The Jacksonville Jaguars look to build off a great 3-1 start to the season when they travel to Kansas City, Missouri to play the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are led by head coach Andy Reid and a red-hot offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Jaguars are coming off a dominating home victory against the New York Jets 31-12, while the Chiefs are coming off an impressive road victory against their division rival Denver Broncos 27-23. This game looks to be one of the best matchups of week 5, at least on paper. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST at Arrowhead Stadium.
This Sunday’s matchup will be the 12th all-time meeting between the Jaguars and Chiefs. The Jaguars lead the series 6-5, with the most recent meeting occurring in November of 2016 when the Jaguars went into Kansas City and lost by the score of 19-14.
Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne played in Jacksonville from the 2012-17 seasons and compiled a record of 5-17 while playing for the Jaguars. He was Blake Bortles’ backup since week 4 of the 2014 season.
What to Watch for:
The Chiefs have one of the top offenses in the NFL and it will go head to head with the Jaguars defense, who has the number one defense in the NFL. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards per attempt, passing touchdowns per game, passer rating, and passing +rushing yards per game. The Jaguars defense is first in those categories as well. This should be a great matchup to watch Sunday afternoon.
The Chiefs have the worst defense in the NFL in terms of yards per game, and rank in the bottom 5 in terms of rushing yards allowed per game and passing yards allowed per game. The Jaguars offense will need to take advantage of this and build off their 500 yard performance last week against the New York Jets.
Trying to Figure Out:
Can Blake Bortles establish some sort of consistency? Bortles has been maligned in his career for not being able to produce some sort of consistency for the Jaguars. It has always been one good game then one bad game, or two good games, and then one disastrous games. In order for the Jaguars to beat the Chiefs on Sunday, the Jaguars will turn to Bortles to take advantage of this horrendous defense and keep the ball away from the red hot offense for the Chiefs.
Can the Jaguars establish a consistent running game? The Chiefs, as mentioned earlier, have not been able to stop any offense. The Jaguars average 112.5 yards rushing per game, but it does not seem like the Jaguars have been able to run the ball through four games of the 2018 season. T.J. Yeldon will be the starting running back, after head coach Doug Marrone said that starting running back Leonard Fournette will be out indefinitely after re-aggravating the hamstring injury last week against the New York Jets. Corey Grant will be the backup. Yeldon has done a decent job filling in for Fournette the past two seasons but will be counted on to help guide the running game this week and until further notice.
About the Opponent:
The Chiefs are quickly becoming a media-favorite due to their explosive offense. They have playmakers all over the offense, which includes tight end Travis Kelce, wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, running back Kareem Hunt, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. They have an electric offense led by offensive mind Andy Reid, who is in the middle of his sixth season as the coach of the Chiefs. But the Chiefs seem like they could be hampered going down the stretch if their defense doesn’t get any better. The Chiefs, as mentioned earlier are undefeated at 4-0 and have scored at least 27 points in all their victories, but have allowed at least 23 points in each of their games. They have won by an average margin of about 7.5 points in their games, but eventually the offense is due to have a bad day. The Chiefs are a fun team to watch, and look to keep their momentum going.
Matchup to watch:
Tyreek Hill vs. Jalen Ramsey. The trash talking between the two this week has begun. Earlier this week, Hill said about the matchup against Ramsey, “He thinks high of himself. He’s alright I guess. I can’t wait to line up against him. I hope he presses me.” Ramsey then responded to Hill’s comments: “He’s good for what he does for their team. He made All-Pro as a return specialist, let’s get that right, as a return specialist his rookie year. He went to two Pro Bowls as a return specialist. Two years I made All-Pro in my position as a corner. Went to the Pro Bowl as a corner. So it’s not a wide receiver vs. corner matchup. So we can get that out of the way off the bat.” Ramsey also said “If he wants smoke, it’ll get there.”
WHEW. *grabs popcorn*
3 keys to victory:
Get the run game going. Win the turnover battle. Control time of possession.
How to Listen:
Frank Frangie, Tony Boselli and Jeff Lageman will provide the call on 1010XL and 92.5 FM with Rick Ballou working the sidelines.
Where to Watch:
The Jaguars-Chiefs matchup will air on CBS and locally on WJAX 47 at 1 p.m. Sunday. Jim Nantz will provide the play by play with Tony Romo for color commentary. Tracy Wolfson will be working the sidelines. The Jaguars will be wearing their white jerseys over the black pants.