After resting during their bye week, the Chiefs return to action with a road trip to Jacksonville. In the 14 years since the Jaguars entered the league as an expansion team, Kansas City has made four trips to ALLTEL Stadium, but only once have they come away with the win.
In fact, even counting games played at Arrowhead, the Chiefs haven't found much success against the Jags. The two teams have met a total of seven times, but the Chiefs have managed to win on just two occasions. Their 2-5 record against Jacksonville is their second-worst mark against any team in the league (they're 2-9 against the New York Giants).
The Jaguars were one of the league's bigger disappointments in 2008, finishing 5-11 a year after making the playoffs. The main cause for their poor record was a rash of injuries to their offensive line, which resulted in a serious regression of their run game. While their passing yards per game were almost identical, last season's Jags rushed for over 600 fewer yards than they had in 2007.
With their offense finding less success, Jacksonville also regressed defensively last season, ranking 17th overall, 24th against the pass, and 13th against the run.
Why The Chiefs Could Win
Like many teams that suffer through a losing season, the Jaguars weren't particularly fearsome on their home turf last year. Jacksonville won just two of their eight home games, including a loss to the 4-12 Cleveland Browns.
Talk has already begun that the Jags will be facing a string of TV blackouts in 2009, which occur when ticket sales are too low for the game to be aired in the local market. If there aren't enough fans in the stands to provide the team with a home-field advantage, perhaps it can help the Chiefs reverse the string of bad luck they've had against Jacksonville.
Why The Chiefs Will Lose
Since their problems last year were caused by injuries, the Jaguars' poor record is misleading. Not only should their offensive line return in better health, but after the release of Fred Taylor, their running game could end up even stronger with the bulk of the carries now going to the younger and more talented Maurice Jones-Drew.
In a tough division that features both the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars may not return to the playoffs this season. But they should still be able to bounce back from their disappointing 2008 campaign.
For a Chiefs team that's still trying to find their way, a road game against the improved Jags will be a tough hurdle to overcome.
Most Likely Outcome: the Chiefs (2-6) drop another tough one.
Reading KC's Fortune - Week 9
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