“I’m proud of our guy’s effort, said Head Coach Rex Ryan after the loss, “The guys played extremely hard, the thing that’s holding us back really right now is we’re not making the critical play at the critical time.”
Ryan specifically pointed to the Jets inability to get the Chiefs off the field on third-down.
“That’s evident by [the] third-down (conversion rate), they converted 62% against us.”
The tone of the game was set in the first quarter. On the Chiefs opening drive, the Jets gave up a 12-play, 81-yard touchdown drive on the Chiefs opening possession. The defense had trouble wrapping up Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles and were unable to get pressure on quarterback Alex Smith.
Even when the Jets did something right in the first quarter, it backfired. On a second-and-goal from the Jets, two-yard line, Calvin Pace deflected a Smith pass that ricocheted into the hands of a sitting Anthony Fasano who dove into the end zone for the touchdown.
“I thought it was typical of how this season has gone for us, that’s what I thought,” said Ryan.
“You see a play like that and you start wondering what type of luck do you have,” added Michael Vick.
The score was 14-0 Chiefs before the Jets managed a first down.
After a rough start however, the Jet offense behind Vick, who made his first start of the season, were able to move the ball to the tune of a 15-play, 81-yard drive to cut the score to 14-7 on a three-yard pass from Vick to Eric Decker.
“I thought Mike did a good job,” said Ryan of Vick’s performance, “I thought you’re going against a tough defense, Bob Sutton’s crew over there they do an outstanding job, they can rush the passer, [they’re] number one in the league in pass defense so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I thought Mike did a nice job.
Vick finished the day going 21/28 for 196 yards with a touchdown with a rating of 105.7.
After the game, Ryan said that Vick will start next weeks game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Yeah he’ll start next week said Ryan. As long as he’s healthy we’ll go with Mike.”
The Jets were unable to maintain the momentum from their scoring drive as De’Anthony Thomas returned the kickoff 78-yards, which led to a 12-yard Alex Smith touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce.
“It was pretty deflating there’s no doubt,” said Ryan of Thomas’ return. “But it wasn’t as deflating as giving up the touchdown pass that followed but both of those were huge blows to us.
The Jets answered Thomas’ long return with one of their own. Percy Harvin, whom the Jets acquired last week, broke of a 65-yard return which led to a field goal to make the score 21-10.
After finally stopping the Chiefs in the red zone and only giving up a field goal, the Jets marched down the field and as the third quarter came to an end were in a position to once again pull within a touchdown.
Unfortunately for the Jets, their red zone issues resurfaced. Vick followed up a second down fumble with back-to-back incomplete passes.
“For us not to score right there, that was kind of disheartening,” said Vick. “Those are the plays that you’ve got to make when you’re on the road in a tough environment against a team with a great defense.”
After the incomplete pass, Vick went down hard on his head and had to be taken into the locker room and evaluated under the NFL’s concussion protocol. The injury does not appear to be serious as Vick returned after missing a series.
In the end, an early 14-point deficit was too much to overcome leaving the Jets at 1-8.
“We all feel the same way, we’re stunned by it (the 1-8 start), said Ryan. “We’d do anything for a win.”
News and Notes
In his second game as a Jet, Percy Harvin showed the playmaking ability that the Jets have sorely lacked this season. In addition to his 65-yard kick return, Harvin registered 11 catches for 129 yards receiving including a 42-yard reception. Harvin also added eight yards rushing to his day.
You see an explosive returner but he’s an explosive receiver,” said Ryan. “When you put him not just as a slot but as a Z receiver, and all those type of things that you can do with him, lets face it the guy’s an outstanding talent.”
Running back Chris Johnson who earlier in the week, expressed frustration with his limited role, played well. Johnson broke a 21-yard run on his first carry and showed flashes of the playmaker he once was.
Johnson finished the game with 11 carries for 69 yards and two catches for 32 yards totaling 101 total yards.
One player who had his struggles today was Antonio Allen. The converted safety started at cornerback and ended up being benched by Ryan.
“I just wanted to stop somebody,” Ryan said of the reason behind Allen’s benching.
Rookie safety Calvin Pryor injured his shoulder early in the first quarter and did not return to the game until the fourth.
“He got a little nicked up as well but he was able to return. That was a positive sign,” said Ryan.