Everywhere you looked at the beginning of the year, all you saw was J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets. The worst-kept secret in the NFL was finally made official as former MVP quarterback and friend of several popular podcasts, Aaron Rodgers, was traded to the New York Jets in April. As with anything that happens in the larger media centers of this country, that transaction kicked off the firestorm of artificially contrived hype, the likes of which only American national sports media could generate.
Although Rodgers was coming off the worst year of his career and is turning 40 in December, the hype machine was in full gear. They had their own TV show dedicated to them with Hard Knocks. Rodgers swears he was totally against the idea, but the show ended up focusing mostly on him anyway. Shocking, I know.
The Jets also had the sixth-best odds to make the Super Bowl going into the 2023 campaign. Most affiliates predicted that the Jets would easily make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Even some of the more high-profile writers predicted that the Jets would even make the Super Bowl for the first time since their last, and only, appearance since Super Bowl III in 1969. Well, that hype dried up within four snaps of the regular season. Rodgers snapped his Achilles', and the Jets turned right back into the same team they have been for the past 13 seasons.
Zach Wilson is still the conductor of the Jets' dead-last-ranked offense. Their defense, allegedly rivaling the best defense in NFL history, has been pretty average. What this all means to you, my gambling degenerate friends, is that the Jets are still the Jets. By all accounts, the Chiefs still seem to be the Chiefs, so let us bet this Week 4 Sunday night game accordingly.
KC First Half -5.5 (-120 FanDuel)
As of this writing, the Chiefs are 9.5 road favorites, which is still a good bet to make, and you will not see me trying to convince anyone otherwise. I am leaning more toward Kansas City being favored by less than a touchdown going into the half as a way to get a better return on your money.
The Jets have trailed at half by at least seven points each game this year and have only scored 16 points in those first halves. On the other hand, the Chiefs have led in each of the first halves this year and have seemed to shake off the stigma of letting bad teams stay in the game early with the beatdown of the Chicago Bears last week. The Bears are potentially the worst team in football, so the stats against them may not mean a whole lot, but this Jets' offense is even worse than Chicago's, and I am looking for the Chiefs' defense to impose their will early.
Breece Hall is the one bright-ish spot on the Jets' offense, but he has been dealing with a knee injury and is questionable for the game. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson has also had some production with 12 catches, 165 yards, and two scores on the year. The major downside to Wilson, and the Jets offense in general, is that Zach Wilson is still throwing him the ball, and I am expecting defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and his defense to take full advantage. Take the Chiefs to have a comfortable lead going into the break.
QB Zach Wilson under 177.5 passing yards (BettingPros)
Zach Wilson may go down in the pantheon of biggest draft busts at quarterback in the history of the NFL, right up there next to Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russell. Wilson was drafted with the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft ahead of familiar faces such as Ja'Marr Chase, Pat Surtain II, and Micah Parsons.
During his career as a professional, Wilson has started in only 24 games, has lost twice as many games as he has won, thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, and was benched in the 2022 season behind journeyman Mike White and a 50-year-old Joe Flacco. That benching came on the heels of an all-time disastrous Week 11 game against the New England Patriots where Wilson completed only nine passes on 22 attempts for 77 yards. When asked after that dreadful performance if Wilson felt his play let the defense down, he only said "No" and left it at that. That press conference destroyed any goodwill Zach Wilson had left with the Jets players and their fanbase.
Now that Mike White and Joe Flacco are both gone, and their shiny new toy in Aaron Rodgers is hurt, the Jets have no one to turn to except Wilson, who has been the exact same quarterback he has been since he stepped into the league. Wilson has not thrown for over 170 yards this season, and there is no reason to expect him to do it against the Chiefs' defense, which has allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards in the league against much better competition. This one is easy. Take the under on the Wilson passing yards.
Jets Under 15.5 points (-102 FanDuel)
Finishing this article's theme on the Jets' offensive ineptitude, my third favorite bet on this game will be taking the under on Jets' total points. The under of 15.5 implies either that the Jets will score three or more times against the surging Chiefs' defense or that the Jets' defense and special teams will somehow supplement the worst offense in the league by putting points on the board. The latter situation likely has to happen for the Jets to break the 15-point barrier because they have only scored an average of 14 points per game on the year, and the Chiefs have allowed only 13.3 points per game.
As a fan who has been watching the Chiefs for over three decades, I have seen it happen where we look past a clearly inferior opponent, especially on national TV, and get embarrassed. There is something about the 2023 Kansas City Chiefs that hits differently, and it all starts with the defense. This is the best defense the Chiefs have had since Patrick Mahomes came to town, and their hard-nosed attitude has begun to permeate throughout this team.
It has been a very long time since I have seen an Andy Reid-coached Chiefs team take an inferior opponent behind the woodshed for a good old-fashioned whooping as they did against the Chicago Bears last week. I am expecting them to do it again. This time, the whooping will ensue in front of the whole country. With us being the only show in town, we will be looking to ensure that everyone knows that the Chiefs are still the Chiefs and the Jets are still the Jets.