A year ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs occupied positions on opposite ends of the National Football League rankings. The upcoming showdown between Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Divisional Round game has piqued the interest of football fans everywhere.
Their respective journeys to Saturday were remarkably different, despite the fact that both clubs have franchise quarterbacks and coaches who have won a Super Bowl. After a combined record of 4-29 in 2020 and ’21, Jacksonville was awarded the first overall selection in each of the next two years until finally earning their stripes this season.
Mahomes and Andy Reid led this Kansas City Chiefs squad to a regular season record of 26-7 over the course of the following two years, which resulted in the club winning the Super Bowl in 2020. While this is just Jacksonville’s second participation in the playoffs since 2008, the Chiefs have qualified for the postseason in each of the last eight seasons in a row.
Reasons To Back The Chiefs
During the regular season, Kansas City was a dominant offensive force, finishing first with an average of 297.8 yards in the air and 413.6 total yards per game. The club outperformed those statistics versus Jacksonville, as Patrick Mahomes completed 331 passes for 486 total yards for the Chiefs. The 27-year-old quarterback completed at least three touchdown passes to four different receivers in each one of his eight games this season.
By averaging 29.2 points per game and scoring at least 30 on eight occasions, the Chiefs also topped the NFL in scoring. Mahomes led the league with 41 touchdown passes, while tight end Travis Kelce finished second with 12 touchdown catches, a career record. Running back Jerick McKinnon has now caught a touchdown pass in six straight games.
Reasons To Back The Jaguars
After losing to Kansas City, Jacksonville flourished, winning seven of its next eight games, including the shocking victory against the Chargers. For the first time since 2017, the Jaguars have won three straight road games, and Trevor Lawrence overcame a Los Angeles game where quarterback threw four interceptions in the first half to end with 288 passing yards and four touchdown passes.
Last weekend, one of Lawrence’s touchdown passes went to Christian Kirk, who had his greatest NFL season to date in Jacksonville’s first campaign. The 26-year-old wideout, who played his first four seasons with Arizona, achieved career highs with 84 receptions, 1,108 receiving yards, and eight touchdown catches, including two in Week 10 against Kansas City. Running back Travis Etienne Jr., a Clemson University classmate of Lawrence’s, missed all of his rookie season due to a foot injury, but in 2022 he carried for 1,125 yards and five touchdowns before getting 109 yards on 20 runs last week against the Chargers.
Chiefs VS. Chargers: Game Prediction
As a rising team, Jacksonville probably won’t face the Chiefs in the playoffs for the final time. They are, however, at a severe disadvantage while travelling in a hostile environment due to their inexperience and substantial limitations. In opposition to Kansas City’s defence, Lawrence will make some jaw-dropping passes, and Travis Etienne could find a few rushing openings.
The Chiefs have the greatest player in the NFL, which ultimately increases their chances of winning even more thanks to their advantages in the trenches. Reid’s squad should cruise to a convincing win after a bye week, making it to the AFC Championship Game for the sixth time in a row. You can bet this pick now at any one of the highest ranked sportsbooks online.
TO THE POINT: Kansas City has been favored 14 games in a row in the postseason. The Chiefs are 1-8 SUATS the last nine times they’ve been installed as playoff dogs, including 0-5 ATS as puppies since 1994. Remember that moving forward. #NFLPlayoffs
— Marc Lawrence (@MarcLawrence) January 18, 2023