The Chiefs are coming off of a gut-it-out win over the Titans and are looking to improve their offense against Jacksonville. With a potentially “easy” game, can the Chiefs not fall into another trap game?
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs are playing on opposite paths this season. The Jaguars are in year two of the Trevor Lawrence era and are looking to find some consistency with their team, the Jaguars have only won three games and probably could have won more games. Lawrence is adjusting to the system and Travis Etienne is finding his role within the offense. But the Jaguars’ defense has been very inconsistent due to their youth and having their third coordinator in three seasons.
The Chiefs are still 6-2 and are coming off of a tough overtime win over the Tennessee Titans and are tied at the top of the AFC and lead their division. Patrick Mahomes is on pace to have the best season of his career and Travis Kelce is still the best tight end in the league. They have been one of the scariest teams in the league as the defense and offense are starting to hit their stride.
This game should be an easy game for the Chiefs, the Jaguars’ defense is inexperienced and could be exposed by the play-calling of Eric Bienemy and Andy Reid. Be prepared for a lot of end-around handoffs to Kadrius Toney and MVS to get some misdirection in the run game. The Chiefs need to find consistency in the run game to help the Chiefs win, the running game only had 17 rushing yards last week against the Titans.
The biggest matchup in the game is going to be the defensive and offensive line battles, the Chiefs’ defensive line has recently found some pass-rushing lineups which they like and the Jaguars have been able to run the ball on pretty good defensive lines. If Kansas City wants to make this a no-contest, the defensive line will need to have a big day. The keys on the Chiefs’ defensive line are going to be Chris Jones and George Karlaftis, Karlaftis and Jones have been able to get pressures in these games but haven’t gotten sacks. Look for both of them to find a way to get pressure and make Trevor Lawrence uncomfortable.
Another player to watch is Kadarius Toney, the new receiver will have to take on more responsibilities this week without Mecole Hardman. Hardman has had a great couple of games for the Chiefs, totaling four touchdowns in the two games and the lone receiving touchdown last week. Toney will have to fill a bigger role against Jacksonville, the speedy receiver out of Florida was probably going to be eased into the offense before the playoffs, but now will have to take on more snaps.
The Chiefs should easily win this game, but the Jaguars have had some games where they surprised the opponent they have faced. There are no easy games in the NFL, and the Chiefs have fallen into trap games this season (for example the Colts game) but they seem poised and ready to take on a new challenge. The Jaguars would need this win to try to win the very weak division they are in and would be too far out of first place to contend if they lose, so expect them to leave everything on the field.
The Chiefs need a get-right game before they head to Los Angeles to play the Chargers, so be prepared to see a lot of big shots and quick plays to get momentum and end the game early.
Prediction: Jacksonville 14 – Kansas City 31
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