January 21, 2023
By Fred Liggett
After watching 12 teams compete in the opening round of the NFL playoffs last weekend the Kansas City Chiefs get to be a part of the fun by kicking off the divisional round games on a Saturday afternoon. The Chiefs welcome back to Kansas City the Jacksonville Jaguars who came to town for a regular season game back on November 13. The Chiefs opened up a 20-0 lead that day en route to a 27-17 win.
Thanks to that regular season meeting the players are familiar with each other having played just two months ago. The coaches of the two playoff teams are very familiar with each other thanks to Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson serving as offensive coordinator under Chiefs head coach Andy Reid both in Philadelphia and in Kansas City.
The Chiefs enter the post-season with an AFC best 14-3 mark while the Jaguars come to KC at 10-8 after their wild card round win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The last time these two teams met the Chiefs improved to 7-2 on the season with the Jaguars falling to 3-7. Since that day the Chiefs have gone 7-1 and the Jaguars have surprisingly caught fire and have the same 7-1 mark.
The Jaguars have improved throughout the season under the guidance of first year head coach Doug Pederson. Helping the cause a lot has been the play of three offensive stars. QB Trevor Lawrence has thrown for 4,113 yards so far this season. One of his favorite targets in WR Christian Kirk has amassed 1,108 yards receiving and RB Travis Etienne has rushed for 1,125 yards. The Chiefs defense will be tested in this playoff opener but could be up to the task on this day due to them performing well to close the regular season.
The Chiefs vs Jaguars series isn’t a long one due to the Jags only coming into existence in 1995. The Chiefs are on a six game winning streak against them and now look to make it seven straight wins. This AFC playoff game will be getting the Sunday Night Football broadcast treatment thanks to the NBC announcing crew on site.
What will the nation see on Saturday afternoon will most likely be a close contest much like what was seen in the wild card games. The Jaguars are young and hungry while the Chiefs are veterans at this playoff thing and playing at home. Expect the Jags to keep it close but the Chiefs will get a play like Kadarius Toney literally hopping into the end zone for a touchdown like he did back on November 13. By Saturday evening it’s the Chiefs who will be celebrating another trip to the AFC Championship game. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.