Jacksonville (8-7) at Kansas City (8-7) Sunday 1:00 pm EST
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars and
Kansas City Chiefs hope a playoff berth will result for the
winner of Sunday's contest. But the chances are that will not
be the case.
After losing two straight games, the Jaguars have lost control
of their playoff destiny. In order to make the postseason for
the second consecutive season under coach Jack Del Rio,
Jacksonville needs a win here coupled with losses by the New
York Jets, Cincinnati and Tennessee.
Kansas City has lost three of its last four games and also needs
plenty of help to make the playoffs in Herman Edwards' first
year as coach. The Chiefs need a win on Sunday along with losses
by Cincinnati, Denver and Tennessee.
Last season, the Chiefs failed to make the playoffs with a 10-6
record in Dick Vermeil's final year as coach. Edwards guided
the New York Jets to three playoff appearances in five seasons
before leaving to replace Vermeil.
Jacksonville hopes to have 1,000-yard rusher Fred Taylor back
for Sunday's regular-season finale. Taylor missed last week's
24-21 loss to New England due to a strained hamstring and is
listed as questionable.
Rookie Maurice Jones-Drew carried the load in Taylor's absence
and rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries, including a 74-yard
touchdown, and six catches for 41 yards in the loss to the
A second-round pick from UCLA, Jones-Drew has 895 rushing yards,
42 catches for 420 yards and 15 touchdowns.
But the Jaguars will need better play from quarterback David
Garrard, who committed three turnovers that resulted in
three touchdowns in a 24-17 loss at Tennessee two weeks ago.
He also fumbled the ball away in the final minute of
Jacksonville's loss last week.
Kansas City's Larry Johnson is second in the NFL in rushing with
1,651 yards and 14 touchdowns. LaDainian Tomlinson of San
Diego is the league leader with 1,749 rushing yards.
Last week, Johnson rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown in a
20-9 victory at Oakland. Rookie safety Jarrad Page had two
interceptions for the Chiefs.
Both teams are still alive for playoff berths. The Chiefs have been dominant at home in December over the last decade, but they did lose their last home game to Baltimore. The Chiefs have the second-best running back in the NFL in Larry Johnson. His success this week will be on the shoulders of his much-maligned offensive line and its ability to move massive DTs John Henderson and Marcus Stroud.
Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the most exciting rookies in the NFL. Will this be the last time we see Trent Green in a Chiefs uniform? The veteran will be 37 next season, and after a serious concussion he has really started to show his age in the second half of the season. This should be a great game with plenty on the line as both teams attempt to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.