The Jacksonville Jaguars get set to host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at home. Black and Teal sat down with KC Kingdom to talk about the game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars open their 2019 season against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. It’s not the easiest of tasks to face a high-powered offense and the reigning NFL MVP in the same weekend, but the Jaguars defense will go out and show it is still one of the best in the league.
This is the kind of matchup that has playoff implications from the start. Given the NFL season is short, every game matters. The Chiefs are looking to get back to the AFC Title game and move on to a Super Bowl berth.
The Jaguars are trying to erase bad memories of a 2018 season that proved to be underwhelming and at times combustible. Jacksonville took major steps this offseason to try and turn the franchise’s fortunes around. If the offense looks better this season, there is a chance this team could vie for a playoff spot out of the tough AFC South.
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The Chiefs have their own division to conquer with the Los Angeles Chargers breathing down their neck. Both divisions could put two teams in the postseason in 2019.
Black and Teal had a chance to talk with Cullen Jekel of KC Kingdom, FanSided’s site for all teams in the Kansas City area. We asked him a few questions about the matchup on Sunday. Here’s what he had to say.
Who do you think will be more impactful this weekend, Patrick Mahomes or Tyreek Hill? – Patrick Mahomes will have more an impact this weekend than Tyreek Hill. With Jalen Ramsey shadowing him, I’m not expecting big numbers from Hill.
Instead, this will force Mahomes to spread the ball around to his other weapons, like tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and running backs Damien Williams and the newly signed LeSean McCoy.
What does Andy Reid to do to finally win a Super Bowl? – Andy Reid’s an offensive mastermind, but sometimes he gets a little too cute. In the past, he’s infamously had trouble managing the clock.
But now he’s got arguably the best offense he’s ever had (and that’s saying something, considering some of those Eagles teams), and a defense that, while it won’t be a top unit, will certainly be better than last year. Reid already shows a great amount of trust in his young gunslinger, and that should only grow throughout 2019.
Should the Chiefs be concerned about the Jaguars offense and Nick Foles? – This Jaguars offense should concern the Chiefs defense, yes. The Chiefs have a strong defensive line and solid safeties. Same can’t be said about the linebackers or corners, though.
I would expect Nick Foles and the Jags to create matchups against linebackers Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, Reggie Ragland, and Darron Lee while taking some shots downfield against corners Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller.
To downplay those mismatches, the Chiefs pass rush needs to apply pressure early and often, which should happen.
Who are a few under the radar players to watch this Sunday? – On offense, rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman, the team’s first draft pick in 2019. The Chiefs took the speedster from Georgia in the second round probably with the mindset that Hill is suspended for at least a part of this season.
Since that didn’t happen, Hardman is now just another weapon in Mahomes’ arsenal. On defense, one of the first moves the team made in the offseason was signing d-end Alex Okafor away from New Orleans. Okafor has kind of been forgotten as the Chiefs continued its total revamping of the defense with the trade of fellow defensive end Frank Clark and signing of safety Tyrann Mathieu, but Okafor will be just as key.
Though he won’t match Clark’s pass-rushing numbers, he’ll be a major factor in stopping the run.
The Chiefs win on the road if – If the offensive line holds up. That group is the biggest collective question mark for the Chiefs, even more so than the secondary. Mitchell Schwartz is one of the top right tackles in all of football, but after that, it’s a whole bunch of mediocrity.
Hopefully, left tackle Eric Fisher improves while right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif quickly returns to form after missing most of 2018 due to injury. The lack of depth on the line is also worrisome. Yet if the line can give Mahomes even a little bit of time against this staunch Jaguars pass rush, the Chiefs will win.