The Chiefs paid big bucks to add right tackle Jawaan Taylor this year, and the former Jaguars lineman fittingly found himself in the spotlight during Kansas City's season opener Thursday night ... but for mostly the wrong reasons.
While the Chiefs did not surrender a sack in an otherwise ugly offensive performance against the Lions, Taylor appeared to repeatedly get away with false starts and illegal formation from his right tackle spot. Intentionally or not, it hasn't been unusual for officials to excuse early starts from tackles in recent years, but Thursday's broadcast also showed Taylor seeming to consistently line up behind the line of scrimmage, even though he was only flagged once in the waning minutes of action.
NBC's Terry McAulay on Chiefs' RT Jawaan Taylor: "He's really not remotely close, and it's really putting the defensive end at a tremendous disadvantage when you can be that far back."— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 8, 2023
Taylor appeared well behind the LOS and appeared to start early throughout the game. pic.twitter.com/2UrkTH8bTo
"To be on the line, his helmet has to break the waistline of the center," NBC Sports' Terry McAulay explained during the broadcast. "And to be honest, we've watched [Taylor] the whole game. He's really not remotely close, and it's really putting the defensive end at a tremendous disadvantage when he can be that far back."
NBC Sports' Cris Collinsworth poked fun at Taylor seemingly avoiding penalty late in the game by calling the tackle a "slot receiver," who tends to line up behind the line. As ProFootballTalk noted, Taylor also appeared to be getting away with pre-snap movement, consistently shifting his right leg before the snap while failing to draw false-start penalties.
Even with the benefit of avoiding calls, the Chiefs struggled with the ball in their hands Thursday, falling 21-20 as star tight end Travis Kelce sat out due to injury and quarterback Patrick Mahomeswith mixed results.