We all know numbers never lie — you know, most of the time — so here are five stats to know to prepare for the Kansas City Chiefs upcoming season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Noon Arrowhead Time.
0 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions
The first stat surprisingly belongs to the reigning league MVP, Patrick Mahomes.
The last time Mahomes had to take on the Jaguars’ stout defense, the quarterback didn’t throw one touchdown pass, and he gave the ball away twice. In fact, the couple of interceptions Mahomes threw to Jacksonville were his first of the season last year, and it was the only game Mahomes failed to throw a touchdown pass.
With more weapons and experience this time around, Mahomes will look to avenge those numbers come Sunday.
3-5 record at home
A lot of buzz has been made as to whether or not the Chiefs will be able to handle the hot and humid weather in Duval County.
As it turns out, there were plenty of teams that could handle the Florida heat last season, as the Jags only went 3-5 at home. It should be noted that one of those three wins did occur against the Patriots in Week 2, so a home game against a playoff contender early in the season could be a recipe for another upset.
16 tackles, 4 pass deflections, 1 sack and 2 interceptions
That stat line belongs to one of the Chiefs’ latest additions to the secondary, Tyrann Mathieu. The Honey Badger accumulated those numbers over his career in four games against Jacksonville—two games while he was with the Houston Texans and two during his time with the Arizona Cardinals. Those stats, along with his 4-0 record against the team, show that Mathieu has had some great success against the Jags, in and outside of Florida.
4 Catches, 7 Targets
The excitement around this game seemed to only grow when it was reported that Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey would be following around Tyreek Hill for the Week 1 matchup. Last season, Hill and Ramsey were lined up several times, and Hill managed to haul in four of his seven targets for 61 yards.
It’ll be interesting to see which of those numbers grow or shrink now that Ramsey is paying special attention to the wideout. Will head coach Andy Reid feed into that matchup, or will he urge his quarterback to throw away from Ramsey and toward one of his many other weapons?
100 Yards, 5 Catches
Speaking of other weapons, tight end Travis Kelce seemed to have a field day against the Jags last year, tallying up 100 yards on five receptions. Though he didn’t find the end zone that game, he was a key reason the Chiefs were able to move the ball despite Hill’s quiet afternoon.
Unless the Jaguars found a way to lockup Kelce during the offseason, it’s likely the tight end will have a similar stat line come Sunday.