After collecting the away win against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, the Jacksonville Jaguars turn their attention to the home opener against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs will get a big boost following their season-opening loss against the Detroit Lions as Chris Jones and Travis Kelce are both expected to return for their first game this season.
As we only have one week of data to work with, take these statistics with a grain of salt, especially on the Jaguars' defensive side of the ball. Expect opposing teams to adjust and game plans change to the different personnel.
Jaguars Offensive Matchup vs. the Chiefs
Most of the attention in the passing game will deservedly focus on how the Chiefs will try to contain Calvin Ridley. In Week 1, Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown racked up six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. That said, I am more intrigued with how the Chiefs matchup against tight end Evan Engram. Despite essentially double-teaming Engram in the first half, the Colts allowed a 9.8 Adjusted Net Yards per Pass Attempt to the tight end on five targets.
Chris Jones’ return, combined with the Jaguars' struggles running the ball in Week 1, causes some worry for the run game. The Chiefs essentially shut down the rushes to the left side of the offense and the Jaguars heavily favored that side in Week 1. If the Jags are to succeed with the run game, rookie Anton Harrison will need to step up.
Jaguars Defensive Matchup in Week 2
As I mentioned above, this matchup will be particularly difficult to project due to Travis Kelce’s likely return and the stark differences between the Chiefs' and Colts' offenses. The Chiefs' wide receiver room did not have as bad of a game statistically, despite the poor performances from Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. The Chiefs also thrived on the deep passes, while the Jaguars defense intercepted Anthony Richardson on his lone deep pass attempt.
The Josh Allen versus former teammate Jawaan Taylor matchup will be exciting, especially with the national headlines of Taylor’s positioning and false starts. However, the Chiefs were particularly effective running the ball to the left end, where Trayvon Walker struggled to contain Richardson & Co. in the opener.
It is only one game, but the Chiefs offense does not appear to have the same firepower that we saw multiple times last year and if Kelce is limited, that will help. The Chiefs gave up zero sacks in Week 1 and you would like to see Allen, Walker, & Co get some pressure and throw Mahomes off his game. Offensively, if the offensive line can keep a clean pocket, I expect Press Taylor can create advantageous matchups in the passing game.
Keep an eye out for the statistical recap next week and Go Jags!
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