JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2022 season, Jaguars "experts" – Tony Boselli, Bucky Brooks, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
- The Jaguars will win if: They continue to show balance offensively and somehow make Mahomes uncomfortable. He is so good, so poised, so agile with an arm so strong that he is tough to rattle. Teams that slow the Chiefs offensively a bit have a chance. Few teams can beat them in a track meet. Offensively, the Jags really need to run some, hold the ball. That means Etienne and some runs by Lawrence as well.
- The Chiefs will win if: They protect Mahomes and get that offensive machine going. They also need to stop Etienne, which hasn't been easy, to make Jacksonville one-dimensional.
- As Frangie sees it: The Chiefs are mortal. The Colts beat them early in the season, the Titans took them to overtime Sunday night. But you must really be on your game. The Jags are gaining confidence, but is it enough? This is a tough one for the road team, as it would be for any road team headed to Kansas City.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
- The Jaguars will win if: They find a way to be efficient with a clock-consuming offense that scores points. Running back Travis Etienne Jr. and quarterback Trevor Lawrence both must be on their games to make this crowd in Kansas City sit on their hands. And the defense has to find a way to steal an extra possession or two for the offense.
- The Chiefs will win if: Mahomes is allowed to extend plays and move the chains with his legs. Mahomes is an exceptional quarterback that can make any throw in the universe, but when he is allowed to create beyond the Xs and Os is when he truly takes it to the next level.
- As Lageman sees it: This a tough matchup that will require all three phases playing well for the Jaguars to get the win. They don't have to be perfect, but they will have to play strong complementary football to beat one of the most talented rosters in the NFL that is very well coached. The Chiefs have top players at multiple positions on both sides of the ball and have arguably the best quarterback in the league now. The greater challenge holds the greater reward, and the Jags must find a "W" to climb back into the conversation.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
- The Jaguars will win if: They score 30 for the second time this season and win the turnover battle by two or more. The Jaguars have had few short-field opportunities since the first month of the season. They will need those against the Chiefs. The Jags need their best effort of the season Sunday.
- The Chiefs will win if: They limit the Jaguars' long drives. Jacksonville has been good at sustaining possession and obviously the Chiefs want the ball in their hands. Kansas City won't need a crazy good defensive effort, but they can't be on the field for 40 minutes.
- As Martineau sees it: The Jaguars have good enough coaching and a good enough roster to play with anyone in the NFL, and I think they've proven that much this season. In my opinion, this is the Jaguars' hardest game of the year: On the road against a team that plays the same style of ball and – at this point – is just a better team. Chiefs win, 34-23.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
- The Jaguars will win if: They score touchdowns – not field goals – in the red zone, and can pressure Mahomes into at least one point-producing turnover. The Jaguars are good enough offensively to move the ball, but they must score touchdowns to cap sustained drives.
- The Chiefs will win if: They avoid mistakes and play their game. The Chiefs are one of the NFL's toughest tests – an experienced team that knows how to win with a head coach in Andy Reid that knows how to call plays and quarterback in his prime. If they play to their standard, they will be too tough a test for the young Jaguars.
- As Oehser sees it: The Jaguars have improved enough to have a chance to beat any team in the NFL. They have led in every game this season and have been close in all six losses. But the Chiefs are good enough offensively to get ahead early as the young Jaguars adjust to the environment. If that happens, it will be far harder to rally than it was last week when the Jaguars overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Las Vegas Raiders at TIAA Bank Field.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
- The Jaguars will win if: They can hold the Chiefs to 20 points or less. That's a big ask against a team averaging 30 points per game, but they scored 17 in a loss in Indianapolis and 20 in a loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Jaguars are allowing 19.8 points per game and have held their last three opponents to 23 points or less. But the New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders aren't the Chiefs. They need takeaways and sacks to accomplish the mission on Sunday at Arrowhead.
- The Chiefs will win if: They protect quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Titans kept the game close in an overtime loss to the Chiefs this past Sunday by pressuring Mahomes relentlessly and sacking him four times, but they still lost. You don't get to Mahomes often; he's mobile, has great vision and extends plays until someone gets open. The Jaguars must find a way to get him uncomfortable, which doesn't happen often in Kansas City.
- As Sexton sees it: This is probably the most difficult game remaining on the Jaguars' schedule. Kansas City is the best team in the AFC, with more weapons than you can cover and a homefield advantage that makes it incredibly difficult on a young quarterback. Kansas City wins.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com senior reporter
- The Jaguars will win if:They can consistently put together sustained offensive drives that end in the end zone to keep Mahomes on the sideline sipping Gatorade. Red-zone opportunities and goal-to-go situations must be executed to near-perfection because every point will be needed. If the Jags score 30, they have a chance. Maybe.
- The Chiefs will win if:Travis Kelce gets his, plus some. The tight end is Mahomes' favorite target, and he will get some catches and some yards. Don't let it turn into a career-type day. Pressure from the Jaguars' front seven is key also. If Mahomes has time to operate or is allowed to go off-script outside the pocket, then it could be a long day for the Jaguars trying to plaster receivers downfield.
- As Shadrick sees it:The Chiefs are the best passing offense in the NFL with the best quarterback and best tight end in the league and wide receivers that complement and fit well. The Chiefs are going to score and could score a lot. The Jaguars cannot get discouraged if there's an early deficit. Take the fight to the Chiefs, hold the ball and score early and take the crowd out of the game and get it to the fourth quarter and – as always – FINISH THE GAME.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Jaguars team reporter
- The Jaguars will win if: They score more than thirty points. Jacksonville has only scored more than thirty once this season – 38 in their Week 3 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chiefs are one of the most explosive offenses in football, and you cannot expect to be in this game without putting up some points. Yes, the Jaguars' defense must play aggressive and sound, but you know the Chiefs will score. The Jaguars must attempt to outscore them and play complementary defense.
- The Chiefs will win if: They attack a less-than-ideal Jaguars secondary. Cornerback Tyson Campbell and nickel Darious Williams are holding their own and have played well the past two weeks, but the other corner is a concern with Tre Herndon and Montaric "Buster" Brown the options to start against receivers such as Juju Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney. The Chiefs will work to exploit that corner position, no doubt.
- As Sullivan sees it: We have heard all week this is a measuring-stick game; I see it as a way where you can measure if you can compete with a team like this and make it close in the fourth quarter. Even with winning momentum, I cannot pick the Jaguars this week. I see a Chiefs roster that is much more explosive on the offensive side of the ball. If the Jaguars can hold their own and make this a game, that shows me they are trending in the right direction.