On to Week 14 and the New York Jets doing battle with another AFC West team. This time it’s the 5-7 Kansas City Chiefs, who bring in a team that will look completely different from what was initially expected. The Chiefs’ average of 179.2 passing yards is ranked 30th in the NFL, behind only Tim Tebow and Denver and rookie Blaine Gabbert and Jacksonville.
Out due to Injuries: QB Matt Cassel, QB Kyle Orton, RB Jamaal Charles, S Eric Berry
In: QB Tyler Palko. Who?
QUARTERBACK: Tyler Palko, undrafted out of Pittsburgh, has been thrown into the fire this season with mixed results. Committing 7 turnovers in his first two starts, Palko settled in last week against the Bears and led the Chiefs to a 10-3 victory that included a hail mary before the half resulting in the games only TD. Look for some creative blitz schemes by the Jets to confuse the inexperienced QB.
Good story on Palko: In the spring of 2005, newly hired Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt (Dolphins), chose Palko over Joe Flacco as starting QB. Flacco would transfer to Delaware.
RUNNING BACK: Welcome back, Thomas Jones.
With Dexter McCluster (425 yards) and Jackie Battle (471 yards) sharing the rushing duties, it is the return of Jones (325 yards, 3.0 avg) that will have everyone talking. A powerful back with the Jets, Jones has seen his numbers decline with K.C. Age will do that to a back.
WIDE RECEIVER: Dwayne Bowe (59 catches – 868 yards) leads the Chiefs in the air and is a fast, powerful receiver that can change a game. Unfortunately for Bowe, it looks like Revis Island for him this week. That leaves Steve Breaston (48-641) for Antonio Cromartie.
DEFENSE: The strength of the team, the Chiefs employ a 3-4 defense and rely on their linebackers to control the game. With Tamba Hali (8 sacks), Derrick Johnson and rookie Justin Houston, the Chiefs will get after QB Mark Sanchez. Reports out of K.C. are that Hali suffered a broken hand this week so we will update that as we go. Former Jets S Jon McGraw, now in his 5th year with K.C., has become a staple in the Chiefs secondary.
COACHING: Break out the Jets yearbooks for autographs. The Chiefs staff will feature numerous former Jets coaches/players including: Head Coach Todd Haley (quality-control assistant on Bill Parcells’ staff with Eric Mangini), (Mo Carthon (assistant head coach), Romeo Crennel (defensive coordinator) and Bill Muir (offensive coordinator/line coach), all former Jets assistant coaches. In addition, there is Richie Anderson (wide-receivers coach), Anthony Pleasant (defensive line), Otis Smith (defensive-quality control) and Bernie Parmalee (tight end coach), all who played for the Jets in the 90’s. Thank Bill Parcells for gathering all these men together for the Jets.