In Week 10 of the 2022 NFL regular season, on November 13, the 3-6 Jacksonville Jaguars traveled to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium to take on the 6-2 Kansas City Chiefs. After racing out to a 20-0 first half lead, the Chiefs put it in cruise control, extending their lead to 27-10 late in the third quarter, and ultimately winning, 27-17. The teams appeared very much headed in opposite directions.
Then a funny thing happened: while the Chiefs closed out their season on a 7-1 run to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, as they are wont to do, the Jaguars have also won seven of their last eight games en route to the AFC South division title, and the third-greatest playoff comeback in NFL history — last weekend’s 31-30 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, in which they trailed 27-0 late in the first half.
Clearly, these are not two AFC teams headed in opposite directions. Jacksonville is an up-and-comer in the conference, with a legitimate quarterback in second-year pro Trevor Lawrence, and plenty of top-tier talent scattered amongst their lineup on both sides of the ball. You don’t win seven of eight games in the NFL unless you’re good, and the Jaguars are very good.
And yet, they are the biggest underdog of NFL divisional playoffs weekend, with the Chiefs favored by nine points as of mid-day Saturday. That’s no slight on Jacksonville; it’s a nod to Kansas City, helmed by the league’s best play-caller in head coach Andy Reid, and the likely league MVP in quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Should they hold serve and win, the Chiefs will make their fifth consecutive AFC championship game.
- If the Jaguars win, they will play: Away at either (3) Cincinnati or (2) Buffalo
- If the Chiefs win, they will play: Home vs. (3) Cincinnati, OR vs. (2) Buffalo at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA
Buffalo Bills fans will obviously be watching this game with keen interest, given that if the Bills are able to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals tomorrow afternoon, they’ll be playing the winner of this game for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Who are you rooting for to emerge victorious in Chiefs-Jaguars today?