As we are accustomed to writing on Sundays, the New York Jets lost today. This time it was 24-10 to the Kanas City Chiefs, their eighth straight loss. Rex Ryan is now 23-34 since the beginning of 2011 and has 23 losses by 10 points or more. The Jets were relatively competitive but it never really felt like they were in position to make a move to win the game. Generally, despite a few standout performances it was the same somewhat unprepared, poorly organized and undermanned at certain positions team we have seen all season. The Jets are very much in the mix for the top pick in the NFL Draft, as there aren’t any of signs of a turnaround on the way…
The Jets did what they usually do after winning the toss and deferred. Kansas City abruptly went right down the field, mostly with their running game, for a touchdown on their first drive. It was the sixth time in nine games the defense has allowed an opposing offense to score on their first possession of the game. It was 14-0 before the Jets put together a strong drive, led by Chris Johnson (101 total yards, 6.3 yards per carry) that culminated with Eric Decker catching his fourth touchdown of the season (9 receptions, 63 yards). However, the one possession game was short lived as the Chiefs ripped off a huge kick return and Travis Kelce quickly beat Antonio Allen for a touchdown.In the second half, the Jets had a chance to pull within one score after driving to the 3 yard line for a first and goal. They lost yardage on a WILDCAT play on first down, botched a handoff on third down and threw an incompletion on fourth down. In the fourth quarter, a pair of late drives fell short and were not supported by the Jets again using two timeouts in the third quarter. It was another game where the Jets forced zero turnovers, although they finally didn’t have any themselves.
Despite Calvin Pryor and Antonio Allen being benched and two journeymen playing heavy reps at cornerback, Alex Smith only threw for 199 yards and the Chiefs wide receivers didn’t kill the Jets (87 total yards, zero TDs). It was the running game (113 yards, TD) and the tight ends (97 yards, 2 TDs). It has been a shame to see how far Antonio Allen has regressed since the Ed Reed signing, to the point that he is now basically unplayable. Outside of injury, there is no reason to limit Pryor’s reps on a 1-8 team and similarly no reason a guy like Jace Amaro should have zero targets.
Individually, Percy Harvin was terrific today, finishing with 11 catches for 129 yards and ripping off a 65 yard kick return. He ran extremely hard after the catch, made plays in the open field and converted on a vertical route. Mike Vick was OK in his debut as a starter, finishing 21/28 for 196 yards with a TD, no turnovers and 18 yards rushing. He will be back under center next week against Pittsburgh, where hopefully he will take a few more shots down the field and play better situational football (the late drives in the fourth quarter were a little sloppy, although that was after Vick was banged up).
The Jets match-up won’t be any easier next week against an improving Pittsburgh Steelers team that will have MetLife Stadium filled with roughly 90% of their fans. 1-9 at the bye week is a very real possibility, with four games left against AFC East teams who are all still in the playoff mix.