This Sunday, the third- and fourth-ranked defenses in the league will meet at Arrowhead in Kansas City. Statistically speaking, the Jaguars are better than any team the Chiefs have faced thus far, this season. Of the teams the Chiefs have played through the first 4 weeks, only Houston has a higher ranking on offense and none rank higher that the Jaguars on defense.
One vulnerablity the Jaguars have is on rushing defense (26th in the NFL). However, after getting gouged by the Titans in week 1 for 282 yards on the ground, the Jaguars have held their opponents to and average of 64.5 yards in the two following games. While Jacksonville has started to hold their opponents to less yardage, they have allowed at least one rushing touchdown in every game throughout 2007 and their last five games in a row. The Chiefs are 11-0 at Arrowhead when Larry Johnson rushes for two or more touchdowns and 13-1 when Johnson breaks the century-mark in yardage. In 16 career starts at Arrowhead, Johnson has averaged 124.7 yards rushing and has accumulated 26 rushing TDs. Johnson has topped 100 yards in 13 of those contests.
The Chiefs currently hold the longest active streak of games with a forced turnover while Jacksonville has only turned the ball over twice this season. A mark that is second only to Indianapolis at this time.
Jacksonville and Kansas City are tied for ninth in the league, allowing 10 sacks this season. Kansas City boasts a stellar 23-1 (.959) record at home when the defense registers 2.0 or more sacks. In a week 3 home contest, the Chiefs recorded 5 sacks against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.
Damon Huard is 4-0 as a starter at Arrowhead. Huard has compiled a 100.0 rating or better in all four of those victories. In his four starts at Arrowhead, Huard has completed 70 of 104 passes (67.3%) for 958 yards with six touchdowns and no picks, giving him a 115.8. Huard is 6-0 when he posts a 100.0-rating game and is 5-0 in such games with the Chiefs.
In his initial start at Arrowhead, David Garrard completed 10 of 18 passes for 140 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Chiefs have held opposing passers to a league-low 62.6 rating this season. The Jaguars have gone 44 consecutive games without having a quarterback throw for a 300-yard game, the second-longest drought in the league behind San Francisco (47). The Chiefs defense has gone 14 straight games at home without permitting a 300-yard passer.
The Jaguars are tied for 30th in the league on third down, allowing opponents to convert fifty percent of the time (17 of 34). The Chiefs have converted on 18 of 53 third down plays this season.
So far this season, both teams have allowed few points in the second half. Currently, (including return touchdowns) only Kansas City and Tennessee (13) have given-up fewer second-half points than Jacksonville (14).
The Chiefs have the best record at home of any team in the NFL since 1990. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Chiefs have allowed just 17.9 points per game in nine home contests. Jacksonville put up the highest total of any team during that home stretch with 30 points in a loss to the Chiefs in December of last year. When held to 21 points or less on the road, the Jaguars are 5-15 (.250) under Jack Del Rio. Jacksonville is 0-13 all-time on the road when being held to 10 points or less. Jacksonville has averaged 20.2 points per game in nine road contests dating back to the start of the 2006 season.
While being in Arrowhead is a huge advantage for the Chiefs, they can take nothing for granted in this game against Jacksonville. Jack Del Rio owns a 5-3 career record against AFC West opponents and a total record of 14-18 on the road as a head coach in the NFL. The Chiefs are going to need to build on their success of recent weeks and keep improving in order to beat a Jacksonville team that looks to be their toughest challenge yet.