JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Trent Green passed for 294 yards and a pair of touchdowns Sunday to carry the Kansas City Chiefs to their third straight victory, 30-26 over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In Coach Dick Vermeil's first season on the Kansas City sidelines, the Chiefs lost six of their first seven games. But they have shown signs of turning the corner and improved to 5-3 in their last eight games with Sunday's victory.
"I don't know if it's the best win (of the year), but it's a great win," Vermeil said. "Denver was great win. Any win is a great win. But to come down here, I could say it's our best win.
"It's a heck of an accomplishment, it really is."
Green, who played under Vermeil in St. Louis, struggled for much of this season but is also closing strongly. He went 26 of 35 Sunday with a pair of scoring passes to tight end Tony Gonzalez.
"You never want to talk about next season too soon, but we eliminated ourselves from the playoffs early on," Green said. "We then began focusing on establishing what we were going to be as a team and organization next year.
"When you go into the tank as early as we did, you can find guys that give up, and we haven't had any of that."
Green's 12-yard touchdown pass to Gonzalez late in the third quarter gave the Chiefs a 27-17 lead.
Kansas City improved to 6-10. Stacey Mack rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown for Jacksonville (6-9), which had a three-game winning streak stopped.
An early mistake helped set up the game's first touchdown when Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell fumbled and defensive end Derrick Ransom recovered for the Chiefs at the Jaguars 14.
Three plays later, Priest Holmes ran six yards for a touchdown, giving the Chiefs a 7-0 lead. Holmes carried 27 times for 91 yards, giving him 1,438 on the season.
But the Jaguars answered, moving 79 yards in three plays. Mack capped the march with a three-yard touchdown run to tie the contest.
Mack had a huge first half, rushing for 123 of his 125 yards. He had just three carries after halftime.
"The opportunities were there. It's a game we could've won," Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin said. "We were in position to win. We had lots of yardage."
Brunell atoned for his earlier mistake, capping a seven-play, 69-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run with 10:36 left in the first half, giving the Jaguars a 14-7 advantage.
But Green and the Chiefs answered, going nine plays in 57 yards. Green culminated that march with a one-yard touchdown to Gonzalez with 5:38 left in the half, tying the contest.
Mike Hollis and Todd Peterson traded field goals in the final 2:56 of the half, leaving the game tied at 17-17.
After Peterson kicked a 40-yard field goal with 6:31 left in the third quarter, Green provided the Chiefs with some breathing room by finding Gonzalez from 12 yards with 2 1/2 minutes left in the period for a 27-17 advantage.
Gonzalez had eight catches for 78 yards. Eddie Kennison caught six passes for 121 yards.
"It was a great win for the team," Gonzalez said. "Three in a row and for us to put it together against a team like Jacksonville. They won three games in a row and we knew it was going to be a test to that end and it certainly was."
Brunell pulled the Jaguars within a field goal 1:35 into the fourth quarter, when he connected with Keenan McCardell on a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Brunell went 22 of 37 for 283 yards with that score and an interception. McCardell had seven catches for 132 yards.
Peterson gave the Chiefs a 30-24 lead with 5:11 left in the contest, connecting on a 29-yard field goal.
Jacksonville got its final points when Chiefs punter Dan Stryzinski took an intentional safety with 46 seconds remaining.