KANSAS CITY, Mo -- His team was without three, then four important contributors on offense. His defense at times was run over by a Jacksonville Jaguars offense that was only stopped by its own mistakes. It's a combination rife with losing possibilities for Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs.
But the Chiefs found a way to hold on Sunday afternoon and beat the Jaguars 19-14 at Arrowhead Stadium.
It was the Chiefs' fourth consecutive victory and leaves them 6-2 at the midpoint of their schedule. The Jaguars are 2-6 and have lost three consecutive games.
"The margin between winning and losing in this league is minute," said Reid. "We could have lost that game. Instead, we won. It's nice to be 6-2. We appreciate every one of them (victories)."
Now 16-2 in its last 18 regular-season games over the last two years, Kansas City's victory came without starting quarterback Alex Smith (head trauma) and No. 1 rusher Spencer Ware (concussion). The Chiefs got only a few snaps from No. 1 wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (groin) and even lost tight end Travis Kelce early in the fourth quarter when he was thrown out of the game after two unsportsmanlike penalties.
With Nick Foles directing the offense, the Chiefs had just 231 yards. With Charcandrick West leading the run game, Kansas City had only 62 yards on the ground and scored just one touchdown, a 23-yard scoring toss from Foles to wide receiver Albert Wilson. That came in the first quarter, and over the rest of the game they had to rely on kicker Cairo Santos, who hit all four of his field goal attempts.
"It was not always the prettiest thing, but we won," said Foles, who made his first start for the Chiefs. "The game of football is different every week. Sometimes you light it up. Sometimes you are out there scrapping trying to make plays. It feels good to win in the NFL, no matter what."
Kansas City's defense struggled throughout the game, allowing the Jaguars offense 449 yards, with 205 yards coming in the run game. But the Chiefs forced four Jacksonville turnovers, setting up 13 of their 19 points. It was the ultimate afternoon of bend-don't-break defense.
"A lot of our wounds were self-inflicted," said veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson. "We made a lot of mistakes today. Give the Jaguars credit, they took advantage of every opportunity we gave them."
The most painful of the four giveaways for the Jaguars came in the fourth quarter, when running back Chris Ivory was about to cross the goal line for a touchdown. The ball was knocked from his hands and Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters recovered the fumble.
"I thought I crossed the plane as the ball was coming out," said Ivory, who ran for 107 yards on 18 carries. "We have to be more conscious of not turning the ball over. It's hard to win when you do that."
With new offensive coordinator Nathanial Hackett calling the plays, the Jaguars put themselves in several good scoring opportunities in the first half but kept shooting themselves in the foot. Jacksonville fumbled on a punt return and quarterback Blake Bortles threw an ugly interception to Kansas City linebacker Ramik Wilson. All 10 of the Chiefs points came off those turnovers thanks to short field.
Foles and Wilson connected on the 23-yard scoring pass two plays after punt returner Bryan Walters coughed up the ball. A 26-yard field goal from Santos followed the interception, as the Kansas City offense could not take advantage of great field position at the Jaguars 13-yard line.
Just before halftime, Bortles drove the offense into Chiefs territory and got help from the Kansas City defense that was flagged for two big penalties. Bortles found wide receiver Allen Robinson at the back of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown pass and Jacksonville headed to the locker room down by just three points.
But the Jaguars struggled to get into the game thanks to two more turnovers -- fumbles by Ivory and T.J. Yeldon. Ivory's giveaway wiped out a chance for a touchdown and Yeldon's turnover set up a 51-yard field goal from Santos, who later hit 24- and 36-yard field goals.
"It all came down to turnovers," said Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley. "We had four turnovers and when you do that in any game in the NFL, it's going to be hard to win. One of those was in a goal-line situation. I thought our defense did a good job holding them to field goals."
After Ivory's fumble, Bortles drove Jacksonville to a second touchdown, connecting on a 13-yard scoring pass to Yeldon. That left the Jaguars down five points with four minutes to play. Jacksonville had another scoring chance, but turned the ball over one downs.
NOTES: Kelce was ejected after directing his ire at the officials when they missed Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey pulling the tight end down by his collar. Because the penalties came due to his treatment of the officials, both penalties were assessed. Kelce also figures to get a hefty fine from the NFL. ... Jacksonville wide receiver Allen Hurns left the game twice, first due to an ankle injury and then with a concussion. Rookie linebacker Myles Jack suffered a second-half hip injury and did not return.