November 12, 2022
By Fred Liggett
No one said it was going to be easy and it sure turned out that way as the Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up the hardest eight-game stretch in NFL history last Sunday night with a heart pounding 20-17 overtime win over the Tennessee Titans. Now the second half of the 2022 season begins for the first place Chiefs and the opener is at home against the 3-6 Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Chiefs enter the week at 6-2 with a one game lead in the AFC West Division. The last test for the Chiefs was against the AFC South leading Titans, this week it’s the Jaguars who have improved enough to be in third place in the division just a half game behind the Indy Colts. This week the Chiefs will be playing their third AFC South opponent of the season. Chiefs stand at 1-1 after a huge win over Tennessee and a road loss at Indy. The Jaguars come to KC to play their third AFC West team in a row. Last week the Jaguars celebrated the end of a five-game losing streak with a come from behind win over the Las Vegas Raiders. The week before saw the Jags come up four points short in a loss at Denver.
Despite a heavy dose of first place teams dotting the Chiefs first half schedule the team is faring well with injuries. When the team returned to the field on Wednesday to begin practicing for this week’s game only one player failed to practice, WR Mecole Hardman. Other notables on the Chiefs injury report were Tight Ends Jody Fortson and Travis Kelce but both players were full participants in practice. The Jaguars are also dealing with a banged up tight end in Evan Engram a key contributor to the Jags offense.
Chiefs fans will get their first look at QB Trevor Lawrence who enjoyed an All-American career at Clemson before being drafted #1 overall in the 2021 draft by the Jaguars. Lawrence led the effort in the team’s comeback from a 17-0 deficit to win 27-24 over the Raiders. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has thrown for over 2,600 yards so far this season and Lawrence isn’t far behind him at 2,075. Guiding the Jaguars this season and being a mentor to the second year QB is Doug Pederson. Chiefs fans may recall Pederson serving as Offensive Coordinator here in Kansas City at the start of the Andy Reid Era. Pederson served as Philadelphia Eagles head coach after his stay in Kansas City and took the Eagles to the Super Bowl.
You don’t have to follow the NFL much to know the Chiefs are a heavy favorite this week against Jacksonville. The Chiefs biggest opponent might be looking ahead to next week when the Chiefs must travel to Los Angeles to play division rival Chargers. On Tuesday this week the NFL announced the Chiefs at Chargers game had been moved to Sunday Night Football on NBC due to so much interest. For fans worried about that being a problem Head Coach Andy Reid addressed the topic on Wednesday. Reid stated “our guys got to have a good week of practice.”
Game time this week is at noon Sunday for the Chiefs something they have only had once so far this season. That game was at Indianapolis and the result was a Chiefs loss. Don’t see a repeat here as the growing Jaguars get another lesson in how far they must still go to reach the top of the AFC. The Chiefs will easily win this one in front of their fans who won’t be worried till the end like last week. Chiefs improve to 7-2 when this one is done. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.