Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs: 3 Bold Predictions for Sunday
By David Levin
The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs is what is easily the best NFL game on the schedule this weekend from Arrowhead Stadium.
Not only do the Jacksonville Jaguars hope to stop the Kansas City Chiefs and their high-powered offense, they want to make a statement once again that the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC runs through North Florida and the St. Johns River. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson won’t get his wish of this team going 16-0, but he could still prove to be proficient in his prediction of a trip to Atlanta in February.
This is no easy task for the Jaguars, who face an undefeated Chiefs team that boasts the best scoring offense in the NFL. Jacksonville currently has the best defense, which creates an instant debate over which side of the ball is better.
Ask the players in the Jaguars locker room, and they will tell you there is no question to be answered.
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My main focus this week has been whether or not Jacksonville can keep up with the Chiefs on a fast track. As one sports radio personality said early in the week, the Chiefs are an offensive tea built to play in a domed stadium.
The Jacksonville defense is built in the mold of other teams in the past – fast, dominating, aggressive.
It should be an evenly matched contest, with the threat of rain potentially affected how both teams move the football. For the Jaguars and head coach Doug Marrone, it’s simple. Stick to the gameplan, force Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes into making mistakes and establish the offense and Blake Bortles and the passing game early.
Here are three bold predictions for Sunday.
Jalen Ramsey Intercepts Two Passes
I could listen to Jalen Ramsey talk about opposing players all day. While some are tired of his trash talk, there is a subtleness to his comments when he speaks to the media that makes you understand he is a great psychologist.
Ramsey and the secondary have one interception this year. Mahomes has yet to throw a pick. That all should change. And the idea of the All-Pro cornerback and Tyreek Hill matching up all game should be immediately thrown out the window.
He also offered the best quote of the week, replacing Bortles for that distinction from last week.
"“If you look at my film, what do I do every week? I play press, right?” Ramsey said. “Every week, no matter who I’m playing, so if he wants smoke, it’ll get there.”"
Watch Ramsey make this game his statement game of the season.
T.J. Yeldon Reaches 120 Yards
T.J. Yeldon might be the most underrated player on the Jaguars roster right now and has been given an opportunity to show he can shoulder the rushing load with Leonard Fournette on the mend.
Yeldon is more than capable of running for 100 yards and should have plenty of chances against a porous Chiefs defense. Kansas City gives up an average of 123.2 rushing yards through four outings. Only four teams have given up more.
If the rain is an issue during the game, the Jaguars will pound the football between the tackles. This game also provides the offensive line to continue to work cohesively.
Yeldon has shown the ability to score on the ground and in the passing game. It might also be an afternoon where Corey Grant gets more carries. I like Yeldon to also have a huge game if the Jaguars get up early and maintain a lead.
Special Teams has a Special Day
Hill is one of the fastest, if not the fastest player in the NFL. The Jaguars special teams unit will have to work hard to contain him. This could also be the best game Joe DeCamillas’ unit has to date.
Punter Logan Cooke could be one of the keys to the team’s success on Sunday. Field position will be paramount and giving the Chiefs a long field to march down gives this defense more room to operate. Cooke booming leg needs to remain consistent.
Also, there is plenty of speed on the Jaguars side of the ball. Dede Westbrook or Jaydon Mickens could get a return of their own and take it back for a score.