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chiefStats: Five stats that could determine the Chiefs’ game against Jaguars

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The Chiefs will go up against a top defense Sunday in the Jaguars, but Andy Reid’s track record is good.

Welcome to the Week 5 edition of chiefStats — the place where I throw a few numbers your direction and you catch them... all the while gaining some key information leading up to the game.

Last week, I referenced the Broncos defense no longer being the “No Fly Zone.” The Chiefs put up 304 passing yards along with a passing touchdown against the Broncos, so I suppose the commentary came to fruition.

This week, our focus shifts toward the Jaguars, and below, you will find five topics that should bear importance on Sunday.


1. Wrecking defenses

So far this season, the Chiefs offense has been wrecking each defense it has faced. So basically, teams go up against the Chiefs with a decently-ranked defense, and then they leave with their tail between their legs.

Defensive PPG Before and After Facing Chiefs

Week Team Before After
Week Team Before After
1 Chargers -- 38.0 (29)
2 Steelers 21.0 (14) 31.5 (28)
3 49ers 25.5 (20) 29.7 (27)
4 Broncos 23.3 (16) 24.3 (17)
5 Jaguars 14.0 (1) ???

The Chargers fell to 29th, the Steelers dropped 14 places, the 49ers dropped seven places, and the Broncos fell one place.

The question is whether or not the Chiefs defense will be capable of wrecking the Jaguars defense too. So I checked out how the Jaguars fared against top five offenses in 2017.

Two games is a small sample size, so it’s difficult to glean much information from this. However, it is important to note the Jaguars didn’t shut out either of the top five offenses they faced.

How about the Chiefs? How have they fared against top-five defenses?

Whoa, that’s a bit of a different story.

The Chiefs faced the Patriots, Eagles, and Chargers in 2017 and averaged nearly 31 points per game. Of course, it’s important to note two of these games (Patriots/Eagles) took place during the Chiefs red-hot start to 2017.

Regardless, Andy Reid has proven he can scheme up a good offensive game plan against very good defenses. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I think the Chiefs offense should be able to score 24 to 30 points.

2. Without Fournette

As you may have heard, Leonard Fournette will not play against the Chiefs due to a hamstring injury. So the next obvious question that follows is — how have the Jaguars done without Fournette?

Holy crap, I didn’t see that coming!

Looking over the five games where Fournette was unable to play, the Jaguars offense actually fared better than normal.

From 2017 to present, the Jaguars have averaged 369 offensive yards per game, 25.3 points per game, and Blake Bortles’ passer rating is 86.7.

So long story short, the Chiefs aren’t getting an advantage with Fournette being out of the game.

3. Good Blake, bad Blake

One week Bortles will hit you with a 128.2 rating, and the next week he’ll lay a turd of a 52.1 rating.

Chiefs fans had better hope bad Blake shows up in Kansas City. Of course, since the game is a road game for Jacksonville, it might be a good idea to check Bortles’ home vs. road splits.

During this same stretch, Bortles is 8-3 in home games and 5-4 in road games.

So if we’re looking for bad Bortles to show up, he’s much more likely to do it on the road. That’s good news for Chiefs fans.

4. Third down

A lot has been mentioned about the Chiefs defense leading the NFL in third-down conversion percentage. But how about the Jaguars’ third-down defense?

I’ve added the Chiefs third-down offense to compare and contrast the two units.

This was pulled from Bill Connelly’s advanced stats guide. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.

I apologize if it’s difficult to read, but the Jaguars’ third down numbers say a couple of things:

  • The Jaguars don’t get into third-and-short often.
  • When they are in third-and-short, they are the second best team at stopping their opponents.
  • The Jaguars defense has been middle of the road in terms of third-and-medium success rate. This could mean the Jaguars LBs are susceptible to short/medium routes.

Given these numbers, I’ll be rooting for the Chiefs to have a third-and-4-to-6 yards to go on offense. Third-and-medium is one of the few areas where the Jaguars have not been immensely successful on defense.

5. Turnover differential

This one will be a quick-hitter:

To me, it’s amazing the Jaguars are 3-1 while also being tied for the worst turnover differential in the NFL. I think the Jaguars’ record is a testament to just how good their defense has been.

It’s also crazy to note, even though the Jaguars secondary is elite, they are yet to get an interception in 2018. I am hoping that trend continues and Mahomes is still sitting at zero interceptions heading into Week 6.


That ends this week’s edition of chiefStats. What are your keys stats/topics to the game?