By: Hays Carlyon
Former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles accounted for five turnovers in last season’s 30-14 loss at Kansas City.
There’s little chance that happens to new starter Nick Foles.
That is one of many reasons to brush aside last season’s much-hyped (then lopsided) matchup. This can’t even really be called a rematch Sunday at TIAA Bank Field. Too much has changed.
“The teams are different,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “The dynamics are different, so it’s just like a brand-new year.”
He’s exactly right. The Jaguars’ 53-man roster features 21 players that weren’t with the team last year.
The Jaguars offense is completely rebuilt, headlined by the quarterback upgrade.
Look at left tackle. Cam Robinson missed the Chiefs game with a torn ACL suffered in a Week 2 victory over New England. He is expected to start Sunday, although he was limited in practice on Thursday.
Without Robinson, the Jaguars started Josh Wells against the Chiefs. He lasted 30 snaps before exiting with an injury. He’s currently out of the NFL.
Josh Walker replaced Wells for the remaining 53 snaps. He’s out of the league.
Right tackle Jermey Parnell played all 83 snaps that day. He’s out of football. The Jaguars have replaced Parnell with promising second-round pick Jawaan Taylor.
Running back Leonard Fournette missed the game with a hamstring injury. T.J. Yeldon played a ridiculous 77 snaps after Corey Grant was injured on his second snap of the game. Yeldon is now a backup in Buffalo. The presence of Fournette will completely change Sunday’s game.
Tight ends Niles Paul and Austin Seferian-Jenkins played 35 and 23 snaps respectively against the Chiefs. They are both out of the league.
In all, seven players that logged at least 23 offensive snaps against the Chiefs last season are either out of the NFL or in a reserve role on another team. Bortles is a backup with the Los Angeles Rams.
Receiver Marqise Lee didn’t play in last year’s meeting as he recovered from a knee injury. He’s expected to play.
Receiver Chris Conley played 43 snaps for the Chiefs in the win last season, catching two passes for 21 yards. He’s now a Jaguar.
This is a different game. Completely.
If Foles doesn’t hand the game to Kansas City the way Bortles did, the Jaguars should have an excellent chance to pull the upset.
I believe they will: Jaguars 23, Chiefs 21.
(You can email Hays at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon)