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Chiefs vs. Jets: 10 Observations

Posted Dec 3, 2017

Here are some things that stood out Sunday afternoon

The Kansas City Chiefs fell to 6-6 on the season as they dropped a tough one Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium to the New York Jets, 38-31.

Here are 10 observations from the game:

1. Jets grab late lead on penalty-filled final drive

This one came down to the wire.

Trailing 31-30, the Jets got a late touchdown on a quarterback sneak from Josh McCown with a little more than two minutes on the clock, and then they followed it up with a successful two-point conversion to take a seven-point lead.

The Chiefs’ final drive to try and tie the game got within striking distance at the Jets’ 19-yard line, but Alex Smith’s fourth-down pass with 49 seconds left fell incomplete and the Chiefs were out of timeouts.

On what proved to be the game-winning drive for the Jets, the Chiefs were called for four penalties and all of them came when the Jets were within the Chiefs’ three-yard line.

One of the penalties came on a Jets made field goal that would have given the Chiefs the ball back trailing by two with 3:58 left in the game, but the penalty gave the Jets a first-and-goal and extended the drive.

2. The Chiefs barely had the ball, and the Jets kept converting third downs

There’s a lot to take away from Sunday’s game, but the three most obvious simple observations were the discrepancy in time of possession, key penalties by the Chiefs’ defense late in the game, and the third-down play of the Jets’ offense.

On the day, the Jets won the time of possession battle in astounding fashion, holding the ball for 42:49 compared to just 17:11 for the Chiefs.

Part of the reason for the discrepancy in time of possession was that the Jets converted 13 of 20 third-down opportunities on the day, and the Chiefs also helped extend some of those drives with penalties. The Chiefs finished with eight penalties for 30 yards, but it seems that each of them came at a crucial time.

And finally, the guys who led the Jets on many of those third-down plays were receivers Robby Anderson (8 catches, 107 yards) and Jermaine Kearse (9 catches, 157 yards).

3. Tyreek Hill reminded everyone how fast he is, twice

It was a career-game for Tyreek Hill.

Midway through the third quarter and following a Jets’ field goal that extended their lead to 24-17, Smith hit Hill for a 79-yard touchdown on a beautiful go-ball on the first play of the drive.

It was the longest touchdown reception of Hill’s career and a perfect throw from Smith, who finished the game 19 of 30 for 366 yards and four touchdowns.

It was also a reminder to everyone just how fast he really is and how dangerous he is when a defense doesn’t give a cornerback help over the top of Hill, which is why it was so great when it happened again in the fourth quarter.

Once again, Hill raced down the middle of the field without safety help over the top and Smith found him for a perfect throw on a 40-yard touchdown strike, which gave the Chiefs the lead at 31-30.

Hill finished the game with a career-high 186 yards on six receptions with a pair of touchdowns, which marks the first time in his career that he’s had multiple touchdown receptions in a single game.

Overall, the Chiefs’ offense averaged more than 10 yards per play.

4. The Chiefs’ offense came out on fire early

The Chiefs hadn’t scored in the first quarter in their last three games, and it didn’t take long for them to remedy that this week.

The Jets won the toss and deferred to the second half, but there’s reason to believe they might have rather kept that Chiefs’ offensive group on the bench to start this game because they started out on fire.

On the Chiefs’ opening drive, they went 75 yards on five plays—four of which went for more than 11 yards, and culminated with a 22-yard touchdown strike from Smith to Travis Kelce.

The whole drive took just 2:38 off the clock.

5. Smith to Kelce struck again quick

It didn’t take long for the Chiefs’ offense to strike again.

Following an opening three-and-out for the Jets’ offense, the Chiefs wasted no time in going back to the Smith-Kelce connection.

Smith found Kelce deep down the left side for a 36-yard score on the first play of their second drive.

It had taken the Chiefs’ offense 66 minutes and 25 seconds of game clock to score their previous two touchdowns before Sunday, and it took just 2:44 for them to find pay dirt twice against the Jets.

Smith began the game 5 of 5 for 111 yards and two touchdowns, while Kelce had three catches for 90 yards and a pair of scores through the first five minutes of this game as well.

6. Jets responded with two first-quarter touchdown drives

After the Chiefs quick start to the game, the Jets’ offense responded with a couple of touchdown drives of their own.

Following the Chiefs second touchdown, the Jets went 75 yards on nine plays in just 4:36 to get on the board—culminating the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run from Bilal Powell.

The Chiefs’ ensuing offensive drive from that score went three-and-out, and the Jets would once again drive down the field—going 68 yards on eight plays in 5:02 to tie the game on a 1-yard quarterback sneak from McCown.

The big play on that drive was a 44-yard hookup between McCown and Kearse on a switch route on the outside that had Chiefs’ cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Marcus Peters run into one another.

Also, it became obvious that the Jets were challenging the Chiefs’ newest cornerback, Darrelle Revis, with screen passes and quick throws to the outside when he was in 1-on-1 situations early in the game.

7. Smith shows off his wheels

Before Sunday’s game, the longest rush of Smith’s career was 49 yards, which happened in London against the Detroit Lions two year ago.

And late in the first half against the Jets, Smith beat that record as he scampered down the field with the feet of a younger man—amassing a career-best 70 yards on the run that included a few moves for the highlight reel.

On the play, which began at the Chiefs’ 14-yard line, Smith left the pocket as he dodged a couple of would-be sackers after feeling some pressure and was off to the races down the right sideline, breaking one tackle and making a couple of moves along the sideline before getting out of bounds prior to taking any kind of a hit.

Smith, who later became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to have a 70-plus-yard run, and a 70-plus yard pass in the same game, even had running back Kareem Hunt blocking for him down the field on that long run.

The play led to a Harrison Butker 36-yard field goal, which gave the Chiefs a 17-14 lead with less than three minutes to go in the first half.

8. Jets take a late first-half lead

The Jets got a late first-half touchdown pass from McCown to running back Matt Forte, who just barely got the ball across the scoring line as Derrick Johnson came in to help make the tackle on the 11-yard gain.

The drive went 75 yards on 10 plays and took just 2:26 off the clock. The Chiefs appeared to be playing a lot of off coverage and McCow and company kept taking advantage with small gains that added up.

After the touchdown pass to Forte, the Jets had a 21-17 lead, which they took into halftime.

9. Jets add to their lead to begin the second half

The Jets began the second half with a long field goal drive, which included converting five third downs on a series that took almost 10 minutes off the clock. It went 72 yards on 18 plays.

After the drive, the Jets were 8 of 12 on third down on the day.

The 26-yard field goal from the Jets’ Chandler Catanzaro extended their lead to 24-17 with 5:29 left in the third quarter.

It’s worth noting that Revis did not play at all on the drive, standing on the sideline holding his helmet.

10. Steven Nelson’s open field tackle was key play at the time

As the Jets’ offense faced a second-and-4 from the Chiefs’ 24-yard line late in the third quarter with the game tied, 24-24, cornerback Steven Nelson made a key play that might go unnoticed to many, but it shouldn’t.

On the play, the Jets attempted an end-around to receiver ArDarious Stewart, who had plenty of open field in front of him as he got the ball. It had the potential of a scoring play, but Nelson came flying downhill and made a shoestring tackle out in space in a 1-on-1 situation that resulted in a loss of a yard on the play.

It forced a third-down attempt, which saw McCown’s pass up the seam fall incomplete and the Jets were forced to settle for a field goal.

As it turned out, the Chiefs only had a chance late in the game because of Nelson’s play on that attempted end-around.

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