The original vision for the Kansas City Chiefs' visit to take on the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in Week 4 was something akin to a close nailbiter game that featured two of the game's greatest quarterbacks of a generation. Instead, what fans got was a close nailbiter that featured two exhausted defenses slugging it out in a mistake-filled game that went down to the wire.
It was a thrilling game in primetime, to be sure, but not in the way everyone thought it might be. Let's break it down with our Chiefs-Jets recap from Week 4.
What We'll Likely Remember
Isiah Pacheco had an incredible semi-homecoming in his first game back in his native New Jersey. After playing his high school and college ball in the state, at Vineland and Rutgers respectively, Pacheco finally had a chance to play professional football at MetLife and he was a peacock on full display from the word go. He scored the game's first touchdown on a 48-yard run to remember and had more yards from scrimmage in the first half than he's ever had in any single game in his career. Ultimately Pacheco finished with 158 yards from scrimmage (including 105 rushing yards) and 1 score.
What We'll Want to Forget
It's frustrating to see the Chiefs continue to shoot themselves in the foot, which allowed the Jets to even stay in the game. A facemask penalty in the end zone gave the Jets a momentum-shifting safety. Mahomes then threw his easiest interception in years in the second quarter and the Jets respond with a touchdown. Instead of a 17-0 first half lead, the Chiefs suddenly found themselves up 20-12 at halftime. The trend only continued for the rest of the game as numerous fourth-quarter penalties kept the Chiefs from gaining any real offensive wind when it mattered most.
The Chiefs also didn't want to be known as the team that made Zach Wilson look like a competent quarterback, but that was definitely a major storyline from Sunday Night Football. Kudos to Wilson for coming up big in the face of adversity in primetime. He made several impressive throws in tight windows throughout the evening, especially after the first quarter was over. Wilson certainly deserves the chance to stay under center for Robert Saleh's team.
Three Key Stats
1. With a long touchdown pass to Noah Gray in the first quarter, Patrick Mahomes became the fastest player to 200 career touchdowns in NFL history in only 84 career games. (Dan Marino was the former record holder at 89.)
2. On a night in which no one expected anything from Zach Wilson other than another loss and some anemic output, Wilson had a better day overall than Mahomes and deserves a lot of credit for a final passer rating of 105.2 and a line of 28 completions of 39 passes for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns and zero picks.
3. The role of a specialist is almost always overlooked, but in a close game like this, the Chiefs have to be glad to have the consistency of Harrison Butker and Tommy Townsend. In particular, the former had a great night for the Chiefs with 11 total points as he converted all 3 of his field goal attempts and 2 extra points.
Highlight of the Game
Two highlights deserve to be mentioned here back to back. The first was that when the Chiefs were clinging to a three-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs defense finally forced their first turnover of the game on Zach Wilson and the Jets with a fumble recovery when the exchange from center went awry. Turk Wharton came up with the ball, which you can see here.
On the ensuing drive, the Chiefs continued to shoot themselves in the foot again and again on penalties, and on a 3rd-and-22, Mahomes comes up with a tremendous scramble to shockingly convert the first down.
Mahomes hurt the Chiefs in a few ways on Sunday night but the positives still ultimately outweighed the negative.
Coming into the game, the Chiefs had 14 players listed on the injury report, even though most were minor. Then they lost linebacker Cole Christiansen to a hamstring. Other than that, however, the Chiefs look like they came out clean.
Chiefs vs. Jets Final Score
It wasn't pretty but the Chiefs outlasted the Jets in a gritty, physical game for a 23-20 victory at MetLife.
What's next for the Chiefs?
The Chiefs will stay on the road for Week 5 as they take to the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Vikings await them next week in a game that looks far less harrowing than it did to start the regular season.