The Jacksonville Jaguars begin their 25th season in franchise history when they host the Kansas City Chiefs in their 2019 regular season opener on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. at TIAA Bank Field. The 2019 season marks the NFL’s 100th anniversary, while the Jaguars will be playing in their 500th game (counting preseason and postseason) in franchise history. See below for five notable statistics.
Foles Speed Ahead: Sunday marks the beginning of the QB Nick Foles era in Jacksonville after the eighth-year signal caller signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent on March 14, 2019. Foles’ impressive track record includes Super Bowl LII MVP honors after leading Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl title in 2017. Including the postseason, the Austin, Texas native has recorded a 10-3 record as a starter over the past two seasons (2017-18) and is 3-0 in his career on Kickoff Weekend (2014, 2015 and 2018). The Chiefs present some familiarity to Foles as Kansas City Head Coach Andy Reid was his first NFL head coach in Philadelphia in 2012 and again in Kansas City in 2016.
Quotable: “First off, Nick is a great person. I think to be a great leader, you have to be a great person because if you’re off the field doing things you’re not supposed to be doing, it’s really hard to lead, so I think the number one trait of his leadership ability is the type of guy he is. Number two, his confidence in the system, his confidence in me, his confidence in the coaching staff, I think just really, really rubs off on the players. Number three, he leads by example out there on the practice field. He’s always going full speed. He’s always trying to get better every day. He has a plan to get better every day, and I think that rubs off on a lot of our players, especially our younger players.” – OC John DeFilippo on QB Nick Foles leadership
Strength vs. Strength: In 2018, the Jaguars allowed the NFL’s fourth-fewest (tied, Houston) points per game (19.8 ppg), while the Chiefs finished the season with the No. 1 ranked scoring offense (35.3 points per game). Jacksonville was even stronger on defense at home, permitting just 15.1 points per game, the lowest total in the league. The Chiefs totaled 38.3 points per game in their eight road games, scoring at least 35 points in six of those contests. Kansas City’s lowest point total on the road was 27 points, while the most points the Jaguars allowed at TIAA Bank Field was 20.
Quotable: “Yeah, at the time last year when we played them it was a heck of a battle between two teams. They had a good record and we had a good record at the time. You know, we look at the tape. Obviously, we’ve known for a long time that we’re going to play them again in the opener, so we’ve put a lot of extra time into them just because they’re so talented. [Kansas City Chiefs] [Head] Coach [Andy] Reid could be hands down the best guy that’s going to really scheme you. So, we’ve got to do everything we can, once again, to try and keep the ball in front of us and make them earn everything.” – Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash
Conley Connection: Fifth-year WR Chris Conley’s first game with the Jaguars will come against his former team this Sunday. Conley impressed teammates and the coaching staff during OTAs and training camp after spending the first four years of his career with the Chiefs (2015-18). He concluded his tenure in Kansas City in 2018 by playing in all 16 games for the NFL’s No. 3 passing offense (320.4 passing yards per game) and posting a career-high five receiving TDs.
QUOTABLE: “Chris is a guy I have always loved and admired and we have always been good friends. Especially in my time in K.C., we just meshed real well. I’m grateful that he is here. I’m grateful that I get to play with him. I know they miss him in Kansas City. Chris is a guy that can play at the highest level. He is a guy that can get the ball a lot and make a lot of plays ... He is a team guy. He loves his teammates. He can impact a room by the character and person he is and we’re very fortunate to have a guy like him on this roster.” – QB Nick Foles
Kickoff Weekend: The Jaguars look to improve to 3-0 on Kickoff Weekend under Head Coach Doug Marrone. Jacksonville is 7-6 all-time in season openers at home and are 13-11 overall. They are one of nine teams to have won their last two Week 1 contests, while Kansas City has won four consecutive season openers. A victory against the Chiefs would mark the first time the Jaguars have been victorious on Kickoff Weekend in three consecutive years since 2004-06.
Quotable: “I think when you look at [the Chiefs] you’re talking about one of, if not the, top tight end in the league, top receivers, and different receivers, speed, route-running ability, catching. You’re talking about a quarterback that is an MVP quarterback. It’s a great challenge. I think our guys know that going in. They know they have to put a lot of work in, and it’s going to come down to being able to perform.” – Head Coach Doug Marrone
Rookies ready to roll: Several members of the Jaguars rookie class will make their regular season debut on Sunday with two rookies projected to start – OL Jawaan Taylor and LB Quincy Williams. Williams, who did not see action during the preseason due to injury, earned first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors as a senior at Murray State after registering a team-leading 111 tackles. Additionally, Jaguars first-round selection DE Josh Allen will have an impact on the defensive line alongside Pro Bowl DL Calais Campbell and DE Yannick Ngakoue. Allen, who was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018, tied for the team lead during the preseason with three QB hits and three tackles for loss.
Quotable: “[Josh Allen] is very physically blessed, that’s for sure. We got to do stuff together even before we came in for camp. We were working together a little bit and my man is very blessed. He’s a hard worker, he wants to learn. He seeks a lot of knowledge. Those are good things you want to see from a rookie. He understands that he was the seventh-overall pick and the first-round pressure that comes around. He understands that people will expect a lot from him, and he’s just trying to be the best he can be. It’s still early, we still have a lot of time to figure it out. First impressions are pretty good.” – DL Calais Campbell
Every week during the 2019 season, Jaguars Public Relations Assistant David Wolf will write five key stats with supporting quotes about the Jaguars’ upcoming game. A Chapel Hill, N.C. native, Wolf joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in May 2018.