Film Study: How the Chiefs can defeat the defensive juggernaut Jaguars
By Grant Tuttle
Offensive Public Enemy #1:
TJ Yeldon, RB
No, Yeldon is not Leonard Fournette. However, he is exactly what the Chiefs have struggled with all season; A receiving back. With great skills in space, Yeldon can quickly get to the second level. Jacksonville’s offense is also built for power run plays, which the team struggled with in Denver. Yeldon is easily the scariest part of the offense for the Chiefs defense.
Offensive Public Enemy #2:
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE
Seferian-Jenkins has just enough athleticism to be scary in the passing game. With an uptick in opposing offenses targeting the Chiefs safeties, expect Seferian-Jenkins to be a major part of the Jags game plan.
Offensive Public Enemy # 3:
Keelan Cole, WR
While Cole is not an overly dangerous receiver, he is fundamentally solid. Steven Nelson and Kendall Fuller will need to be prepared for Coles quickness in and out of routes. Cole is also very good at getting a last minute push-off against defenders. He has yet to be penalized for it, so it remains something to keep an eye on.
Defensive Public Enemy:
Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye, CBs
It would have been easy to write the entire defense down as the defensive public enemy. For the Chiefs, however, the defensive backfield is the biggest enemy. By signing Sammy Watkins in the offseason to pair with Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs were sending a message to the rest of the NFL that they could match up with anyone on the outside. Beating up on this cornerback tandem would prove it.
Offensive Scheming Player #1:
Tyreek Hill, WR
Despite Jalen Ramsey’s comments, I don’t think he will press Hill. However, with incredible speed, Hill will be important underneath. If the Chiefs can give him a little bit of space in the flats, he has a chance to take it to the house. If Ramsey does press, Hill will beat him at least once or twice deep.
Offensive Scheming Player #2:
Travis Kelce, TE
Kelce is one of the NFL’s biggest mismatches. Even with an incredibly fast defense, he can win in the middle of the field with his strength and size. If the Jaguars get too focused on slowing down the outside receivers, Kelce should see some space in the middle of the field.
Offensive Scheming Player #3:
De’Anthony Thomas, WR
For this game, Thomas could be a good asset. If the Chiefs use him as a running back that runs out to the flats, he could see some very good opportunities. I would love to see them use him to try to lure off a safety. Or better yet, if they try to put a linebacker on him, he would create separation quickly.
Defensive Player that needs to step up:
Anthony Hitchens, LB
Hitchens had looked at least serviceable in the rushing game until last week. If the Chiefs want to get the Jaguars off of the field, he will need to bounce back in a major way. Yeldon and Seferian-Jenkins will be tough tasks for Hitchens this week.
The Chiefs have a real opportunity to look like the team to beat in the AFC. In order to win this game, they will need to be up for a real dog fight. The Chiefs, as a team, will need to show more mental toughness than they have in previous seasons. That being said, if the Chiefs don’t come out flat, they have a good chance of winning this game.
While this is their toughest matchup yet, the NFL is starting to gear towards powerful offenses. If it is an equal playing field for the Chiefs offense and Jaguars defense, I would generally give the tie to the offense. It will be a close game, but I expect the Chiefs to win at home.