Jaguars vs. Chiefs: Getting a perspective behind enemy lines for Week 2

Jan 21, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15).
Jan 21, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15). / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are set to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. Although they are a 3.5-point underdog for the game, they have enough firepower on offense to keep up with the Super Bowl champions.

That said, this won't be an easy matchup. In order to get an idea of what the Jags are up to, the Black and Teal reached out to Matt Conner of the Arrowhead Addict, Fansided's site devoted to the Chiefs. What's next is an exchange between B&T and Conner.

BT&T: Chris Jones is back in the fold and the Jaguars will need to slow him down but what other player on the defensive front Jacksonville should keep an eye on?

Fortunately for the Jags, there’s not a great answer here. When you look at the interior, there’s a very, very steep drop after Chris Jones. Outside, the Chiefs are hopeful George Karlaftis can make a leap to the next level after coming on strong in the second half of last year, and this year’s first-rounder, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, will get reps on the other side.

But this is a unit with little proven push up front beyond Jones and even he’s just returning to the field. Hence the reason why Spags [DC Steve Spagnuolo] blitzes from all over is to create pressure where there’s not.

B&T: What did the Lions do in the opener to beat the Chiefs that the Jaguars should try to emulate?

Let’s be honest: the Lions won because the Chiefs shot themselves in the foot. Andy Reid’s allergic to anything sensible in short-yardage situations. Kadarius Toney had a historically bad day with drops, but he was just one of several. Everything just felt off—like it was still a preseason game. That’s not to take anything away from Detroit but they won by one point when the Chiefs were a total comedy of errors. Then again, KC does this every year against one team (the Colts loss last year).

As for what Detroit *did* well, they played tough, opportunistic football for 60 minutes. They deserve serious credit for that. The Chiefs can be emotional and cute as well, and teams that simply stick to what they do well and can cut through the smoke and mirrors to just keep plays in front of them, tackle well, stay mentally sharp, and play overly physically will always have a chance here. 

Beyond that, the Jags are a better team. They don’t need to emulate the Lions. They should lean into what they do well. I think Trevor Lawrence is a top 3 NFL QB by season’s end. If true, he can carry a team to victory in a big matchup like this and Week 2 should provide a very real barometer of how ready he is for that mantle.

B&T: Let's say they start 0-2 this season. Would that be a reason for concern, or do they have enough talent besides Patrick Mahomes to turn things around?

Fickle fans will go crazy and the drama is good for talking points, but this Chiefs team is starting with an injured Kelce and a WR room full of unknowns. On defense, it’s no Chris Jones along a defensive line with little other proven talent. It’s Matt Nagy instead of Eric Bieniemy. It’s two new starting OTs (including Jawaan Taylor).

There’s just a lot to sort out in these early weeks. With Mahomes and Reid in place, the Chiefs should be just fine. They’ll also be very real players at the NFL trade deadline for whatever major need presents itself.

B&T: What are your own expectations for the game on Sunday? Any final predictions?

I love where the Jags are headed, especially in the AFC South, but I have to go with a motivated Chiefs team here ready to shake off an underwhelming performance to start the year. While going 0-2 wouldn’t sink the ship, it feels like the Chiefs are going to come in more focused than before, and with the return of Kelce and/or Jones, the adrenaline should be flowing. I think the Chiefs win by a touchdown. 

And there you have it folks. Conner, just like most analysts sees the Chiefs coming out of EverBank with the win. You can let him know what you think on Twitter at @MattConnerAA on Twitter. You can also share your thoughts on the Black and Teal's Facebook page.

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