It’s a AFC Divisional Round playoff rematch on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Jacksonville Jaguars with KC currently a 3-point #NFLWeek2 favorite. #ChiefsKingdom quarterback Patrick Mahomes is not only 4-0 in his career against the Jags, including postseason, but he has never even trailed. Jacksonville, meanwhile, is 0-2 vs. the Chiefs and 9-1 against everyone else in its past 12 games including playoffs.
Will Mahomes have his favorite target in All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce? The future Hall of Famer – and rumored new boyfriend of Taylor Swift -- missed the Week 1 home loss to Detroit with a knee injury. That the Lions game was played on a Thursday only helps Kelce, who has practiced in a limited basis so far this week but also did ahead of Detroit. Offensive coordinator Matt Nagy said that coach Andy Reid and GM Brett Veach will make the call on whether he plays Sunday.
Kelce has by far more career receiving yards and receiving TDs than all other Kansas City receivers and tight ends on the roster combined. Without him vs. Detroit, the Chiefs had zero second-half touchdowns for the first time Week 3 in 2022 (lost to Colts) and had zero second-half third-down conversions for the first time with Mahomes since 2021. Mahomes is 13-3 after a loss in his career.
We think Kelce plays as the Chiefs try to avoid a 0-2 start. They could become only the 5th defending Super Bowl champion to start 0-2 and first since the 1999 Denver Broncos, who were two-time defending Super Bowl champions but lost John Elway after title No. 2.
The Chiefs were 2-0 vs. the Jaguars last year, both at Arrowhead Stadium, winning 27-17 in the regular season and 27-20 in the Divisional Round. Kelce was a big factor in both, catching six balls for 81 yards and a TD in the regular season and with 14 catches for 98 yards and two scores in the playoff game. The catches were an NFL postseason record for a tight end.
Kansas City’s best defensive player, tackle Chris Jones, will play after missing the opener due to a contract holdout. Jones has since been paid and was in the top 5 in the NFL in sacks, pressures and QB hits last season. Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 3-0 in his career against Jags coach Doug Pederson, who spent three seasons as Reid’s offensive coordinator (2013-15 Chiefs).
Jacksonville was a 31-21 winner at Indianapolis in Week 1 and Calvin Ridley’s #DUUUVAL debut was a huge success as he caught eight passes from Trevor Lawrence for 101 yards and a TD. It was the Jags’ sixth straight regular-season victory (5-1 ATS), their longest such streak since winning 11 straight in 1999. #KCvsJAX