Chiefs vs. Jets: 10 Observations

Here’s what stood out on Sunday

The Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) beat the New York Jets (1-2) by a score of 24-3 Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Here are 10 observations from the game:

  1. The Chiefs defense was the story, plain and simple

Whenever you force eight turnovers and have six interceptions, three of which came inside the red zone, that's going to be the story of the day.

It was a dominant performance by the Chiefs defense, which was facing a Jets offense that came into the game ranking in the top six in the league in both total yards (416.5 ypg, No. 4) and points per game (29.5 ppg, No. 6).

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was the AFC's reigning Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 374 yards last week against the Buffalo Bills, and the Chiefs defense held to him to just 20 of 44 for 188 yards with six interceptions on Sunday.

The eight turnovers by the Chiefs were the second most in a game in franchise history.

  1. Non-offensive touchdowns also highlight the day

The Chiefs found the end zone twice on Sunday in non-traditional ways.

Midway through the second quarter, tight end Demetrius Harris returned a fumbled kickoff by Jets returner Jalin Marshall 27 yards the other way for the touchdown, which extended the Chiefs lead to 17-0 at the time.

The fumble was forced by fullback and special teams ace Anthony Sherman.

Then, late in the fourth quarter, it was veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson who returned an interception 55 yards the other way for a touchdown, which gave the Chiefs a 24-3 lead with just 3:28 left in the game.

It was the exclamation point on a dominant performance.

Johnson joked after the game about how his teammates on the sideline were surprised he, at age 33, could run it back all the way like he did.

Johnson led the team with 11 tackles on the day.

  1. The streak continues
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The last Chiefs loss at Arrowhead Stadium came back in Week 5 of last season against the Chicago Bears, which took place on Sunday, October 11.

With the Chiefs on the road next week for Sunday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers (October 2), plus the bye week (October 9) and then another road game against the Oakland Raiders (October 16) after that, the Chiefs won't return home until Sunday, October 23, when they host the New Orleans Saints.

Therefore, the Chiefs will have gone more than an entire year without losing a regular-season game at Arrowhead, and thus the streak continues…

  1. Marcus Peters' big day

Through the first 19 games of his regular season career, Marcus Peters has 12 interceptions, which is ridiculously good.

Basically, he's a turnover magnet.

Peters had two interceptions on Sunday, the first of which came a few plays after rookie Tyreek Hill's fantastic play to pin the Jets offense deep at the 1-yard line on Dustin Colquitt's 37-yard punt.

On third-and-9 from the 22-yard line, the Chiefs brought pressure up the middle on a safety blitz by Daniel Sorensen. Fitzpatrick, who stayed in the pocket, threw late off his back foot and Peters made a phenomenal play to go up and intercept the pass in front of Marshall.

Peters' second interception was one of the three that came inside the red zone for the Chiefs on Sunday.

On second-and-goal from the 6-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, the Chiefs were holding on to a 17-3 lead but the Jets were threatening to bring that to within a touchdown.

Peters and company had other plans.

On the play, Tamba Hali had a free lane to Fitzpatrick, who tried to avoid the pressure. Once again, he threw late and awkwardly under pressure, and second-year cornerback Steve Nelson was able to get a hand on the ball to deflect it up to Peters, who happened to be in the right spot at the right time.

It's worth noting that the NFL record for interceptions in a single season is 14, which was set by Pro Football Hall of Famer "Night Train" Lane back in 1952.

Peters has four through three games.

  1. Eric Berry's interception and the other three turnovers forced by the Chiefs defense

One of the other red zone interceptions came on a play in which Johnson tipped it on the goal line and right to Eric Berry, who had started drifting that direction from his safety position, as Fitzpatrick was staring down his receiver.

Because of the pressure up the middle by Poe on the play, Fitzpatrick threw off his back foot again, which caused him to throw this errant pass across the middle into double coverage.

Rookie D.J. White also got in on the action with an interception in the end zone in front of veteran receiver Brandon Marshall late in the game, and Daniel Sorensen had the other interception, which came on the far sideline on a fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter.

  1. Travis Kelce shows off his strength, athleticism

Outside of the defenses performance, tight end Travis Kelce paced the offense in the passing game, hauling in six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown to lead the team.

It was the offenses only touchdown of the game and came on first-and-10 from the Jets 12-yard line late in the first quarter.

Kelce went in motion before the snap and ran a little shallow crosser, which is a staple in Andy Reid's offense because of the run-after-the-catch ability of guys like Kelce, who took this particular catch all the way to the corner of the end zone—diving in for touchdown to give the Chiefs their first lead of the season.

It's also worth noting that Albert Wilson, who was lined up tight in the slot on the play side, did a great job of running his route so that two of the defenders actually collided into one another, one of which was the linebacker attempting to cover Kelce on the crosser.

On his 42-yard reception, which was the longest play of the game for either team offensively, Kelce showed a nice stiff arm to Jets defensive back Marcus Gilchrist at the end of the play.

  1. Play calling had Alex Smith moving around the pocket

Early in the game, the Chiefs had a lot of play-action and roll outs called for Smith—primarily to get him out of the box and keep the Jets defense guessing on where to find him.

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The Jets have one of the league's best front sevens, led by their stout defensive line made up of Muhammed Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams. Their abilities were praised all week by the Chiefs coaching staff.

By moving Smith around, they protected him from sitting in the pocket against one of the most formidable groups in the NFL.

Smith finished the game 25 of 33 for 237 yards and a touchdown.

  1. Smith was spreading the love on Sunday

There were seven different players who caught at least two passes from Smith on Sunday, with the tight ends accounting for 10 of those 25 receptions.

Kelce (6 for 89, 1 TD), Harris (2 for 14) and Ross Travis (2 for 10) all got in the mix.

  1. Defense continues to stand tall with backs against the wall
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Coming into Sunday's game, the Chiefs defense ranked No. 4 in the NFL by allowing touchdowns just 33 percent of the time an opponent got to the 20-yard line.

Against the Jets, the Chiefs defense held them out of the end zone on all four of their possessions.

Several Chiefs players talked about this in the locker room after the game and they all give credit to defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, who preaches that "they're not in until they're in."

They stood by that on Sunday.

  1. Spencer Ware leads Chiefs on the ground
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Ware continues to hammer out the tough yards for the Chiefs offense, finishing Sunday's game with 20 carries for 75 yards.

And for the second time in a week, Ware was charged with a lost fumble, although the one on Sunday afternoon came as he was diving for the pylon in the corner of the end zone, and the play was originally ruled as a touchdown before being overturned.

There should be a lot of credit also given to the Chiefs offensive line, and particularly Jordan Devey, who stepped in and started at right guard for Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Duvernay-Tardif was active but still hampered by an ankle injury he suffered a couple of weeks ago against the San Diego Chargers.

It was the first action of Devey's season and came against one of the best defensive lines in football.

Photos from the Chiefs Week 3 matchup against the New York Jets

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