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Top 5 key players of Jets to keep an eye on in Week 3

Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) gains yards during the first half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) gains yards during the first half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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In the Jets vs Chiefs Week 3 matchup, Gang Green face a tough road test this week.  They are heading to Kansas City, MO and Arrowhead, the place that holds the record for loudest stadium.

jets vs chiefs
jets vs chiefs

Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) gains yards during the first half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Many experts have penciled this game in as a loss for the New York Jets.  Obviously, Arrowhead is a tough place to play, because of that crowd. In addition, the team is much better recently. Int he Jets vs Chiefs Week 3 matchup, it’ll be another big test for Gang Green to truly prove if they’re contenders or pretenders.

Related Story: Twitter stream of Jets vs Bills reaches amazing milestone

The combination of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith have become a tough matchup.  However, the Jets’ defense should be up for that challenge.

Smith is athletic, but not like quarterback Tyrod Taylor.  They should be able to get to him. The offense broke out against the Buffalo Bills, and albeit against a hobbled Sammy Watkins while cornerback Marcus Williams showed he can play one on one effectively/

Let’s examine the key players who need to make an impact in order for the Jets to win in Kansas City.

Next: 5. Filling big shoes

5. Offensive Tackle Ryan Clady

Keeping quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s jersey clean has been a key component to the offense’s hot start this year and their success last year.  So, when offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson retired in April, the Jets knew they needed a viable replacement.

In comes Ryan Clady, whom the Jets acquired for a fifth-round draft pick.  He was coming off an ACL tear, but he appears to have not lost anything.

He will be matched up against defensive end Tambi Hali most of the game.  Even though the Chiefs’ defense and Hali haven’t played up to the standards they set last year, Clady shouldn’t rest on his laurels.

If Clady can protect the blindside and keep Fitzpatrick upright, the Jets can exploit the Chiefs’ secondary with their receiving trio.  It’s tough, but a doable task.

Next: 4. An emerging star at wide receiver

jets vs chiefs
jets vs chiefs

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22 to 17. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

4. Wide Receiver Quincy Enunwa

During the offseason, questions surfaced whether or not wide receiver Quincy Enunwa could breakout this season.  Well, those questions have been answered.

The Jets are now three-deep at wide receiver, and Enunwa needs to have a big game.  In the game against Buffalo, Enunwa caught all six of his targets, and he was eight yards shy of giving the Jets three 100-yard receivers in one game.

Obviously, Enunwa having a good game will open things up for wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.  In addition, it makes the whole offense much more difficult to defend.

So far he has 13 catches on 14 targets, 146 yards and one touchdown.  Thus, he’s becoming a reliable option.

Next: 3. The New Island?

new york jets
new york jets

Nov 8, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets strong safety Marcus Williams (20) runs back an interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

3. Cornerback Marcus Williams

Williams Island doesn’t have the same ring as Revis Island, but the Jets made a big move in their Week 2 win against Buffalo.  They moved Williams on to Sammy Watkins and the opportunity was there for the taking.

He held a hobbled Watkins to two catches for 20 yards and zero touchdowns.  In addition, he had his second interception of the season.

Only time will tell if the Jets decide to keep this going.  He had six interceptions last season, and he has nine in 23 games.

It took Revis 34 games to get to nine interceptions, and, unlike Williams, he started all 34 of those games.  Williams may be coming into his own.

Next: 2. Breakout defensive star

Williams gets to Dalton
Williams gets to Dalton

New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14). The Jets will need to continue to apply the heat in Buffalo. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

2. Defensive End Leonard Williams

Williams showed us what he’s capable of so far this season.  He’s had 10 tackles (Seven solo, three assisted), two tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble (albeit not a turnover).

Even though defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson got his well-deserved new contract, Williams needs to become a force alongside Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Steve McClendon in order for this defense to be successful.  Success on the Jets’ defense will be predicated on getting to the quarterback.

He had a decent rookie season in 2015. However, he needs to step up and become an elite pass rusher.

Williams needs to show why the Jets drafted him No. 6 overall in 2015.  He was the top player on their board, and now it’s time to step up.

Next: 1. One of the key offseason moves

new york jets
new york jets

Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs with the ball during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots 26-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

1. Running Back Bilal Powell

No one would have though an offensive player would be top on this list when the Jets are a team built around a stout defense.  However, when the Jets re-signed running back Bilal Powell in the offseason, it was clearly one of the key moves they made.

Consequently, he has become a key player in the cog of the offense., and even though he was a good pass catcher last year, he needs to do more this year and especially against the Chiefs. He only has eight touches in the first two games, and that’s not enough.

Running back Matt Forte was brought in to help this running and passing attack.  He’s on pace for 472 touches and well, the Jets can’t depend on only him to get the job done against the Chiefs.

Must Read: Quincy Enunwa developing into rising star for the Jets

At 31-years-old Forte is no spring chicken, and the Jets should learn from the mistake of last season with running back Chris Ivory. They certainly need to share the load more to make their visit to Kansas City a victorious one.

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