The Kansas City Chiefs are gearing up to face the Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday in Week 10. It’s the first time these two teams have faced off since the 2019 NFL season.
Chiefs Wire: Nine games into his first season, do you think that Doug Pederson is the solution as head coach of the Jaguars?
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Jaguars Wire: The play-calling has been frustrating at times and the Jaguars have left wins on the table, but for the most part, the Pederson era has earned rave reviews. The culture difference is night and day from Urban Meyer’s tenure. It feels like the Jaguars are actually on an upward trajectory and that’s a credit to the stability Pederson has brought.
Chiefs Wire: What type of growth have you seen from Trevor Lawrence from his rookie season to now?
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Jaguars Wire: Lawrence’s efficiency and decision-making have both taken steps in the right direction even if his consistency hasn’t been there yet. It has helped that he has more talent surrounding him and an offensive line that’s keeping him clean, but Lawrence has also been good at maneuvering the pocket to help himself. The Jaguars’ inability to connect on any deep passes has hamstrung the offense a bit, but Lawrence has done better than he’s been given credit for.
Chiefs Wire: How do you think the Jags’ secondary matches up against the Chiefs’ group of pass-catchers?
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Jaguars Wire: Not particularly well, to be honest. The Jaguars have a rising star at cornerback in Tyson Campbell, but the team has struggled to find consistency on the other side of the field and the middle of the defense has been especially susceptible to big plays. The Colts tuned up the Jacksonville defense by running crossing routes all game and that deficiency hasn’t really been fixed. It’d help the Jaguars if they don’t have to deal with the speed of Mecole Hardman, but Travis Kelce could prove to be a serious problem.
Chiefs Wire: Who are some of the standout rookies that Chiefs fans should be aware of in this game?
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Jaguars Wire: There are really just three rookies playing significant time for the Jaguars this year: outside linebacker Travon Walker, inside linebacker Devin Lloyd, and center Luke Fortner. All eyes have been on Walker and Lloyd, who have both been good in run defense and just OK everywhere else. Walker still needs to develop as a pass rusher and Lloyd has been picked on in coverage. The play of Fortner could be key Sunday, though. The rookie center needs to get stronger, but he’s done pretty well to lead a Jaguars offensive line that’s overachieving in pass protection and run blocking. If he can keep Chris Jones from wrecking the Jaguars offense, that’d be a huge win for the Jacksonville offense.
Chiefs Wire: What’s your prediction for the game and why?
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Jaguars Wire: The Jaguars are talented enough to keep games close, but I have a hard time seeing them slow down the Chiefs offense enough to keep up. The betting line on the game seems pretty accurate and I’ll pick the Chiefs to win. Chiefs 34, Jaguars 24.