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(Sunday, September 8th)
Final Score: Kansas City 28, Jacksonville 2
Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - The Andy Reid era is off to a positive start for the Chiefs.
The same certainly can't be said for Gus Bradley and Jacksonville.
Alex Smith threw a pair of touchdown passes and Jamaal Charles ran for a score in Kansas City's 28-2 demolition of the Jaguars.
Smith, who was traded from San Francisco in the offseason, completed 21-of-34 passes for 173 yards. Charles rushed for 77 yards on 16 carries for the Chiefs, who went 2-14 last season, tied with Jacksonville for the worst mark in the NFL.
The Chiefs (1-0) fired Romeo Crennel after the season and replaced him with Reid, who was let go after 14 years as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I thought it was just good, smart, solid football," Reid said. "I thought everybody pulled together and did a nice job."
Tamba Hali returned an interception 10 yards for a score in the fourth quarter.
That was part of a brutal performance for Blaine Gabbert, who completed 16-of-35 passes for 121 yards with a pair of interceptions. Justin Houston had three sacks and the Chiefs put Gabbert down six times.
Gabbert left the game in the final two minutes with a cut on his right hand. He required 15 stitches and was replaced by Chad Henne.
Maurice Jones-Drew rained 45 yards on 15 carries for the Jaguars (0-1), who were unable to move the ball past midfield until the fourth quarter.
Henne's pass on 4th-and-goal with under a minute left was tipped away. That secured the first time a team has scored exactly two points in an NFL game since Dec. 12, 1993, when the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the New England Patriots, 7-2.
It was Jacksonville's first game under Bradley, who replaced Mike Mularkey.
"Offensively, sometimes it takes time to find our identity," Bradley said. "I know as a staff we're going to dig deep and we'll continue to dig deep to find out things we do best and then we'll emphasize those."
Bradley, who spent the previous four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, saw his team get off to an early lead. The Jaguars grabbed the edge when J.T. Thomas blocked Dustin Colquitt's punt and the ball went through the back of the end zone just 2:34 into the game.
The highlights were limited for the Jaguars the rest of the afternoon.
Dexter McCluster's 36-yard punt return set the Chiefs up in prime field position later in the first quarter, and Smith hit Donnie Avery on the left side for 5-yard TD connection.
Brandon Flowers picked off Gabbert with 2:08 left in the opening quarter. Two plays later, Smith finished off the 21-yard drive with a 3-yard pass to Junior Hemingway in the back of the end zone for a 14-2 advantage.
Following Jacksonville's second straight 3-and-out, Charles scored on a 2-yard run off left end for a 21-2 cushion with 6:26 left in the half. The big play during the 8-play, 57-yard jaunt came on Smith's 21-yard strike to McCluster.
"I think the best stat for us offensively was our efficiency in the red zone," Smith said. "When you get your opportunities down there, if you can take advantage and get sevens, that's a game changer."
Even when the Jaguars seemingly moved the ball, they were thwarted, this time by a challenge from Reid. On 3rd-and-23, Ace Sanders rumbled 57 yards after a short reception to the KC 26, but replays showed Sanders touched the ground as he was being tackled. Reid challenged, and the Jaguars were forced into Bryan Anger's sixth punt of the afternoon.
Jacksonville had three first downs the opening half and was outgained, 170-49.
Charles suffered a quad injury early in the third quarter and was helped off the field, but returned later in the period.
When Gabbert tried to go to the right sideline early in the fourth, Hali stepped into the passing lane and went uncontested to the end zone for a 28-2 cushion.
Jones played in his 100th regular season game ... KC held a 291-178 advantage in total net yards ... Houston's sack of Gabbert with nearly four minutes left in the third quarter came when he shifted around No. 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel ... Eric Fisher, the top overall selection, started at right guard for the Chiefs and anchored a line that gave up only one sack.
09/08 19:28:49 ET