It’s been a whirlwind eight days for the Kansas City Chiefs. First, they lose Tight End, Travis Kelce to injury, they drop the opener to the Detroit Lions, then some good news, Chris Jones ends his holdout. On Sunday, KC will travel to Jacksonville to face the 1-0 Jaguars. So, it begs the question, is this a must-win for the boys in red?
Sometimes the NFL Gods like to flex their muscles. In the season opener, All World Tight end Travis Kelce tweaks his knee two days before the opener. Then Chris Jones watches the game from a suite at Arrowhead. If that wasn’t enough, the Detroit Lions defeated the Chiefs 21-20. To the Lions’ credit, they played a perfect game. For the Chiefs, they stunk on offense for much of the game, thanks to dropped passes and missed opportunities. However, the defense without Jones was stellar.
With a few extra days off to reflect and prepare for the Jaguars, Andy Reid will have all his weapons available for this highly important AFC showdown, between what I believe to be the top two teams in the conference. No disrespect to the Buffalo Bills or Cincinnati Bengals but based on the Jaguars’ relatively easy 2023 schedule and weak division, they are my runner-up in the AFC.
If the Jaguars, who are underdogs at home versus the Chiefs, manage to win this game, I think Kansas City is facing a much harder climb to the top spot in the AFC. So, Sunday’s matchup on the road, generally a place where the Chiefs struggle, remains a key point in the regular season.
Fortunately, the past failures for Kansas City in Jacksonville were before the Mahomes era. In his only contest against the Jaguars away from Arrowhead in his career, he engineered the Sammy Watkins game to perfection and blew out Jacksonville.
However, that was three years ago, and with the addition of Head Coach, Doug Pederson and the arrival of Trevor Lawrence, this team has a plethora of offensive weapons that can dissect virtually any defense.
For the Chiefs, they also have some mighty, yet less proven weapons that can match points with Jacksonville. If there’s a silver lining to the wide receiver woes in week one, well it can’t get any worse, so there’s only one direction to go and that’s upward.
Kadarius Toney had the worst day of his career. The other receivers were average, but I think they tried to overcompensate for the absence of Travis Kelce. That won’t be the case this week, because Reid is a master teacher, and I think the young receivers just got lost in the moment. They’ll be ready on Sunday.
The keys to this game remain the same as the opener, the Kansas City Chiefs are so talented, that they’ll be favored in every game they play this season provided Mahomes is under center. If the offensive struggles disappear and the Chiefs don’t shoot themselves in the foot, they shouldn’t lose many games this season. Add that to the fact the Chiefs’ defense held a potent Lions offense to 14 points without Chris Jones, one must believe with a win Sunday against the Jaguars, the Chiefs are back on track.
Still, this game makes me uneasy only because we don’t know for certain if the young receivers can step up, how many snaps both Kelce and Jones will get, so there is trepidation as to picking a winner in this game.
In the end, we just don’t know. However, Sunday marks the Mahomes’ 28th Birthday, and I tend to believe he’s going to have a bounce-back game, and the defense continues to play well.
Chiefs 31 – Jaguars 27