Chiefs Take on Jags TodayNovember 8th, 2009 by Lee Eldridge
The Chiefs are coming off their bye week with as many questions off the field as on. What does the future hold for Larry Johnson? Can Jamaal Charles carry the load? Has Todd Haley lost the team already? Can the Chiefs go a week without acquiring a new player? Will fans continue to revolt? Will their be TV blackouts in Kansas City as the season progresses? Can the team win another game?
But let’s focus on today’s game for a moment. A win today for the Chiefs would quiet these questions at least for a few days.
Jacksonville is 3-4, with wins coming against the Texans, Titans and Rams. Their four losses have come against the Colts, Cardinals, Seahawks and last week against the previously winless Titans. They haven’t beaten a good team yet, and have lost to some bad teams in the Seahawks and Titans.
The Jags are ranked 11th in total offense, but much of that is because of their dynamic runningback Maurice Jones-Drew (a star on my fantasy football team). Quarterback David Garrard has struggled this year with 5 TDs and 5 INTs. This week head coach Jack Del Rio took away Garrard’s ability to call audibles at the line of scrimmage.
On defense, the Jags are not very good and are ranked 24th in the league in total defense. Under Del Rio the Jags have been fairly strong defensively until this year. They have only 5 sacks this season, last in the NFL. And they’re giving up 25.3 points per game.
The Chiefs defense has shown some flashes, but have been inconsistent. I don’t think they can stop Jones-Drew, but hopefully they can prevent the huge runs. Last week MJD had 177 yards and 2 TDs on 8 carries in a loss against the Titans. How does MJD only get 8 carries when he’s averaging 22 yards per carry? Garrard has been inconsistent. The Chiefs should be able to apply some pressure and force him into mistakes.
On offense, the Chiefs are hoping to get their ground game untracked with the tandem of Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith. I’m excited to see Charles get some more touches today. Last week, Chris Johnson from the Titans shredded the Jags for 228 yards on 24 carries and 2 TDs. Charles is a similar style of back. And if Charles can open up the running game, Matt Cassel might find a little time to throw the ball.
The key is not to get down by 14 points early where the Jags can run at will. And not to abandon the running game and Charles’ big play ability. If the Chiefs get down early, this could get ugly. But I think the Jags have some problems, and they’ve proven they can lose to bad teams like the Chiefs.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Jaguars 21