One of the better games on the slate for Sunday is the 2019 NFL week 1 Kansas City at Jacksonville free pick. Many thought the Jaguars were just a QB away from a Super Bowl berth two years ago – so they went out and signed the guy that won that season in Nick Foles.
Kansas City has no QB issues whatsoever as MVP Patrick Mahomes returns for another explosive year in Andy Reid’s system. Oddsmakers have KC as the always deadly +3.5 road favorites – are the Jags that much better this year?
Kansas City Gets to Play With a Target in 2019
Until Antonio Brown signed with the Patriots on Saturday, Kansas City was many experts’ pick to become Super Bowl Champions for the upcoming season. Make no mistake, the Chiefs are still huge favorites to host the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year with the league’s #1 offense behind Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek HIll.
Kansas City will have a target on their back in 2019 and that starts right away in week 1 with a tougher-than-expected trip to Jacksonville. The Chiefs better hope their offseason conditioning was up to par as they’ll be facing a 92 degree humid day in Duval County. These two teams met last October in Kansas City and the Chiefs got the win but Mahomes threw 0TD and 2 INTs.
With such a high scoring, quick-strike offense, KC’s defense is never going to put up good numbers because they’re always on the field. The Chiefs ranked 31st vs. the pass in 2018 and 27th vs. the rush but should be much improved in the 2019 Kansas City at Jacksonville free pick with the additions of Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu.
Jacksonville Debuts New Culture
Blake Bortles wasn’t necessarily an enigmatic figure in the Jacksonville locker room but it was obvious the team needed a change at signal caller a 5-11 season over a year ago. Enter Foles, who has shown great leadership in camp including running sprints in full pads after a practice in 100 degree heat.
Foles’ accuracy could lead to breakout seasons from young wideouts Dede Westbrook or D.J. Chark. The more the Jaguars are a threat in the passing game vs. Kansas City, the more room to run for Leonard Fournette who had just 439 yards rushing a year ago.
Of course the strength for the Jaguars once again in 2019 is going to be their defense. Jacksonville had a down 2018 on that side of the ball though. The Jags did rank 2nd vs. the pass which is good against Kansas City, but they were also 19th vs. the run. The Chiefs just added backfield depth with Lesean McCoy while Jacksonville has had to adjust to the loss of leading tackler Telvin Smith after an abrupt retirement.
2019 Kansas City at Jacksonville Free Pick
If Kansas City is as good as the experts say they are this season, the spread of KC -3.5 is way too low. 70% of the public like Kansas City yet the line has dropped a point in the opposite direction. When you combine the heat and the Jaguars improved offense behind Foles it’s looking like Jacksonville keeps this one close if not pulls off the outright upset.
Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5