Yahoo Sports Charles Robinson, Jori Epstein and Charles McDonald discuss the AFC divisional round clash between Jacksonville and Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes and company are huge favorites, should they be? Will Trevor Lawrence be able to build on his amazing second half in the Jags come from behind win over the Chargers? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: The first game, Jaguars at Chiefs, Chiefs are minus 8 and 1/2. Feels to me like it's a big line. I think Jacksonville is more competitive than this. Horrible first half against the Chargers. They have the skill positions to score points and keep up. I just think defensively, it's-- you tell me. Do you think the Chiefs, are they 8 and 1/2 points better than-- granted, it is obviously a road game for Jacksonville as well, and a really difficult road environment. So, man, that feels like a big line.
CHARLES MCDONALD: I don't know, I just kind of think this is-- maybe I'm just too [? Mahomes-pilled, ?] but I would be willing to take Kansas City at 8 and 1/2. We talked last week about how just, like, the playoffs is just kind of another level. It's different than the regular season. And I don't think there's been anybody who raises their play quite like Mahomes does in the playoffs, outside of that second half against Cincinnati last year where he just inexplicably looked like Blaine Gabbert.
I don't know, I think they kind of come out and torch them. And I don't want to, like, get too down on this game. But to me, this just feels like the Chiefs are in another level from the Jaguars. And that Jaguars win last week was obviously impressive. Anytime you can come back from that level of deficit and win a playoff game is absurd. But I think they need another year before they can really compete with a team like the Chiefs in the playoffs. So I think the Chiefs kind of run away with this one. They score a whole lot of points.
JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah, when you're saying like, oh, Mahomes takes it to another level in the playoffs, who else can do that, I mean, I feel like we did see Trevor do that the second half of last week. And I know that that was one half, and there's definitely not the sustained success that we saw from Kansas City. But I think it'll be really interesting just to see, like, does that fuel the momentum going forward? Or is that the type of thing where it's like, they gave it everything they have to come back from that game, and, like, there's just only so much juice left?
But I do think throughout the second half of the season, we saw a Jaguars team that was just sort of, like, consistently figuring out things that they hadn't figured out early in the season. And I think that that defense has gotten pretty strong too. But I don't know, it'll be interesting.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Obviously, they played Jacksonville back in November. They won 27 to 17. It wasn't really that close, though. I mean, they were pretty well ahead in that game the majority of the game. The Jaguars scored a touchdown in the fourth to make it look a little bit better than it did. But that was a different Jacksonville team to me, you know? It just-- I feel like they really galvanized down the stretch. And it's all going to depend on, I think, Kansas City and the defense.
Because, look, you're right about the playoffs, you're right about Mahomes raising his level of play. But I'm still concerned when I look at-- you know, they beat Denver, but it's 27 to 24 in a game that felt weirdly way too close. Another Denver game, 34 to 28. Houston, 30 to 24. There's just been a couple of games where you're like, why are they not blowing the doors off this team?
Denver, you can say a common opponent. You're in the division. There's some familiarity there. I can get that. But I will say this, I think if they come out and they cover that 8 and 1/2, they play really, really well, then we're probably staring at the Chiefs the way that we did for the majority of the season as probably the best the AFC has got to offer in terms of a Super Bowl team.