Kansas City Chiefs (1-6, 2-5 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4, 3-4 ATS)
Municipal Stadium, NFL Week 9, Sunday November 8th, 1:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Kansas City+6.5/Jacksonville -6.5
The Kansas City Chiefs got the week off in week 8 with some time to rest up before traveling to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars this Sunday. Unfortunately, the first half of the season has not gone well for the Chiefs who are one of just 3 teams in the AFC with only 1 victory. However, their counterparts in Jacksonville have been fairly inconsistent throughout the season as they were beaten fairly bad by the Titans 30-13 who were previously winless on the year. The Jaguars are 2-1 this year at home where they tend to play better, but they have dropped two straight to teams that were winless in St. Louis and Tennessee. The Jaguars will look to get on track in the AFC this week and finally notch off a win against an inferior opponent.
The problems from the Jaguars have mostly lied on the defensive side of the field which is a bit ironic considering the defense was expected to be the strength of the team before the season started. However, the Jaguars defense is allowing 26 points per game and 360 total yards per game. Last week, Titans 2nd year running back Chris Johnson posted 228 yards against the Jaguars defense and that has been a familiar trend against rushing teams. Fortunately for the Jaguars, Chiefs running attack which has consisted of Larry Johnson who has only averaged just 2.7 yards per game and has only 358 yards on the season. He won’t see any action this week though as he’s being sat for comments made towards head coach Todd Haley. Instead, the Chiefs will rely on the legs of young Jamaal Charles. The Jacksonville defense has to feel confident they can stand strong against the Chiefs run game so that they can put more focus on stopping QB Matt Cassel.
Jacksonville did get some help from their own running game last week. Tailback Maurice Jones-Drew broke loose for 177 yards to move his total to 640 on the season and also 10 total touchdowns on the season. It was also the first loss Jacksonville has had since 2006 when Jones-Drew rushed for at least 100 yards. Normally the offense is extremely affective when the ground game is clicking, but as stated before the defense has struggled. QB David Garrard has had a fair season completing 61% with 5 scores and 3 picks. Garrard has found confidence in veteran Tory Holt who has 434 receiving yards on the year which leads the team. However, Jacksonville remains a favored rushing team and will look for Jones-Drew to back up last week’s performance.
Kansas City most recently suffered a blow out loss to the Chargers by a score of 37-7. QB Matt Cassel threw 3 picks for just 95 passing yards in the embarrassing loss. Cassel has struggled with accuracy this season as he has failed to complete more than 56% of his passes for 4 straight games. The interceptions were quite a surprise considering Cassel had thrown 6 touchdowns and 0 picks in their last 4 games before their match with the Chargers. Cassel is a huge component to their offense and it is quite obvious the Chiefs do not stand much of a chance if they turn the ball over.
WR Dwayne Bowe is the most talented receiver out of a fairly underprivileged bunch. Bowe has 23 catches on the year for 301 yards with 4 touchdowns. One of the key statistics that dictates the struggles on offense, is the Chiefs have failed to score a single rushing touchdown all season. Their inability to move the ball on the ground has resulted in a scoring offense that is averaging just 15 points per game. The Chiefs overall offense must find a way to produce more balance which will result in more points. If Cassel can find have a big day, then the Chiefs will definitely have a great opportunity to get their 2nd win. If not the defense must force some turnovers or it will be another disappointing outcome.
Jay’s Pick - The Chiefs are just 1-12 in their last 13 AFC match-ups and this is the perfect situation for the Jaguars to bounce back with the home crowd as an advantage. Take Jaguars -6.5.