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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs Free Pick 9/8/13

Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm (EverBank Field)

The Line: Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 -- Over/Under: 39.5 See the Latest Odds


The Kansas City Chiefs head to Jacksonville on Sunday to face-off against the Jaguars at EverBank Field.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been the joke of the NFL the past few seasons. The Jags are fresh off a 2-14 season from a year ago, and honestly there isn’t much hope of significant improvement in 2013. Jacksonville does have some talent, especially in the backfield with MJD. The Jags also have some nice players on the outside, in Cecil Shorts and second year receiver Blackmon, but I just don’t trust Gabbert or Henne to get the ball to them on a reliable, consistent basis. Defensively, the Jags drafted John Cyprien, who was one of my favorite safety prospects of last season’s class, and this addition should instantly help the Jags pass defense, as well as their run support from the secondary. Jacksonville struggled last season, even on their home- field, where the Jags had an average score margin of -14.8. Not good. The Jags do have some nice talent offensively, but, honestly, I just don’t see this team making any significant improvements this season, and once again it should be a long year for Jags fans.

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs Free Pick 9/8/13

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs. You hear all the time that in the NFL you need a coach, and a quarterback. Well, last season the Chiefs had neither worth a darn. To their credit, the Chiefs higher ups tried to remedy that situation the best they could, and all indications are pointing to Kansas City having a much better team in 2013. Kansas City brought in Andy Reid from Philly and, under center, the Chiefs brought in (another) former San Francisco quarterback in Alex Smith. Reid, by many accounts, lost his team in Philly last season and the players just stopped playing for him. Alex didn’t lose his team, but he did lose his starting gig to Colin Kaepernick after Smith suffered a concussion against the Rams earlier in the season. This is a great situation for both Reid and Smith to walk into. Kansas City has talent all around these two, especially offensively. Jamaal Charles is one of the top backs in the league, and Charles should thrive in Andy Reid’s offense. Speaking of thriving in this offense, Alex is a very accurate passer who has shown the past few seasons that he is capable of making very good decisions and can deliver the ball on time and accurately. Defensively, the Chiefs are solid as well, and with the exception of the Broncos, the AFC West looks weaker this season, so look for the Chiefs to take advantage of their weaker schedule and make a very serious run for the playoffs.

The line has moved up a full two points since opening at +1.5 for the Jags, and now is at the key mark of +3.5 for Jacksonville.

The Chiefs are much improved to be sure, but the number here is begging us to take the Jags. A lot of the action so far has been on Kansas City, but I think there is some value here with the Jaguars. I really like what Cyprien brings to the Jags defense, and MJD has the look of a player out to prove all of his doubters wrong this season. The Chiefs likely will take things easy, especially early on in this game to prevent mistakes on the road, which could be tough to overcome with a new offense and signal-caller. On top of that, the Chiefs have Bowe at wideout, but as we have seen time and time again with Smith, the downfield arm strength and accuracy just isn’t there. Look for Kansas City to try and control the ball and be efficient on offense, not necessarily light up the scoreboard. While I do think the Chiefs win, getting more than a field goal at home with MJD and company looks like the play here on Sunday.

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