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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Jaguars can pounce on Chiefs in close encounter

Best offence and defence meet in hot AFC clash

AJ Bouye's performance will be crucial whether Jacksonville can upset Kansas City
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Sky Sports Action, 6pm Sunday

The NFL's top offence and defence collide at Arrowhead Stadium and despite Kansas City’s scintillating start, they could come unstuck against Jacksonville.

The Chiefs have averaged more than 36 points per game with quarterback Patrick Mahomes breaking the record for most touchdowns thrown in the first three games of a season with 13.

But the Jaguars have conceded just 56 points in their four games, and have pacified the juggernaut offences of the Patriots and Giants on their way to victory.

Doug Marrone’s outfit look the real deal on defence, and that side tends to prevail when these types of showdowns occur, most notably when the Seahawks obliterated the free-scoring Broncos 43-8 in the 2014 Super Bowl.

The Jags come into the game in flying form. Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for a career-high 388 yards against the Jets last week, and even without injured running back Leonard Fournette they have shown they have the ability and depth to move the chains.

The Chiefs have an array of stars on offence, and though Mahomes and wide receiver Tyreek Hill pose a huge danger, it is crucial that Jacksonville contain Kareem Hunt and Kansas City’s running game.

Hunt’s value was highlighted on Monday night when he rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown against Denver, but if the Jaguars defence are able to keep him in check, cornerbacks AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey can be fancied to deal with the passing threat.

The key for Jacksonville is to frustrate the home side early and ensure that Mahomes is put under pressure. If their defence steps up the Jaguars are more than capable of coming away from Missouri with the win.

Jacksonville +2.5 & under 51.5 points

1pt 9-4 Sky Bet

The lowdown
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Light rain, 15C
Vegas handicap
Jacksonville +2.5
Vegas points line 

Team news
Running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) and cornerback DJ Hayden (toe) have been ruled out. Cornerback Tre Herndon (hamstring) is rated questionable.

Kansas City
Safety Eric Berry (heel) is set to miss the game. Linebacker Dee Ford (groin) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) are questionable.

Key stat
Jacksonville have given up the fewest passing yards in the league this season.

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Doug Marrone’s outfit look the real deal on defence
E.W. Terms
Sky bet