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Posted by linchao in Sports on January 11th, 2019

Five things to watch as the Chiefs host the Jaguars The last time the Kansas City Chiefs played the Jacksonville Jaguars — just the season before last — the Jaguars were 2-6 , and the Chiefs were 6-2.The Chiefs had an average offense and a stout defense.The Jaguars had a below-average offense and defense.Things have changed quite a bit since then.Here are five things to keep an eye on during the game:1. To blitz, or not to blitz?David Butler II-USA TODAY SportsOn Monday, the Denver Broncos blitzed Patrick Mahomes quite a bit, hoping to shake him up and render him ineffective.According to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, the Broncos were running some blitz packages the Chiefs had not seen on film.It worked for a while — that is, until the Chiefs had time to figure out what the Broncos were doing, and Mahomes got himself settled down.Could this be a formula the Jaguars might attempt?It’s possible.The Jaguars don’t tend to blitz a lot, so they could see this as a way to catch the Chiefs off-guard and rattle Mahomes the same way the Broncos did.But if we believe what the Chiefs constantly say — that Mahomes is a super-quick study and doesn’t tend to make the same mistakes twice — whether or not it would work is open to question.Either way, one battle to watch will be between Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. — their best pass rusher — and Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.2. To Tyreek, or not to Tyreek?Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY SportsNow that Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey — like San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin before him — has decided to make Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill an object of trash talk this week, you have to wonder if the Chiefs will take advantage of this situation.It would be pretty tempting for chess-master Andy Reid to simply use Tyreek Hill as a decoy to keep Ramsey — easily the best cornerback the Jaguars have — out of the picture, which would provide openings for other Chiefs receivers.It’s not as if the Chiefs don’t have some other ones that are pretty good, too.On the other hand... Ramsey isn’t quite all that, either.And Ramsey is clearly under-informed about Hill’s ability as a wide receiver.We could easily see Reid decide to just let them settle this matter between themselves.if you don’t see Hill getting a lot of targets early in the game, Reid has probably decided to make his chess move.But if that happens, you should still expect Hill to get a big catch late in the game.After all... it’s no fun to use Hill as a decoy if you can’t spring him as a surprise later.3. To tackle Sammy Watkins Jersey , or not to tackle?Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsYou don’t need me to tell you the Chiefs need to improve their tackling.We’ve all been talking about it all week.Especially against Denver on Monday night, the Chiefs defense seemed to be unable to get anybody wrapped up and on the ground.Do they need to get this cleaned up?Absolutely.It would go a long way towards improving the Chiefs run defense.But we should remember that it’s pretty easy to lose sight of the fact that the other team gets paid to play, too.Players like Royce Freeman of the Broncos, Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers and James Conner of the Pittsburgh Steelers tend to break a lot of tackles when they’re playing teams besides the Chiefs, too.Here you might be tempted to point out that since Leonard Fournette has been ruled out of Sunday’s game, we might not see as much of this problem against the Jaguars.But don’t kid yourself:T.J. Yeldon is no slouch.The Chiefs need to pay attention to that guy.And wrap him up.4. Can Eric Murray continue to improve?Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsThis season hasn’t played out quite like we expected.Back in June, the Nerd Squad’s Matt Lane wrote that Eric Murray could be a player to watch at safety this season. But back in June, we all thought he’d be trying to take a spot alongside the All-World Eric Berry, instead of Ron Parker — a player the Chiefs released after last season.Still, slowly but steadily, Murray has begun finding his way — and against the Broncos, had his best game of the season, with five tackles and an athletic interception.If he can continue to improve, it’s possible that he could keep the job when — and if — Berry returns to the field.Let’s keep an eye on this young man.5. How will the weather affect this game?Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesAt this writing on Friday morning, forecasters expect rain at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon — not just rain, but thunderstorms.And there’s likely to be a lot of rain in Kansas City before Sunday even arrives Authentic nthony Hitchens Jersey , making the condition of Arrowhead’s natural-grass surface even more of a concern.How will this affect the passing game on which the Chiefs have depended thus far this season? How will it affect the size and enthusiasm of the home crowd, on which the Chiefs defense so often depends?Much will depend on the amount of rainfall — and right now, it’s looking like there will be a lot.Patrick Mahomes Week 5 film review: something good and something bad This is part one of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes.Two Mondays ago, we saw Patrick Mahomes’ first comeback on Monday Night Football, in his fifth career start, on the road against a divisional opponent. The post-game buzz in the city was nothing like we’ve seen. The kid continues to one up himself, convince everyone this isn’t a fluke and put the league on notice. Although still plenty of great moments for the young quarterback showed up on tape, the home win against the Jaguars was not the same kind of performance that we’ve seen from him. But something more important was revealed in that game: the Chiefs fully took on Mahomes’ energy, confidence and personality.Mahomes has been the guy for five wins to start the 2019 campaign, but Sunday felt different throughout the rest of the team. Mahomes’ fearlessness was prevalent on both sides of the ball. No one was scared of the bullies, and both sides of the ball played like it. Mahomes wanted to scrap, and the rest of the team wanted to scrap with him. He was more demonstrative and active after the whistle and from the sidelines, and his team and the crowd fed off of it.After seeing the response this week, Monday Night Football seemed to be a galvanizing moment for this organization. Mahomes proved himself on the biggest stage, and now the rest of the team fully believes. He checked a lot of the remaining boxes. In a production business, he produced in the biggest way. The feel of the team yesterday shifted from Youth Kendall Fuller Jersey , “He’s talented and playing great ball,” to “He’s it and can take us to February.”Everyone looks completely bought in. The entire team played like they knew they had the guy. The buzz didn’t die with the fans. The organization has shifted. Monday Night Football may prove to have been an exorcism. There will be a few losses this season, but belief isn’t going to die because of them. This team is playing like it knows it has one of the best quarterbacks in the game.Something goodYou knew we had to talk about this play, right?The Chiefs are lined up in a closed formation into the boundary that they used frequently against the Jaguars. Tyreek Hill is lined up to the field against Jalen Ramsey, who had kept Hill relatively quiet through the first three quarters of the game. The Jaguars are playing with a single-high safety.Based on alignment, where they are on the field and Ramsey in press, this is the kind of situation where taking a shot to Hill makes a ton of sense. The opportunity was correctly identified by Mahomes. He does a great job holding the middle-field safety with his eyes before going to Hill late. There’s a lot of trust built up with Mahomes and his weapons.Mahomes delivers a great ball, up and down with timing, touch and anticipation. He dropped it right into Hill, who didn’t have to adjust at all to the ball and came close to finishing it for six. Hill had been wearing down Ramsey during the game, and the timing to execute this play was perfect.BONUS GOODI wanted to make sure to give this play some attention too.You’re taking your fullback 15 yards down the field on third-and-1!? Pat, you savage. It was the smart decision. The Chiefs have been using these play-side rolls off of the run action a lot recently and primarily have hit the running back in the flat. Mahomes doesn’t like the look to Spencer Ware in the flat (he probably gets the first down), and gets off him quick. With a free rusher in his face, Mahomes elects to hit his fullback (TE3!?) running a corner route (!!!). It was a quick decision, showed a lot of trust and a great ball. First down en route to another opening drive score.Something badMahomes tried a little too hard a few times this week. It’s third down inside the 10-yard line in the second quarter. The Chiefs line up in an empty formation. He has time to work through the plan initially and does a good job hanging in there to see it out. He feels pressure front side and starts an escape left. With a linebacker closing, Mahomes tries to get depth to escape , resulting in a sack and a loss of 15.The Chiefs were forced to kick a 42-yard field goal after being just nine away from scoring. Not exactly a chip shot in the rain. Speaking of rain a situation like this, where your footing won’t be perfect, against one of the best defenses in football, already up, is not the time to try so hard to create. Throw it to De’Anthony Thomas and give him a chance or flip it near him for an incomplete pass.Mahomes isn’t going to make that mistake again. As the games start to matter more, these kind of things can’t happen. I’m sure he knows that now. Yes, he’s uniquely capable of extending and making plays others can’t, but situation should always be taken into consideration as well. Quarterback anecdoteEvery week, I add a quick note about something I’ve picked up about the quarterback position through my time learning and playing the game.Quarterbacks get prepared for the elements long before they have to play in them. Coaches love practices in the rain during training camp to get teams ready for unpredictable conditions. If the forecast is not letting a coach get enough looks in adverse weather during camp, some teams will drench footballs in water and make you play in team periods with them. For a small school like where I was at, that meant using balls that were 15-plus years old with the laces about off of them. It didn’t go well.



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