Insight from the Real Experts Jets vs. Chiefs

What defines an expert? Is it someone who covers your favorite team from a distance or someone local? Is it someone who bleeds the colors of the home team or someone who favors the opposing team?

You can have your John Claytons, your Chris Mortensons, your Len Pasquarelli's, your Pete Priscos and your Peter Kings. They are all viewed as experts on the NFL.

However, when reading or listening to their commentary about one's favorite team, it becomes apparent that they don't know the intricacies of the individual teams. That's why in this weekly column we went to the real experts for analysis for the up coming game. Who are these experts? They are the fans of the various teams.

These are the people who analyze every on field and off field move made by every member of the organization. From the owner and general manager to the undrafted rookie free agent, the fans know what's going on, what moves should be or should not be made, and what play should be called.

This week we visit with fans of the New York Jets.

Our panel consists of the following:
Andy Will, 33, from Guernsey (Channel Islands) 25 miles off the French coast in the English Channel; a Jets fan for 23 years.

Mackenzie Kraemer, 17, from Wall Township, New Jersey; a Jets fan for his entire life.

Anthony Cornetto, 32, from Oakridge, New Jersey; a Jets fan for 27 years.

Question: What aspect of the Jets attack do the Chiefs not have an answer for?

Answer: "I think it's going to be our rush offense. While the Chiefs have been solid against the run in preseason, the Jets bring a different type of attack than a guy like Shaun Alexander brought in week P3. I think we'll be able to run the ball well, which will open up the passing game." – Anthony Cornetto "The Jets rushing attack won't be as good as it was last year when it was one of the best in football because of the loss of Anthony Becht and possibly Kareem McKenzie, depending on how our new right tackle, second year man Adrian Jones, plays. But it will still be very good, and I don't see how Kansas City can stop it." – Mackenzie Kramer

It is a fair assessment given the Chiefs' performance the last few years. The Chiefs were next to last in 2004 in rushing yards per attempt at 4.6 yards per carry. The counter to this argument is two-fold. First, the Chiefs have greatly improved their defense with the additions of Kendrell Bell, Sammy Knight, Patrick Surtain and Derrick Johnson as well as the apparent improvement of Ryan Sims and Kawika Mitchell.

However, it remains to be seen what improvement those additions will bring. Second, the loss of Becht and McKenzie could be very big to the Jets rushing attack. They were both very good blockers who have been replaced by guys (Chris Baker and Adrian Jones) who are not as experienced in the NFL or as accomplished as blockers.

In general, these Jets fans in believe the Jets running game, featuring NFL rushing champion Curtis Martin.

Question: What aspect of the Chiefs concerns you the most?

Answer: "I'm concerned about Tony Gonzalez, but who isn't? While I think Kerry Rhodes is going to be a good safety, this is going to be his first NFL game. To go against Gonzalez is going to be a tough task. I think Gonzalez will do REALLY WELL unless Green can't go." – Anthony Cornetto

"Gonzalez is the big threat especially as we likely have a rookie fourth rounder starting at safety." – Andy Will

Question: Who is the Jets player that Chiefs fans have not heard of that will be a difference maker in the game and why?

Answer: "Kerry Rhodes at free safety could be a star in the making." – Andy Wells

"If the Jets win, Kerry Rhodes will be the difference maker. For the Jets to win, he'll have to shut down, well, at least contain, Gonzalez." – Anthony Cornetto

"Try rookie safety Kerry Rhodes. Rhodes has three interceptions in the preseason and he tipped away the pass that could have tied the game in the first preseason game. He's been impressive throughout camp, and he's shown himself to be a playmaker." – Mackenzie Kraemer

I think the panel has the wrong matchup in mind with Rhodes. While he'll be on Gonzalez much of the afternoon, his real concern should be Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders. Saunders likes to use shifts and movement to confuse defenses and generate favorable matchups. Veteran defenses have been pushed back on their heels facing Saunders and the Chiefs. A rookie safety in his first NFL game is quite likely to be confused about whom he is supposed to cover or whom he is supposed to help. This could be a very tough debut for Rhodes.

Question: What will be the main factor in a Jets win over Kansas City?

Answer: "We will definitely win this game if we continue where we left off last year on defense." – Andy Will

"The Jets will win this game if Holmes and Larry Johnson don't rush for over 100 yards." – Mackenzie Kraemer

The Chiefs fared well against top defenses last year. They faced six defenses ranked in the top ten in scoring last season. In those six games, the Chiefs averaged 27 points per game and 126 yards rushing.

This match up appears to be a battle of strengths; the number two scoring offense from 2004 (The Chiefs) versus the number four scoring defense from 2004 (The Jets). At least that's what the experts say.

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