The NY Jets will face their toughest task of the season in Week 8 against the Chiefs.
The NY Jets lost again last week, but to many people’s surprise, they managed to cover for the first time all year as underdogs.
I, for one, am most definitely kicking myself at the missed opportunity as the Jets were one of the teams I went back and forth with last week in my spread picks.
They had succeeded in covering 12 points in about 69 percent of their games with the Buffalo Bills in which they lost. Yet to that point, they had been 0-5 against the spread as underdogs in 2020 and I just couldn’t take the plunge on them after they didn’t come through for me with the Miami game.
In essence, I backed myself into a corner by making poor decisions with taking the Jets in the spread two weeks ago with Miami and then earlier in the year outright against Indianapolis.
But that’s the nature of the game, unfortunately. Oh well, I move forward to Week 8 and see if I can redeem myself.
All that being said, the Jets played really well in the Bills game at times. Dowell Loggains had brief success as the new play-caller for about one-and-a-half quarters of football and then everything shut down as per usual with the Jets offense and we saw them go scoreless in the second half.
The Bills sleepwalked through most of this game thinking they could easily win it at any time and a team that had been struggling prior to coming to MetLifeStadium got away with napping on the job because the Jets could not maintain a lead.
We can’t really blame them because it was uncharted territory for everybody involved. The Denver Broncos game comes to mind, but when’s the last time the Jets had a two-possession lead this year?
All in all, it was about the best the Jets had played all season long to this point, and it still wasn’t enough.
We now move on to perhaps the most daunting week for the Jets as they take on Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs who just blasted the Broncos at Mile High last week.
We know what we’re going to get from the Chiefs. A high-powered offense with perhaps the best quarterback in football leading it (I like Russell Wilson, though). A defense that’s second in takeaways with 13 on the season, but can be run on.
The Chiefs are 30th in rushing yards allowed per game this year, which makes run defense clearly their weakness on that side of the ball. But the question is how will that translate with Frank Gore nursing a hand injury?
I would say get ready to gear up for a Sam Darnold clinic, but Darnold is also nursing an injury of his own to his throwing shoulder.
It also breaks my heart to say as a Sam Darnold supporter, but he has not been very good this year and has topped out at 230 yards passing in a game for a season-high with an overall passer rating of 65.0 and QBR of 40.1.
When does Darnold do better? When he has his man Jamison Crowder to throw to and a healthy receiving corps. Well, Crowder is doubtful and Breshad Perriman is out for this game, so now what? I think it’s going to talk a little more than 230 passing yards to beat the Chiefs.
I’m pretty solid on the Chiefs winning this game. Originally, going into this season I actually had the Jets winning this game in upset fashion, but it goes without saying that this Jets season has gone completely under the mark of where I thought it would go to this point.
I can’t have another Colts debacle on my resume, so even though the Jets have some pretty good numbers against Kansas City historically, it’s more likely than not that the Chiefs win this game.
The NY Jets are going to lose this game, but will the Chiefs cover the spread?
That calls into question the 19.5-point spread — I believe the biggest one in the NFL all year unless I’m mistaken. Big spreads are the toughest to nail down and the Chiefs haven’t exactly been kings of the cover as favorites this season.
To make a case for the Jets at least finishing this game within 19.5 points of the Chiefs, let’s look at their overall history.
These two teams are deadlocked 19-19-1 all-time when they face each other. The Jets are 4-2 in their last six, 6-5 in their last 10, and 10-6-1 in their last 17 against the Chiefs, and in Kansas City, they are 4-6 in their last 10 and 6-9 overall.
Pretty good numbers if you’re the Jets. This is a team they have some really good history against from a numbers standpoint.
What about 19.5 points? Well, I did my digging as a nerd would do — just to spite them of course; kind of like how Mark Wahlberg took up ballet in The Other Guys to make fun of the male ballet dancers.
The Chiefs have had five similar spreads this year as favorites and have seen surprisingly mixed results. In Week 1, they won and covered 9.5 points against the Texans. In Week 2, they won and failed to cover 8.5 points against the Chargers.
In Week 4, they won and covered 10.5 points against the Patriots. In Week 5, they lost outright to the Raiders as 11.5-point favorites. And then last week, they won and covered 9.5 points against the Broncos.
If you’re keeping tally, they’ve won one, lost one against the spread in those big spots, and this week, if history repeats itself, would be a losing week for them. So, if you’re feeling the Jets +19.5, there you go.
But here’s where I tend to go against that narrative. Typically, something like that would be enough to convince me to go a certain way, i.e. take the Jets and all those points Vegas is giving them to cover.
But being someone that has backed himself into a corner so to speak with poor decisions in the last two weeks going against the spread, I’m not going to fall for the trickery.
I’m not going go Jets +9.5 against the Dolphins which they absolutely failed to cover, then go Bills -12 to get back at the Jets for that, and then come back to them after they covered those 12 points and go Jets +19.5 against the Chiefs because Vegas would have me chasing my own tail in that regard.
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Think about this, when looking at percentages of the time favorites cover their expected spread against a certain team in a particular series, you want that percentage to be well over 50 percent, maybe even well-over 60 percent.
However, looking at the Chiefs’ winning history against the Jets (and I think we’re all expecting the Chiefs to win this week’s game), in the 19 games they’ve won over the Jets, they’ve actually covered 19.5 points six times (32 percent of the time they win against the Jets, they win by 19.5 points or more).
And when those wins came at home, the Chiefs covered 19.5 points 5-of-11 times (45 percent).
Those aren’t great percentages if a spread is much lower, but considering we’re talking about nearly three touchdowns here, the fact that the Chiefs’ success rate at covering 19.5 points is as high a sit is, really intrigues me. So, I’m probably looking at a Chiefs’ win and cover.
As for the over/under of 49, in 39 total games in this rivalry, 14 of those went over 49 points total (36 percent). As for games in this rivalry with the Chiefs being the home team, 6-of-18 games went over 49 points (33 percent).
The more I’ve studied it, that success rate in the 30s is about average, maybe even above average a little. Great rates are in the 40s and above for games that are likely to go over a specified number.
I don’t love or hate this game’s chances of going over 49 points, but considering the Chiefs just blasted the Broncos and seem to have their offense rolling again, I think 49 points is something they might be able to get close to on their own.
All they need is Sam Darnold to score one or two touchdowns to seal the deal.
I have this game going 43-18 with the Chiefs winning and covering 19.5 points and the over 49 points being hit.
I think the Chiefs are going to come out strong here and put it on the Jets like everybody else out there thinks is going to happen.