The Kansas City Chiefs are set to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. Let’s break it down.
In my opinion, this does not have the same feel of a trap game like the Colts game. However, the Chiefs need to make sure that they come into this game ready to play. This team does have talent the Chiefs need to look out for. The first example of this is Travis Etienne. Over the last three games Etienne has passed the 100 yard rushing mark. His best game came against the Denver Broncos, one of the best defenses in the league.
The Chiefs run defense has been one of the best in the NFL up to this point but, the Chiefs need to make sure they contain Etienne. With Frank Clark missing another game, the Chiefs will need some extra help on the outside.
While the Chiefs had mostly success against the Tennessee Titans and containing Derrick Henry, Etienne is a different style of runner. Etienne is not a straight downhill runner, he will bounce to the outside and run off the tackle. In order to contain him the Chiefs will have to use their defensive linemen to seal the edge.
Side note, defensive linemen Carlos Dunlap has a chance to get into the record books this weekend. Dunlap has 99.5 career sacks. There are only 40 players in NFL history that have broken the 100 sack mark, since the league started tracking sacks in the 80s.
The Jaguars offensive line has been on an up and down roller coaster on their ability to protect Trevor Lawrence. They have had five games this year where they didn’t give up a sack but in the game when they do give up pressure it comes in droves. They have allowed two, four sack games this year. Those came against the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles. They have also given up two sacks in two games. These came against the Broncos and the Washington Commanders.
In all four of those games the Jags lost. This shows how crucial it is for the Chiefs to get a good pass rush early and often.
The Chiefs offense is coming off one of its worst performances of the year, despite the win. Once again the Chiefs run game was not able to move the football. Patrick Mahomes was the leading rusher and while they had almost 500 yards of offense, they only scored 20 points.
To combat their putrid run game last week, the Chiefs may double down on the run game in their first drive. If they are able to get the ball moving they will stick with it. If not the Chiefs will have another poor performance from their running back room. Thankfully, the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, who is more than capable of once again putting the team on his back, in the worst case scenario.
The Chiefs should also get more production this week from Kadarius Toney. As Mecole Hardman has missed practice with an abdomen injury. Toney has an opportunity to get a bigger role in the offense. Despite only being in the offense for only a week, Toney had nine snaps in last week’s game. With more time and an injury to the number three wide receiver, Toney should move up the depth chart and have more time on the field and could even see some of the plays that Hardman would get. That would be the wide receiver sweep runs and bubble screens.
Overall, I expect the Chiefs to be just fine. While this game will be a tough fought one, I expect Kansas City to roll on through.