The New York Jets hit the road in Week 3 of the regular season to go up against the Kansas City Chiefs in what should be a tough game.
The New York Jets had to have upset someone in the league office. There is no other explanation for their incredibly tough slate of consecutive match-ups with 2015 NFL Playoff teams. That streak continues with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.
The Chiefs, after starting the 2015 season 1-5, miraculously won ten consecutive contests, albeit against sub-par competition. Nonetheless, Kansas City had a very successful 2015 season, even with the loss of star running back Jamaal Charles and elite edge pass rusher Justin Houston missing significant time due to injury.
The worst part about this match-up for the Jets is that they have to play in one of the loudest stadiums of the NFL, Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs have arguably the second best home field advantage, obviously the 12th Man in Seattle holds that distinction.
In order to contain the potent offense of the Chiefs that includes Charles, tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, the Jets must put pressure on quarterback Alex Smith. The offensive line of the Chiefs is certainly not considered a strength of theirs, so it will be imperative for Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson to wreak havoc all game.
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The Jets should be able to keep the Chiefs’ offense in check since they clearly have an advantage up front.
As long as they can keep the Chiefs in 3rd and long situations, they should be able to get off the field easily, due to the lack of a legit second wide receiver opposite Maclin.
Switching gears to the offensive side of the football, the Jets will face a huge challenge in limiting the impact of star edge pass rushers Tamba Hali and Houston.
They also own the most athletic 350 pound man in football, Dontari Poe, who is a disruptive force upfront for Kansas City.
Taking into account the Jets struggles on the right side of the offensive line, they will certainly have their work cut out for them in pass protection.
The Jets will need to get the ball to their play-makers quickly to neutralize their pass rush. Someone like wide receiver Brandon Marshall, a big bodies threat, should be able to win against a second year corner, Marcus Peters. Peters won the Defensive Rookie of the Year and intercepted eight passes, but surrendered seven touchdowns. Running backs Matt Forte and Bilal Powell will need to be involved in the passing game as check-down options against the blitz.
The Jets’ special teams will need to step up if they are going to win this game. They must force the Chiefs to work for every yard, rather than hand them a short field. The coverage units will need to contain dynamic return man De’Anthony Thomas.
Overall, this seems like a tough game for the Jets to win, even if they play well. The Chiefs have a talented defense with an outstanding front seven. The Jets will need someone to step up and cover their dangerous tight end in Kelce. It looks like Kansas City is just the better team right now.