Chiefs vs. Jaguars 2013: 5 questions with the enemy

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chiefs kick off on Sunday afternoon. To prepare for the game, we spoke with Joel Thorman at SB Nation's Chiefs blog, Arrowhead Pride. Read on to see what he had to say.

1. One player on offense the Jaguars need to watch out for?

Jamaal Charles is the obvious answer. But I'm going to give you Anthony Fasano. The Chiefs plan to feature their tight ends this year and with Alex Smith moving methodically down the field (see how I avoided "dink and dunk" there) Fasano and the tight ends will see plenty of work. He will be Smith's safety net in the middle of the field. Don't look for him to blow the game open with 30 and 40 yard plays, but you should watch out for him converting key third downs.

2. One player on defense the Jaguars need to watch for?

Justin Houston. He could have a big year. He has established himself as a good pass rusher right now. We're hoping this is the year he turns in an elite season. With teams having to worry about Tamba Hali on the other side of the line, Houston is going to be a force for Jacksonville. He has an array of pass rush moves, he's fast and athletic. The Jaguars may have to keep a back in to help block both Hali and Houston.

3. How has Alex Smith been so far? Is he a clear upgrade?

Yes he is an upgrade from last year. But then again a lot of players would've been an upgrade from last year. He has a better command of the offense and he isn't turning it over. The latter is the most important part as the Chiefs were just terrible last year turning the ball over. If Smith can keep the interceptions down the Chiefs will instantly be better at quarterback. That's how low the bar has been set.

4. How has Eric Fisher been for the Chiefs?

The Jaguars seemed as if they were going to pick he or Luke Joeckel. He's been OK. He had one very bad game against San Francisco but seems to have recovered from that. The biggest key is that he's been injured, dealing with finger, hand and shoulder injuries. He's obviously been less than 100 percent at times. He should be healthy enough to play on Sunday. Given the choice between attacking Branden Albert and Fisher, the Jaguars will focus on Fisher.

5. What is your prediction for the game?

20-13, Chiefs. On paper Kansas City is the better team. I expect them to be able to score easier than they did last year and the defense can create some havoc on quarterbacks at times. They will give up the big play occasionally though. Look for the Chiefs to control the ball with the short passing game, get Jamaal Charles involved and let their defense force mistakes on Jacksonville. I just don't know how the Jaguars are going to score consistently and that's as much about their offense as it is the Chiefs defense.

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