NFL DIVISIONAL ROUND GAME 1: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Our NFL Divisional Weekend kicks off with the biggest mismatch (according to the books) of both brackets as the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to the top seed in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs, Saturday, with a chance to play in the AFC Championship on the line.
This is not exactly a storied rivalry as this will just be the 15th meeting all time between the two franchises. The Chiefs hold a slight 8-6 advantage in the series. They have never faced off in the postseason before. They last locked horns this season on Nov. 13, with Kansas City claiming a 27-17 victory in Arrowhead.
In the victory, Patrick Mahomes finished 26 of 35 for 331 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Isiah Pacheco rushed 16 times for 82 yards. Travis Kelce caught six passes for 81yards and a score. Jerick McKinnon hauled in six balls for 56 yards. Kadarius Toney had four grabs for 57 yards and a TD. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had three receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Trevor Lawrence was 29 of 40 for 259 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Travis Etienne had 11 carries for 45 yards and caught three passes for 28. Christian Kirk caught nine balls for 105 yards and two scores. Zay Jones had eight catches for 68 yards.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-9, O/U: 52)
Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
Kickoff: Jan. 21, 4:30 p.m. EST
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (10-8)
Trevor Lawrence aced his playoff debut by ruining Justin Herbert’s in a 31-30 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers last week that saw the Jags come back from a 27-0 first half deficit and Lawrence bounce back from four interceptions. Lawrence finished his winning afternoon 28 of 47 for 288 yards, four touchdowns and the aforementioned four picks. Travis Etienne Jr. rushed 20 times for 109 yards. Evan Engram caught seven passes for 93 yards and a score. Christian Kirk had eight receptions for 78 yards and TD. Zay Jones hauled in eight balls for 74 yards and a touchdown.
The defense sacked Herbert three times, held Los Angeles to 67 total yards on the ground and just three points in the second half as the Jags mounted their comeback.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (14-3)
Kansas City enjoyed a first round bye after bashing the Las Vegas Raiders’ heads in, 31-13, in the final game of the regular season to secure homefield advantage for at least the AFC Divisional round.
Patrick Mahomes ended his easy Sunday afternoon 18 of 26 for 202 yards and a touchdown. Isiah Pacheco rushed eight times for 64 yards and a TD. Ronald Jones had 10 carries for 45 yards and a score. Justin Watson caught one pass for 67 yards.
The defense sacked Jarrett Stidham six times, picked him off once and forced a fumble.
Nothing would be more fun than watching Doug Pederson and his new QB, Trevor Lawrence, shock the world and knock off his old boss Andy Reid and the Chiefs to basically wrap up any concern over a “neutral field” AFC Championship game. But, yeah, none of us believe it’ll happen. Chiefs 30, Jaguars 20
Straight up: 3-3
Against the spread: 0-6
Straight up: 169-106-2
Against the spread: 153-124
Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.