The Kansas City Chiefs traveled to take on the New York Jets only to be disappointed in the same stadium twice within two weeks, bringing back bad memories losing in a similar way to the Oakland Raiders earlier in the season.
We have been talking since the Oakland Raiders game in Week 7 about the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive struggles. Unfortunately on Sunday, when the group finally got things moving again, the defense threw up all over the field. The defense couldn’t get off the field on third downs as they allowed the New York Jets to convert on third down 13 of 20 attempts.
The Jets controlled this game from the second they tied the game at 14. The Kansas City Chiefs started off strong by driving down the field for a touchdown. When their defense held the Jets to an opening punt, the Chiefs responded with an immediate deep throw to tight end Travis Kelce for his second touchdown of the day. Unfortunately, that was the last we saw of Kelce until the last two minutes of the game.s
Going into the game, we all were talking about head coach Andy Reid handing off the offensive play calling to offensive coordinator Matt Nagy with Reid having final say on the plays. The offense was very aggressive moving the ball in the air all day and quarterback Alex Smith looked much like his first five games when he was in the talks of the MVP race.
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Right before the game, the announcers talked about how the Chiefs offense were practicing all week throwing the ball downfield to help Smith get his rhythm back. Well, it seemed to have worked because Smith completed 19 of 33 passes for 366 yards and 4 touchdowns. He even broke off a 70-yard scramble that was just an outstanding play all around.
While the offense looked back to its early season form, it might have hurt the defense even more than they were already hurting themselves to begin with. As I pointed out earlier, the Chiefs defense failed to get off the field for most of the game as the Jets had control of the ball for 42:49 and ran 85 plays of offense. The Chiefs ran only 46 plays. That is absolutely horrendous.
The Chiefs offense did well at responding with scores of their own and keeping the game close all game, but the lack of possession only proved to hurt the defense. A prime example of this is right after half when the Jets held the ball for 9:31 seconds. When the Chiefs responded with a one play 79-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the defense had no time to catch their breath.
The following drive for the Chiefs they went three and out after trying to throw a pass to an eligible offensive lineman and forced the defense right back out onto the field. Sure, I was excited to see the offense look so aggressive throwing the ball deep down the field, especially since that has been nonexistent the last month or more, but it really hurt the defense.
The Chiefs ran the ball only ten times, with rookie running back Kareem Hunt getting nine of those plays. The end result was the Chiefs owning only 17-plus minutes of the clock the entire game. How can we expect our defense, who is already struggling in the secondary, to keep chasing after receivers when they never get a break to breathe?
Cornerback Darrelle Revis, the team’s latest addition, played for only the first half of the game and looked as expected. He missed multiple tackles and struggled to stay with his receiver at times. That happens when you haven’t played for eleven months. You might be in shape, but not in football shape mentally or physically.
Saying that cornerback Steven Nelson struggled might be an understatement in this game. He was constantly getting beat, especially on slants over the middle, and gave up big yards on third downs when the Chiefs couldn’t get off the field.
The Chiefs secondary showing no sign of discipline made Jets quarterback Josh McCown look like he was an elite quarterback as he ended the day with 26/36, 331 yards, 1 passing touchdown and 2 rushing touchdowns (both on quarterback sneaks) to take the Jets 23rd ranked offense and completely dominate the Chiefs defense.
While the defensive line was unable once again to get a sack, they were able to get pressure on McCown much of the afternoon when he wasn’t throwing the ball immediately after the snap. While many of you are rolling your eyes probably at that last part, the Chiefs had six tackles for a loss and five quarterback hits.
To make things worse, we got a good reminder of the game in Oakland where the defense cost the team with penalties giving the Jets try after try to get the ball into the end zone all while eating away the clock. Nose tackle Bennie Logan got called on the first field goal attempt for hitting the center, which yes that is a penalty, and then Steven Nelson got called for holding on the following third down. Nelson was called once again for holding on the Jets first two-point conversion.
The Chiefs were not able to get down the field and score again resulting in a 38-31 loss. While the offense looked great and we have talked about how the passing downfield has been the big problem for the offense, they went away from the run game again, this time with Nagy calling the plays. On a day that your defense can’t stop anything and makes the Jets offense look like the New England Patriots, you have to run the ball and eat up some clock.
With the Chiefs now sitting at 6-6 losing 6 of their last 7 games, this season looks to be pretty much in the books. There’s very little hope for this Kansas City team when there’s always one side of the ball not showing up at all.