Free NFL Picks: Jacksonville at Kansas City 10-24-2010

October 22, 2010

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Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday October 24th, 2010

Line: Kansas City -7

Overview:

The 3-3 Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Arrowhead to take on the 3-2 Kansas City Chiefs.The Chiefs had a tough road trip, acquiring losses against the Titans and Colts. They will look to reestablish themselves as a force in the AFC West by knocking off the Jaguars, who have been hit or miss all season long. After beating the Colts, the Jaguars were blown out by the Titans at home two weeks later. The Jaguars are a hard team to read, but there are a few conditions this week that may make them easier to break down.

Keys  to the Game:

  • David Garrard is out, Trent Edwards is questionable, so does that mean Todd Bouman gets the nod? Jacksonville has problems staying consistent at quarterback even with Garrard in the game. Trent Edwards looked average in the pocket, but the Jaguars are not going to be able to be productive with Bouman, who has not thrown a single pass in the NFL since 2005. He is the team’s emergency quarterback and if you thought the Jags were one dimensional before, they are the poster of it now. Jacksonville is downright terrible when it comes to throwing the ball. Part of this is due to shaky quarterback play, but part of it is because the Jaguars have little to no weapons that draw the defense’s attention. They have an elite running back, so you would think they could capitalize on teams loading up to stop the run. They throw the ball for a pitiful 166 yards a game. Bouman’s job is going to be to stay alive and not fumble the ball when he hands the ball off to Maurice Jones-Drew.
  • The Chiefs can’t afford to let up like they did against Houston. They allowed a come from behind victory on the road in a game that could have launched them head and shoulders above the rest of the AFC West. They need to bounce back and make a statement against the Jaguars. With Bouman on the other side, Romeo Crennel should be able to devise a game plan that is conducive to shutting down Jones- Drew. The Chiefs have struggled against stopping the pass this season, but their run defense has been a force to be reckoned with. This makes the Jaguars the perfect opponent for the Chiefs to face.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew is the only player on the Jaguars offense that teams carry about. Marcedes Lewis has the potential to have big games, but Jones-Drew is the only player that makes or breaks the Jaguars. Teams know this, so they have 22 eyes on the one man wrecking crew at all times. The Chiefs are a great run defense. Jacksonville having no quarterback gives them the green light to run blitz at will. They don’t have to play honest, which gives them flexibility all over the field. This will spell trouble for Jones-Drew, who already has teams gearing up to stop him even with Gerrard in the game.
  • The Chiefs have the best run attack in the NFL, allotting 164.6 yards a game on the ground. The Jacksonville defense is anything but stingy, so you can expect the Chiefs to run the ball at will. They have the premier three headed monster in their backfield. Dexter McCluster, Thomas Jones, and Jamaal Charles all bring different talents to the table and can all take the ball to the house on every touch. McCluster is shifty and his quickness makes him especially effective on counters and cut back runs. His touches are limited, though he is the most versatile player on the Chiefs team, contributing on special teams and offense. Thomas Jones is the most complete back, running between the tackles for the tough yards and bouncing runs outside as the team sees fit. The blazing speed of Charles makes it difficult for defenses to prepare against the Chiefs. Even if teams shut down one of the backs, nobody has been able to completely eliminate the ground game. There is no reason to believe the Jaguars are going to put a stop to that trend.

Wrap Up:

While the Chiefs have struggled in their last two games, they are playing at Arrowhead. It is a very difficult place to go in and come out with a victory, especially given their 38 year old emergency quarterback the Jaguars are headed into battle with. I give the nod to the Chiefs in this one. They are undefeated at home and have beaten both opponents by at least seven.

Free NFL Pick: Kansas City -7


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