Nick Foles vs The Jaguars secondary
Nick Foles is making his first start of the 2016 season. He replaces the ultra reliable Alex Smith who is out with some sort of undisclosed head injury. Following a mind-blowing 2013 season in Philadelphia, Foles has bounced around the league from the Eagles to the Rams to the Chiefs. He generally is a good decision maker and doesn't make the big mistake. In his first and only start against the Jaguars he threw for over 300 yards and 2 TDs. That was then and this is now. The Jaguars new look secondary is performing at a high level with the additions of Jalen Ramsey, Tashaun Gipson, and Prince Amukamara. They are a top 10 unit, giving up less that 225 yards a game through the air. If the Jaguars hope to beat the Chiefs and improve to 3-5 on the year, they will need the secondary to play good football, but that may not be enough. They'll likely need to force some turnovers, something the Jags have not been able to do in 2016.
Malik Jackson vs the Chiefs interior lineman
Malik Jackson has been playing solid football for the Jaguars in 2016, but hasn't been the same disruptive force that he was in Denver where he was surrounded by the likes on Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. This week he'll be matched up with an an improving Chiefs interior line. At guard the Chiefs will have Zack Fulton and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, neither of whom inspire great confidence individually. Duvernay-Tardif has been exceptionally bad in pass and run blocking situations and should be targeted early and often by the Jaguars front. At center they deploy Mitch Morse who is a decent pass blocker, but is seriously lacking against the run. While none of these interior offensive lineman have played great individually, the unit has made big strides as the year has gone on and has given up only 4 total sacks in the last 3 games. While they have shown improvement this an interior O-Line that Malik Jackson MUST take advantage of if the Jaguars are to make things uncomfortable for Foles and the Chiefs passing attack.
Dee Ford vs the Jaguars offensive tackles
After being selected in the 1st round of the 2014 Draft Dee Ford struggled to make a true impact for the Chiefs in his first two years with the team. My, has the switch flipped! In 2016 Ford has 7 sacks, good for 5th in the NFL. Even more impressive over half of them have been non coverage sacks, which means he is straight whipping offensive lineman a couple of times a game. The Jaguars have given up 17 sacks this year, which isn't a terrible number. But when faced with elite level edge rushers, the Jaguars offensive tackles and tight ends have been overwhelmed time and time again. Kelvin Beachum and Jermey Parnell will have their hands full this week trying stop Dee Ford, who is an ultra quick edge rusher that has the ability to get to the QB in a hurry. The Jaguars "new look" offense will need to keep Bortles upright if they have any chance of winning in Kansas City.
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