Sep 17, 2023

🏈 Chiefs trying to avoid 0-2 start Sunday at Jags.

Posted Sep 17, 2023 12:30 AM

By The Associated Press

The Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars are playing for the third time in 10 months. The Chiefs won both meetings last season, including in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. Kansas City is coming off a 21-20 loss to Detroit in the opener, but should be better with tight end Travis Kelce and defensive tackle Chris Jones returning in Jacksonville. The Chiefs are trying to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2014. The previous defending Super Bowl champion to start 0-2 was Denver in 1999. The Broncos started 0-4 that season after Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway retired.

KANSAS CITY (0-1) at JACKSONVILLE (1-0)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS

OPENING LINE: Chiefs by 3½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Kansas City 0-1; Jacksonville 1-0.

SERIES RECORD: Chiefs lead 9-6, including seven consecutive wins.

LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Jaguars 27-20 on Jan. 21, 2023, in Kansas City.

LAST WEEK: Chiefs lost to Lions 21-20; Jaguars won at Colts 31-21.

CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (12), RUSH (21), PASS (9), SCORING (T22).

CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (26), RUSH (4), PASS (22), SCORING (T14).

JAGUARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (12), PASS (T7), SCORING (5).

JAGUARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (15), RUSH (4), PASS (22), SCORING (T19).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Chiefs even, Jaguars plus-1.

CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: DT Chris Jones is expected to play for the first time this season after ending his holdout earlier this week and signing a reworked, one-year deal. Jones watched the opener from a suite at Arrowhead Stadium. He matched a career high with 15 1/2 sacks last season, but it’s unclear how effective he will be after missing the entire offseason, training camp and preseason games and only practicing a couple of days this week.

JAGUARS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in his Jacksonville debut. He showed a combination of speed, elusiveness and playmaking ability that the franchise has lacked at the position since five-time Pro Bowler Jimmy Smith retired in 2006.

KEY INJURIES: Chiefs star TE Travis Kelce missed the opener after hyperextending his knee in practice two days before kickoff, but he's expected to play in Jacksonville. ... The Jaguars could be without two starting offensive linemen. Veteran RG Brandon Scherff (ankle) and second-year C Luke Fortner (ankle) missed practice Wednesday, with coach Doug Pederson saying Fortner is closer to being able to return.

SERIES NOTES: The Jaguars are 4-3 against the Chiefs in Jacksonville. … Jacksonville’s most recent win against Kansas City came on Nov. 8, 2009. … The previous two times the teams met in a home opener for the Jaguars, the Chiefs knocked out Jacksonville’s starting quarterback: Nick Foles (broken collarbone) in 2019 and Blaine Gabbert (gashed hand) in 2013.

STATS AND STUFF: The Chiefs are trying to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2014. … The most recent defending Super Bowl champ to start 0-2 was Denver in 1999 as the Broncos began life without Hall of Fame QB John Elway. … Kansas City's Andy Reid has 269 wins. One more would tie Tom Landry for fourth on the NFL’s career list. ... Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes needs 533 yards passing to reach 25,000. He also needs six TD passes to reach 200. ... Mahomes has 15 wins when the Chiefs have trailed entering the fourth quarter. ... Mahomes and Kelce have connected for 46 TDs. They are five behind Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham for third in QB-to-TE connections. ... Kelce needs five TD catches to pass Tony Gonzalez for second on the franchise list. ... Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney dropped three passes last week against Detroit, including one that was returned 50 yards for a TD. Kansas City dropped eight as a team. ... Chiefs RBs combined to run 14 times for 45 yards against the Lions. Mahomes had 45 yards rushing on six carries. ... The Chiefs had 11 different players catch a pass against Detroit. Nobody had more than 48 yards receiving. … The Jaguars are looking for their fourth 2-0 start in the past two decades, with the previous one coming in 2018. … Jacksonville has won six consecutive games as home underdogs, including a 5-0 record last season that was the best single-season mark in the Super Bowl era. … Pederson is 0-3 against his mentor, Reid. Pederson played and coached under Reid. ... The Jaguars have to find a way to slow down Kelce, who caught 20 passes for 179 yards and three TDs in their two games in 2022.

FANTASY TIP: Look for Toney and Jaguars WR Christian Kirk to have much better showings in Week 2 than they did in their openers. Toney combined for 140 total yards and a touchdown in the two head-to-head games last season while Kirk totaled 175 yards and three scores.