three home games for the first time since 2003 â€¦ in the history of Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs are now 21-0 when scoring 40 points or more.