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Jaguars vs Chiefs: Players to watch

Keep a close eye on Tyler Shatley and Josh Allen this week against Kansas City

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NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson is returning to Kansas City this week to face his former mentor, Andy Reid, as the Jaguars (3-6) take on the AFC powerhouse Chiefs (6-2).

These are the players I’ll be watching most on either side of the ball.

LG Tyler Shatley

There wasn’t much panic in Jacksonville after Ben Bartch (knee) was placed on injured reserve last month. That’s partly because his good play was largely unnoticed, but more so because veteran lineman Tyler Shatley was ready in the wings.

The nine-year pro ranks FIRST among all guards this season in Total Points per 60 snaps (per Sports Info Solutions). He’s allowed zero sacks and just four pressures on 188 pass blocking snaps (per PFF).

In other words, Shatley has played great. He’ll face a sizable test this week against All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, who currently ranks first in both pressures and Pass Rush Win Rate at his position.

Slowing Jones would go a long way for the Jaguars offense, especially in the red zone, where they rank fifth-worst in DVOA difference.

EDGE Josh Allen

Jacksonville’s defensive leader dominated the first month of the season with three sacks and 20 pressures in four games. Since then, though, Josh Allen has registered zero sacks and 13 pressures in five contests.

The biggest headline with his name in it since September was trade deadline rumors -- chiefly (no pun intended) to Kansas City.

Containing Patrick Mahomes in the pocket will be priority #1 for Jacksonville’s defense on Sunday, and that starts with Allen taking advantage of his matchups against Chiefs tackles Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie.