Chiefs vs. Jaguars: Key matchups to watch for Week 2

The Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) are visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) for Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Jacksonville Jaguars v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Jacksonville Jaguars v Kansas City Chiefs / Jason Hanna/GettyImages
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3. Chiefs Secondary vs Calvin Ridley

The Jaguars lacked a bonafide top-tier offensive weapon last season and still had one of the better offenses in the NFL. Injected into their wide receiver group isCalvin Ridley. The former Atlanta Falcons wideout was seemingly forgotten about after being suspended for the 2022 NFL season.

After 1 week of action as a Jaguar, Ridley’s presence was felt again. Versus the Colts he had 8 receptions (on 11 targets) for 101 yards. Ridley also got into the endzone for a touchdown. He is clearly the first option in Jacksonville's passing attack.  The Chiefs will have to get a strong showing from their defensive backs to maintain Ridley’s production. Their goal should be to limit him similar to last week when up against Lions’ wide receiverAmon-Ra St. Brown(6 receptions for 71 yards, 1 TD).

Although it will be a challenge, the cornerback group has matured and has the ability to make plays. Trent McDuffie to start the season logged 8 total tackles and a forced fumble. L’Jarius Sneed is still their best defensive back and has the experience covering top wideouts. Jaylen WatsonandJoshua Williams made plays last season as rookies and should be up to the task when guarding Ridley. 

Chiefs safeties Bryan Cook and Justin Reid will be less comfortable attempting to cover Calvin Ridley. Cook looks the part, but he is still an unknown since it is his first year with a large role on this defense. Reid didn’t look great last week but he has shown to put together good games in a Chiefs uniform. Asking a safety to win in coverage versus a wide receiver with Ridley’s talent is probably asking too much. 

How will Kansas City choose to cover Calvin Ridley to minimize his role in the game?