After last weeks loss to the Panthers, any hope or thought of a potential playoff run should be removed from Jets fans brains. The rest of the season is now about improving their draft pick and evaluating the entire roster. That continues this week against Kansas City. I take a look at how the teams stack up against one another.
Remember way back when, when people were mentioning the words MVP and Alex Smith in the same sentence? It was crazy to think that a game manager, because yes that is what he is, could be playing like an MVP. Fast forward to Week 13 and Smith doesn’t even look like the best quarterback on his own team. What was once a downfield, spread you out type of offense is now the same old Chiefs offense: check downs and dump offs. Smith can’t even get those right either. He consistently misses wide open receivers in favor of checking it down underneath. He’s not good and he hasn’t been for some time.Another week, another costly Josh McCown turnover. Before that turnover in the fourth quarter, McCown was playing really well. There were some dumb throws but for the most part he played well enough for the Jets to be in the game in the fourth and maybe even sneak away with a win. He should be able to test this Kansas City secondary that’s ranked 28th in passing yards per game.
Running Back: Kansas City
Kareem Hunt was off to a hot start to start the season, putting the league on notice after his monster Week 1 game in New England. However his stellar rookie campaign has been slowly coming to a halt. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3 and hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards since Week 5. He’s still the best back in this game, it’s more so on the offensive line of the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt still has that potential to make one cut and burn you for 60 yards. He’s a big threat out of the backfield too. The Jets need to make sure their tackling is on point today.
The Jets and Chiefs are in similar spots. Both don’t have very good offensive lines and that takes away from the running backs. Matt Forte is still running in quick sand. Bilal Powell will forever have good games and when his role increases will get hurt. It’s the same thing every week with these guys.Wide Receivers: Jets
Neither receiving corp is very good. They’re both very young and only have one playmaker. I would take Robby Anderson over Tyreek Hill. Can Hill do more on the field? Sure. He can hurt you rushing, receiving and returning. But just receiving? Give me Anderson. He’s shown his progression into a true NFL starting receiver. A touchdown in five straight games is an incredible feat for a Jets receiver, especially as an undrafted free agent.
I will say that the Chiefs receivers are probably more explosive and have more big play potential but the Jets defense has done very well at limiting the big plays from opponents. The Jets also have a quarterback who can accurately throw the ball more than 15 yards down the field.
Tight End: ChiefsTravis Kelce is a beast. He’s a Gronk light. The last time he played the Jets? Week 3 of last season he went for 6 catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. He’s a tough guy to match up with because he’s very strong and he can catch almost anything thrown his way. Jamal Adams struggled against Gronk, which is the most comparable matchup to date. If he can do more of the same, the Jets will be in for a long day.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins will probably have a touchdown called back this week. He’s been robbed of three touchdowns so far this year on three atrocious calls. Other than that, he dropped a gimme touchdown last week against the Panthers. I’ve been saying it for weeks, give him more down field targets!
Offensive Line: Push
Both offensive lines aren’t good at generating a push up front. The main reason for the Hunts fall from grace this season is how Kansas City’s offensive line just hasn’t been producing. They’re right around the Jets in allowing QB hits and sacks so both of these lines are pretty even. The Jets offensive line is bound to get at least two or three bad holding penalties a game as well.
Defensive Line: Jets
The Chiefs defensive line has seven sacks on the season compared to the Jets five defensive line sacks. However the Chiefs are 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game with 126.9. That starts up front in the trenches. The Jets defensive line has been playing a lot better as of late. They forced Cam Newton into a lot of bad throws last week and constantly got pressure on him. They should be able to do more of the same against the Chiefs offensive line and force Alex Smith into bad throws.
Darron Lee and Demario Davis have been playing phenomenally as of late. Both however are liabilities in coverage. Jordan Jenkins has started to come into his own as a pass rusher lately but stacking up against the Chiefs group, they don’t look s good.
Kansas City’s linebackers are some of the best in the business. Derrick Johnson is an ageless wonder at 35, Justin Houston is one of the best edge rushers in the league (8.5 sacks on the season) and Reggie Ragland is a versatile linebacker that was given away by Buffalo in their quest to rebuild (I wanted the Jets to draft Ragland very badly). Brandon Shell and Kelvin Beachum will have their hands full all day trying to stop their pass rushers and I like the Chiefs in that matchup.
It’s the Darrelle Revis revenge game! I personally don’t see any reason to believe that Revis is too far removed from his disastrous season last year so he’s most likely a non factor in this game. Marcus Peters is having an average season by his standards and will be matched up, most likely, with Robby Anderson. That’s the matchup of the day for the Jets. Anderson has burned every corner he’s faced so far this season and Peters is no slouch. Other than Peters, the secondary isn’t great especially without Eric Berry at safety. They’re 28th in the league in passing yards allowed per game and give up the 12th most yards per attempt.
The matchup to watch for the Jets is Jamal Adams vs. Travis Kelce. As I touched on earlier, Adams struggled when playing against Gronk who is very similar to Kelce. That was earlier in the season though. We’ll see if Adams has learned anything. Marcus Maye has been the better of the two rookie safeties and is the best tackler on this team. Morris Claiborne has been a great cover corner, when’s he healthy this season. Buster Skrine is still a liability but with how bad the Chiefs offensive line is combined with Alex Smith’s inability to throw deep ball now, the Jets secondary should have a good game.
Special Teams: Chiefs
The Jets gave up a a punt return touchdown last week. Lachlan Edwards is one the best punters in the game with Tyreek Hill being one of the most dangerous returners in the league. I’ll take Hill against this Jets special teams unit. The Jets don’t have a guy that has shown he can break one off.
Andy Reid is a mess with Alex Smith. The only thing keeping Smith in at starting quarterback is the fact that the Chiefs still lead the division. Otherwise, Reid would be dumb not to go to Mahomes. Also he is still the worst time manager in the league.
Todd Bowles kicked a field goal from the Panthers 1 yard line in the fourth quarter last week when his team was 4-6. It doesn’t get more cowardly than that. The penalties are a huge issue too. It essentially cost the Jets the game last week.
Photo courtesy of: nyjets.com