Things didn’t go as planned for either the Kansas City Chiefs or Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012. In fact, you could even argue that both teams’ seasons were disastrous, given the fact that neither won more than two games. But after Sunday’s showdown, one of the two squads will have already equaled last season’s win total.
Both teams underwent major changes in the offseason, specifically at head coach. The Chiefs brought in proven winner Andy Reid, while the Jaguars went out and got defensive guru Gus Bradley to try and change their culture. I liked both hirings at the time and I think they’ll both prove to be worthwhile as the 2013 season progresses.
As far as this week one matchup is concerned, the Chiefs are favored to take care of business (-4.5). I can’t argue with the point spread, but it won’t be a walk in the park for Kansas City on the road in the season opener. Despite the Jaguars’ struggles over the last several years, you know their home crowd will be fired up and ready to go on Sunday while they try to make things difficult on new KC signal-caller Alex Smith.
The x-factor in this game will be the Jacksonville QB play. It’s thought that Blaine Gabbert will get the nod, even though he’s been battling a sore thumb. Still, the team hasn’t made the call on who will start at QB and the decision could be held off until game time. But regardless of who’s taking the snaps on Sunday, Gabbert or Chad Henne, the Jaguars need a quality outing. Things should be made easier on whoever starts at QB, as Maurice Jones-Drew is reportedly close to 100 percent following foot surgery last year.
Even though everyone is picking the Chiefs to turn things around in a big way in 2013, don’t count out the Jaguars in the season opener.