A part of what made the Kansas City Chiefs’ 17-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 tough to watch was the amount of yellow flags flying during the game, particularly against the Chiefs.
The defending Super Bowl champions had 12 penalties called against them in Week 2, totaling 94 yards.
Among the biggest culprits in the penalty department for Kansas City was starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who had a team-high five penalties called against him. His play was so poor that he was temporarily benched after being called for his fourth penalty.
After the NFL distributed a memo to all 32 teams after Week 1 about cracking down on illegal formations, fans’ emotions about Taylor — who was heavily scrutinized in Week 1 due to his alignments and quick starts — reached a boiling point yet again in Week 2.
“The NFL is targeting him,” one user wrote on Twitter, which was recently rebranded to X. “Not saying they weren’t legit penalties, but the NFL is CLEARLY targeting him now. For things he’s done for years. Let’s see if they hold Lane Johnson to the same standard (hint: they won’t).”
“They are all legit penalties. With that being said I think the refs are picking on him specifically,” another user wrote.
“It looks like they are trying to make an example of him. He played this way while with the Jags and no one said anything. He comes to the Chiefs and it’s all ‘He can’t do that ‘,” another user wrote.
NFL Memo Mentions Jawaan Taylor as an Example
In the memo sent to the 32 NFL teams after Week 1, Dean Blandino, NFL football rules analyst for Fox Sports and former NFL vice president of officiating, told Sports Illustrated that Jawaan Taylor was part of the film the league used to exemplify what the officiating crews would be cracking down on moving forward in terms of offensive tackle alignments.
“On the tape this week at the very end, there are several examples of—and a couple from the Thursday night game with Jawaan Taylor—of tackles who are too far back. … That was emphasized on the training tape going into Week 2,” Blandino told SI in a story published on September 14. “I would expect, just from my experience, officials watch that training tape. It’s usually a very good learning tool, and it’s good for giving your officials direction. I would expect we will not see the egregious examples we may have seen in Week 1.”
Jawaan Taylor Addresses Quick Starts After Week 1
Jawaan Taylor — who was also criticized in Week 1 for his quick starts off the ball that looked like false starts to the untrained eye — addressed the questions about his quick starts when asked about them on September 14.
“If you look at it, to the eye, it may look like a false start, but if you slow it down on film, I’m moving at the same time the ball is moving I’m just getting out my stance with urgency,” Taylor said, via Aaron Ladd KSHB 41 in Kansas City. “These rushers are good so if you can get one step ahead by just using the snap count to your advantage, that’d be better for you.”