COMMENTARY | The Kansas City Chiefs will travel to EverBank field Sunday afternoon to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in what is sure to be dubbed "The Battle of the Basement," as both teams capped the 2012 season with identical, league-worst 2-14 records.
Here is a bold prediction for each team, along with some quick-hit fantasy football picks.
Chiefs Score a Touchdown on Offense, Defense and Special Teams
The Chiefs have a lot of new parts in place in all three facets of the game, and a more dynamic approach could result in some spectacular results in Jacksonville.
The Chiefs defense will look to feast on a Jaguars offense led by a hobbled Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and multiple blitz packages should force the former first-rounder into many mistakes, creating opportunities for Kansas City's playmakers to thrive -- primarily Eric Berry and Derrick Johnson.
Kansas City brought in Dave Toub to be specials teams coach and the move has paid immediate dividends, with the unit having scored on two kick returns in the preseason and regularly putting the offense in a favorable field position. Jacksonville did not give up a special teams score last year, but rookie Knile Davis is looking to make his mark on the NFL.
Jacksonville Is Held Scoreless to Open Season
With Gabbert still having not proven himself as a viable starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL, the Chiefs' main focus on defense will be to stop running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who is not quite 100 percent healthy himself. And with wide receiver Justin Blackmon out due to league suspension, Kansas City could have a relatively easy time slowing down the Jaguars offense -- maybe even shutting them down completely.
The Chiefs will feature a more aggressive defense this season, which should result in more sacks and turnovers. While it will also yield more big plays to the opposition, Jacksonville just does not have the firepower to take advantage here.
Fantasy Beast: Jamaal Charles
Charles is coming off a career year (285 carries and 1,509 rushing yards) and will be two full seasons removed from an ACL injury that cost him most of the 2011 campaign. He will also be used more in the passing game in Reid's offense, heightening his big-play ability.
While the Chiefs will look to pass the ball more, Charles is still the focal point and is slated to actually receive more total touches than we have seen in the past.
If Kansas City grabs an early lead, look for time of possession to become crucial -- which only increases Charles' value as the game progresses.
Fantasy Bust: Maurice Jones-Drew
Previously alluded to, the Chiefs defense will be able to direct much of its attention on slowing down Jones-Drew out of the backfield. And with the running back not at full strength, fantasy owners could be in for a very disappointing day.
Should Kansas City stay ahead on the scoreboard as the game winds down, the Jaguars will be forced to throw the ball to keep up. Though Jones-Drew has shown to be a capable receiver, his value is way down this week.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jamaal Charles
- Blaine Gabbert