Can Jawaan Taylor stop the penalties?
This is likely not the start that Jawaan Taylor envisioned when he first signed a four-year deal to play for the Chiefs. To be fair, it's also not what the Chiefs pictured either.
Four games into his Chiefs career and Taylor leads the NFL in penalties. Even this week, when he's not the subject of the refs hyper-focused, inconsistent efforts to call illegal formation again and again, Taylor was still hurting the Chiefs offense with untimely penalties and costly mistakes.
Early in the game, the Chiefs were up 17-0 until a facemask by Taylor in the end zone forced a safety and gave the Jets their first two points. It was, however, also a major turning point for momentum as the Jets woke up from there and began to give K.C. headaches for the rest of the game. The Jets would outscore Kansas City 20-6 from that point forward.
Later in the game, on the Chiefs final drive, Mahomes was facing a 3rd-and-13 and ended up scrambling for a first down. Instead of taking those 14 yards and moving forward, a flag was also thrown on the play as Taylor was called for holding. Just like that, the Chiefs were in dire straits and Mahomes was forced to work even greater magic than before. Taylor was lucky he didn't cost the Chiefs the game on that play.
To be clear, Taylor has been the unfair focus of multiple whistles and flags early this season and the scrutiny has made things worse than they are. Taylor is also an athletic pass blocker who has done a very good job on most snaps. Even in this game, the call for a safety was questionable, but the facemask penalty was clear either way and Taylor simply has to clean up his game. lll
Can Taylor get things under control? Can the Chiefs learn to trust him or will the offense constantly be on edge wondering if a play will get called back? It's frustrating to have these things happen so often.