Chiefs aim for 5th straight AFC title game by beating Jags
JACKSONVILLE (10-8) at KANSAS CITY (14-3)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. EST, NBC
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Chiefs by 8 1/2.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Jaguars 9-9, Chiefs 6-10-1.
SERIES RECORD: Chiefs lead 8-6.
LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Jaguars 27-17 on Nov. 13 in Kansas City.
LAST WEEK: Jaguars beat Chargers 31-30; Chiefs Off.
JAGUARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (14), PASS (10), SCORING (10)
JAGUARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (24), RUSH (12), PASS (28), SCORING (12)
CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (20), PASS (1), SCORING (1)
CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (8), PASS (18), SCORING (16)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Jaguars plus-5; Chiefs minus-3.
JAGUARS PLAYER TO WATCH: PK Riley Patterson has made 18 of his past 19 field-goal attempts, including a 36-yarder to beat the Chargers last week. His worst game of the season came at Kansas City, where he missed two field goals wide left in the second quarter as the Chiefs built a 20-7 halftime lead in their eventual 27-17 win in November.
CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: Patrick Mahomes is 8-3 in the postseason with all of his losses coming in the AFC title game or the Super Bowl. The All-Pro QB has thrown for 2,825 yards with 26 TD passes and three interceptions in his nine playoff games at Arrowhead Stadium.
KEY MATCHUP: Mahomes against the Jacksonville pass defense, which was better than only four other teams. He threw for 331 yards with TD passes to four different receivers against the Jags in November. But they fared well against the Chargers’ Justin Herbert in the wild-card round, sacking him three times while allowing 273 yards and one TD pass.
INJURIES: Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (toe) remains on the injury report but is no danger of missing the game, while LS Ross Matiscik (back), RG Brandon Scherff (abdomen), KR Jamal Agnew (shoulder) and C Luke Fortner (back) are dealing with minor dings. Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman (abdomen) remains out, though the rest of the team is healthy.
SERIES NOTES: The Jaguars and Chiefs are meeting in the playoffs for the first time. Kansas City has won six straight in the series going back to 2010 with four of the wins coming at Arrowhead Stadium.
STATS AND STUFF: Jacksonville has won six in a row and is the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game the year after finishing with the worst (or tied for the worst) record in the league. ... The Jaguars overcame a 27-0 deficit last week to stun the Chargers. It was the third-largest comeback in postseason history. ... Jacksonville has eight wins as an underdog this season, tied for the most in a season in the Super Bowl era. ... Lawrence is the sixth QB in NFL history with four or more TD passes in his first career playoff start. He had two TD passes, no turnovers and a 106.1 rating in Week 10 against the Chiefs. ... Jacksonville WR Christian Kirk had a season-high nine catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting with Kansas City. ... Jaguars LB Foye Oluokun led the NFL in tackles (184) for the second straight year while LB Josh Allen has a tackle for loss in five of his past six games. ... Kansas City concluded the regular season with five straight wins. ... The Chiefs have gained at least 300 yards in a club-record 16 consecutive games. They finished with 7,032 yards in the regular season to set another franchise record. ... The Chiefs had 55 sacks this season, second only to the 60 they had in 1990. They had just 31 last season. ... Mahomes had 5,614 yards passing and rushing this season to break Drew Brees’ record of 5,562 set in 2011, though Mahomes did it during a 17-game regular season. His 5,250 yards passing broke his own Chiefs record of 5,097 set in 2018. ... Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught 110 passes, one behind Tyreek Hill’s club record set in 2021. Kelce needs two catches to pass Shannon Sharpe (816) for fourth among tight ends. ... Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon has caught a TD pass in six straight games, one off Dwayne Bowe’s team record set in 2010. ... LB Nick Bolton had 180 tackles this season, breaking Derrick Johnson’s club record by one. ... Chiefs DT Chris Jones had 15 1/2 sacks to tie his personal best. The total trailed only Nick Bosa (17 1/2) and Haason Reddick (16) for most in the league. ... P Tommy Townsend set Chiefs records for punting average (50.42 yards) and net punting average (45.58) in a season.
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