Following the conclusion of the Wild Card Round, the Kansas City Chiefs now know who they will be facing in the Divisional Round. They will host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday.

In the regular season, the Chiefs tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the best record in the NFL at 14-3. After a slow start, Kansas City ended up winning 10 out of its last 11 games.

There is no secret that the Chiefs’ success in recent years is mostly due to Patrick Mahomes. In 2022, the quarterback had another stellar season, which is giving him a great chance of winning his second MVP trophy. He completed 67.1% of his passes for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. He ended up leading the league in both passing yards and touchdowns. Mahomes also added 358 rushing yards for four scores.

With so many eyes on offense, fans often forget that the Chiefs still have some key players on the other side of the ball.  With that being said, here is the Kansas City Chiefs’ X-factor against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it is not Patrick Mahomes.

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Chiefs X-factor vs. Jaguars: Chris Jones

Kansas City started the regular season 4-2, which included a loss to the Indianapolis Colts by just three points. Because of that, many questioned if the Chiefs could compete for another Super Bowl. Luckily for fans, it was not only Mahomes and Travis Kelce who stepped up.

The Chiefs’ defense significantly improved in the final stretch of the season. Entering Week 14, the team allowed an average of 101.4 QB rating with a 68.1% completion rate. Additionally, Kansas City allowed 237.3 passing yards per game and had only six picks against 24 touchdowns.

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Kansas City increased the number of interceptions from six to 11 and managed to get opponents’ completion rate down to 65.9%.

A huge reason for this improvement was the work of the defensive line. Most notably, Chris Jones cemented his name as one of the best defensive linemen in the league. The defensive tackle had 15.5 sacks this season, tied for fourth-best in the NFL. He ended up earning his fourth consecutive selection to the Pro Bowl and his first First-Team All-Pro honor.

With his help, the Chiefs finished second in the regular season with 55 sacks, only trailing the Eagles with 70.

Against the Jaguars in the Divisional Round, Kansas City will need Jones more than ever. Jacksonville only allowed 28 sacks in the regular season, the fifth-best in the NFL. Additionally, led by Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars finished in the top 10 in completion rate with 66.1%.

Since Jacksonville had seven games with less than 100 rushing yards, Lawrence should be the focus of the defense. That means that the most pressure and quarterback hits the better for the Chiefs. The key to a convincing win could be forcing him to bad throws, so that is where Jones enters. The tackle is the anchor of Kansas City’s defensive line, which means a solid group display starts with him.

In the regular season, Jones had five games with more than a sack. That includes the Chiefs’ Week 10 victory over Jacksonville. He finished that day with 1.5 sacks plus a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits.

While Kansas City will heavily depend on Mahomes, it will also need a solid showing from its defense. Because of that, Jones is an X-factor whenever Jacksonville has the ball. If he has a game nearly as good as he had in Week 10, the Chiefs will be in a great position to advance to the AFC Championship Game.