Chiefs vs. Jaguars: Time, TV channel, streaming, key matchups, NFL division playoff predictions

Game 1 of the NFL playoff divisional round pitted the AFC’s top star. No. 1 seed, Kansas City Chiefs, vs. No. 1 seed. No. 4 seed Jacksonville Jaguars.

With the Jaguar’s hilarious comeback win over the AFC West brothers in Kansas City, they’re sure to be distracted en route to the Midwest. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are looking to make it to their fifth straight AFC title game. They’ve done it at least every year in the Andy Reed-Patrick Mahomes era, and they’re unlikely to want that streak to end now.

So, which of these teams will advance to the next round? We’re glad you asked this question. Before we analyze the game, let’s take a look at how to watch it.

how to watch

date: Saturday, January. 21 | frequency: 4:30 p.m. ET
Place: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, MO)
television: NBC | stream media: fuboTV (free trial)
follow: CBS Sports App
odds: Chiefs -8.5, U/U 53 (courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)

when the jaguars have the ball

The opening that mimics a tale of two cities while introducing a point is pretty corny, but damn if last week wasn’t Trevor Lawrence’s worst half and then his best half. Before halftime against the Los Angeles Chargers, Lawrence went 10-for-24 for 77 yards, a touchdown and an incredible four interceptions. After halftime, he went 18-of-23 for 211 yards and three touchdowns with zero catches.

Obviously, the former half is absolutely impossible against Kansas City if the Jaguars want to stay in the game. The Chiefs aren’t the Chargers, and they won’t let their opponents survive that performance. The Jaguars might really need Lawrence to play at the level he’s been playing throughout the game in the second half to keep up with Kansas City’s explosive offense. That means he also needs to go beyond what he did when those teams met in Week 10, when he completed 29 of 40 passes for just 259 yards (6.5 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns. It was a solid game, but not enough to keep up with what Patrick Mahomes has been doing on the other side of the ball.

If Lawrence is going to get the kind of results the Jaguars need from him, it’s likely going to be by throwing to center field. Kansas City ranks 29th in DVOA among Football Outsiders, according to Tru Media, while Lawrence went 35 of 48 for 392 yards, five touchdowns and one pass. He ranks sixth in the league in expected plus points per dropback (EPA) in those plays.

Throwing in the middle could mean playing against shooter Christian Kirk (76 percent of his shots, according to Pro Football Focus). L’Jarius Sneed, tight end Evan Engram vs. Kansas City linebacker and safety. On the perimeter, Zay Jones and Marvin Jones will see coverage from rookies Trent McDuffie and Jaylen Watson, who are easier to shoot than Sneed, but Lawrence tears the ball down the middle at his best — especially if he can do so Push the ball upfield.

Receiving the ball downfield takes time to throw, and Jacksonville’s offensive line will be busy with Kansas City’s front line — especially Chris Jones. Lawrence’s superpower is his ability to avoid getting sacked, but it’s harder to do that when the pressure goes from the middle directly to your legs. That’s where Jones comes in, and if the Jags can’t keep him from hitting the pocket, it could be a long day for their offense. Lawrence may also have to check in more often than he likes if Jones dominates the game (Travis Etienne has rarely been a target in recent weeks).

The Jaguars may try to play conservative in their underdog matchups, but they really need to do the opposite.Kansas City will scoreput the game on Lawrence’s right shoulder, and not count on Etienne and the offensive line to hold the ball the entire game, and that’s Jacksonville’s best chance for an upset.

when the chiefs have the ball

When these two teams met a few weeks ago, Patrick Mahomes went 26 of 35 for 331 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception to beat the Jaguars. He added seven rushing attempts for 39 yards with zero sacks. He did so despite JuJu Smith-Schuster losing the first half to a concussion and Andrew Wylie to an elbow injury.

It makes sense that he’d be able to ignite the Jaguars, given the relatively thin field of defense in Jacksonville.

For example, the Jaguars rank 32nd in DVOA among Football Outsiders this season, while Mahomes has completed 6 of 7 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown to Travis Kelce, and 3 of 26 yards. The 3 runs and the score went to Noah Gray and Jody Fortson. According to Tru Media, no team in the league has seen opponents throw more pass attempts to running backs, and Mahomes connected with Jerick McKinnon on six of eight passes for 56 yards. Only two teams have allowed more receiving yards than the Jaguars, and Mahomes went 10-of-13 for 153 yards with two scores in the game despite Smith-Schuster’s early departure. to the players.

Well, here we are again a few months later, the Kelces are still the Kelces, McKinnon dominates Kansas City’s offense, Smith-Schuster is back, and the Jaguars still have the same relative weakness through the defense. In other words, it’s a pretty good matchup for Mahomes. Where he likes to go with the ball, where the Jaguars tend to leave open, we’ve seen him separate them with those exact types of passes.

A bet against a repeat is a bet that Jacksonville’s defense will suddenly outperform against the best quarterback in the league, or that said quarterback will perform against a defense that is less than capable. Out of character with him or his primary weapon.

Considering that the Jaguars also rank 29th in the NFL in rushing defense DVOA this season, and that the Chiefs may have the upper hand in the trenches, the odds of the Chiefs’ offense starting to look slim in this one. If we look at last postseason (34 carries for 150 yards) and the games he actually got a lot of rushing this year (he went 8-53, 8-51 and 10-52 in only three games he had 8 times or more).

featured games | Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Predictions: Chiefs 31, Jaguars 20

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