After a short week, the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs will have to defend their home turf against the 3-1 Jaguars who will bring their number one defense to Arrowhead Stadium for a Week 5 matchup in Kansas City, MO starting at 1:00 EST and broadcasted on CBS-TV.
The Chiefs’ second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on fire with 14 touchdowns already this season after setting an NFL record for TDs through three games to start a season with 13. He faces Blake Bortles, a fifth-year veteran with only half as many scores (7) and three more picks (3) than Mahomes (0).
The real battle every football fan can’t wait for is between one of the best cornerbacks in the league, smack-talking Jalen Ramsey and one of the most explosive NFL receivers, ankle-breaking Tyreek Hill. Ramsey’s toughness (12 tackles, 1 pass defended) against Hill’s quickness (15.8 yards per catch, longest of 58) could go either way, the winner tipping the scales in their team’s direction.
The Jaguars are coming off a big win over the New York Jets, 31-12 and have had an entire week to rest, while the Chiefs barely beat the Denver Broncos, 27-23, on Monday Night Football, so the difference in downtime this week could be a factor.
If the Jaguars win this matchup, they will stay tied atop the AFC South with Tennessee, depending on how the Titans do against the 1-3 Buffalo Bills in Week 5. But if the Chiefs manage to keep their win streak alive, they’ll move to 5-0 and continue to dominate first place in the AFC West.
Who’s favored to win this Week 5 Jaguars-Chiefs matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to compare the Jaguars and the Chiefs and attempt to answer those questions and more.
The 2018 Jaguars offense just average
Quarterback Bortles’ offense is currently middle-of-the-league good, ranked 15th with 380 total yards per game. It’s no surprise his top two receiving targets have been deep threat Dede Westbrook (21 catches, 294 yards, a touchdown, longest of 61) and Keelan Cole (17 receptions, 225 yards and a touchdown.
What’s surprising is that his third best target is backup running back T.J. Yeldon, whose 14 catches for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns only reflect half of what he’s done. Forced to step up for injured started Leonard Fournette (hamstring), Yeldon has also run 49 times for 205 yards and a touchdown.
They should all find success against Kansas City’s weak defense, which has allowed the most total yards in the league so far at 1,807.
The 2018 Chiefs offense unstoppable
Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs offense is ranked 8th with 410.2 yards per game, but they’ve managed to win every game they’ve played this season, including their come-from-behind miracle amidst the camera-shaking noise of Mile High Stadium.
Credit Mahomes – his interception-less performances have had football fans glued to his every move, including the scrambling, about-to-be-flattened-by-Von-Miller left-handed shot-put pass to Tyreek Hill for a third-down conversion. Some analysts wonder how Mahomes will top that, while others worry that he may try, which will eventually backfire to the Chiefs’ detriment.
Hill and receiver Sammy Watkins have helped the Chiefs offense put up 1,189 total passing yards this season, and running back Kareem Hunt is following up his All-Rookie season with 71 rushes for 289 yards and 3 touchdowns while catching 4 balls for 59 yards and a touchdown. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have second-team All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce to balance out the attack. He’s caught 23 ballse for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Chiefs are the best in the league at making touchdowns, 19, and scoring points, averaging 36.3 per game, while the Jaguars have only scored 9 touchdowns and only average 22.0 per game, good enough to put them at 22nd best.
For the Jaguars to have a chance, their defense will have to shut Mahomes and co. down even better than the Broncos did in Week 4.
Jaguars Defense ranks 1st, Chiefs D ranks 32nd in the league
Talk about polar opposites, these two teams’ defenses sit at opposite ends of the NFL spectrum: the Jaguars are the best in the league, the Chiefs are the worst. If any defense can shut down Mahomes and his perfect arm it’s the Jaguars led by All-Pro end Calais Campbell, end Yannick Ngakoue and the aforementioned All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The Jags are the best team for least yards allowed per game (259.2). They’re the best at shutting down opponents’ passing attack, allowing only 164.2 yards in the air per game. They’re in the top ten against the run, allowing only 95.0 rushing yards per game, and they’ve sacked opponents’ quarterbacks 10 times (tied for 12th).
One category the Chiefs’ defense shockingly beats the Jaguars in is combined tackles, 255-224, but they’re way worse in just about every other way. Ranked 2nd to last against the pass and 28th against the rush, Kansas City has not been able to shut down or dominate an opponent this season.
So the question becomes: will the Jags’ better defense be able to stop the Chiefs’ better offense, and can Jacksonville’s low-scoring offense take advantage of Kansas City’s 28th worst defense for points allowed per game (28.8)?
The possibilities are as interesting as they are confusing.
Special teams stats
Jacksonville’s rookie punter, Logan Cooke, has punted 20 times for a net average of 38.6 yards per punt, ranked 24th in the NFL.
Cinncinati’s veteran punter, Dustin Colquitt, has punted 13 times for a net average of 43.6 yards per punt, fifth best in the league.
Jacksonville’s placekicker, Josh Lambo, is in his second NFL year and has gone 8-for-8, his longest was a 54-yarder. He hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (8/8).
Kansas City’s placekicker, Harrison Butker, was an All-Rookie last season and is 4-for-4, his longest was a 46-yarder. He hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (19/19).
Jaguars-Chiefs prediction and odds
The oddsmakers have the Chiefs favored over the Jaguars by 3 with an over/under of 49.
CBSSports.com’s final score prediction: Jaguars 23, Chiefs 20.