After a stabilizing victory over of the hapless Chicago Bears on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs are moving on to the bright lights of the big city for their Sunday Night Football tilt against the New York Jets. The diagnosis for the Chiefs’ victory after the beatdown at Arrowhead is simple, keep the line moving against another bad team and administer some good medicine that shows off the improved defense and topflight defense.
This is an interesting game for the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets. The turmoil developed in week one when Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season. Head Coach Robert Saleh has put his chips all in on Zach Wilson, at least publicly for now. Wilson isn’t the “solution” unless he really shows an upside against a stout Chiefs defense. Bringing Trevor Siemian back to the roster says something and even Colin Kaepernick reaching out to the organization sounds like desperate times require desperate measures.
As of right now, the Chiefs boast the number four scoring defense heading into the week. They are also sixth yards against, per Pro Football Reference. I’ve said emphatically, that if the Chiefs maintain a consistent top-ten defense, we’ll see them in Las Vegas.
They are starting to get their offensive mojo back and that will bode well for the next several games. None of the upcoming contests will be walks in Central Park, I’m sure of that, so limiting letdowns against inferior teams is their top priority. The Chiefs are getting their opponents’ best shot and will have to game plan accordingly.
I expect, based on comments provided by Patrick Mahomes at Wednesday’s presser, the running game must become more of an emphasis. My belief in the running game has never wavered based on the talent, and until the Chiefs add another running back into the mix, it’s a three-headed committee with Isiah Pacheco leading the trio.
Pacheco had 15 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. Back-up, Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 15 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown and Jerick McKinnon had two carries for nine yards and caught a pair of touchdown passes from Mahomes. In all the group had 126 yards rushing and four touchdowns and added Mahomes output of another 28 yards and we have 154 yards of actual production from the running game. If that production was a single player, that would have been the second-highest rushing game for week three. Not too shabby!
I think with the elevation of wide receiver Montrell Washington to the active roster as the returner, Dave Toub has made a great decision. This kid was kind of off the radar but then again, we don’t see what the coaches see, but one thing is clear, the Denver Broncos let him go without hesitation. Richie James is likely gone for the season, but he really didn’t do much before his injury. The Chiefs’ special teams rank in the top ten, and it’s always been said if all three phases are playing good football like the Chiefs displayed last weekend, the Chiefs are in great shape.
The Jets on the other hand are a mess. They sit 1-2 on the year and are at the bottom of the AFC East. Offensively they rank dead last in yards and points. The Jets are also dead last in drive average with 19.3 yards per drive while the Chiefs are number six with 36.6 yards per drive.
This offensive comparison explains quite a lot. Without a consistent signal caller, the Jets will be facing an uphill battle throughout the season. Even if Aaron Rodgers makes a surprising comeback from a ruptured Achille’s tendon at the age of 40, he will not be the same player before the injury.
Jets Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich has spent the last four years in the organization and having worked for both Pete Carroll and Dan Quinn, his defenses have underachieved until the second half of last year. The Jets were ranked dead last in team defense in 2021 and then rose to number 4 in 2022. Now they are at number 20 in yards allowed. What gives?
They have great playmakers like cornerback Sauce Gardner, linebackers Quincy William and C.J. Mosley, and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson. This team should be at or near the top in most defensive categories. Still, they’ve been feisty this week pointing fingers at the Head Coach for supporting Wilson, so they could take that out on the Chiefs offense.
Adding insult to injury even Broadway Joe Namath appears to have given up on the 2023 squad with Wilson at the helm. I can only imagine what general manager Joe Douglas and owner Woody Johnson might pull the trigger on adding a veteran quarterback like Kirk Cousins to settle the offense. They had high expectations after bringing Rodgers to Gotham City.
Part of the issue in New York rests solely on offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett. He was an awful Head Coach in Denver, and without Rodgers, he’s unable to create a game plan for Wilson that uses his strengths. He has a few but Hackett didn’t have much say in the offense in Green Bay with Rodgers, and now he could be one and done again at season’s end. Unless the unlikely scenario of this Jet’s team somehow pulling an unbelievable upset, I think Owner Woody Johnson will demand a blow-up of the organization. If they continue to lose, even Joe Douglas at some point must consider a fire sale and look toward 2024.
The Chiefs are the statistically superior team. However, the adage of “any given Sunday” falls into play here. Could this be a legitimate trap game for the Chiefs with nothing to lose Jet’s team on the other side? We’ll find out soon enough!
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