Florham Park N.J. - After their Week Two victory over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football, the New York Jets head to one of the loudest and most intimidating stadiums in the National Football League on Sunday to face the Kansas City Chiefs. Last time these teams met in 2014, Rex Ryan's Jets were embarrassed 24-10 en route to their eight consecutive loss. New York is 4-5 all-time at Arrowhead Stadium with their most recent win coming in 1998 - a 20-17 victory over the Chiefs.
Kansas City is coming off an ugly 19-12 loss to the Houston Texans. Alex Smith went 20-37 for 186 yards and no touchdowns but the entire Chiefs team struggled to get anything going offensively as they compiled just 291 yards through the air and on the ground. The Jets offensive clicked on all cylinders Thursday night as Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 24-for-34 for 374 yards and one touchdown. Matt Forte had a vintage performance reaching the endzone three times. Here is what you need to know for the upcoming matchup:
WHEN: Sunday, September 25, 2016, 4:25 p.m. EST
WHERE: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Stop Smith from Success
Alex Smith has never been a quarterback who will beat the opposition's secondary deep; good news, Darrelle Revis. He has always been a short-threat signal caller; the spotlight goes to Buster Skrine. But when facing pressure from stout defensive lines, Smith has had virtually no success especially when flushed out of the pocket. He badly struggled against the Texans who had their way with the Chiefs offensive line sacking Smith four times. And if it were not for an epic collapse from the San Diego Chargers in week one, the Chiefs could be easily 0-2 with a befuddled Smith under center. The Jets defensive line must generate the same pressure as they did in the first two weeks and get Smith unsettled.
Avoid the KC Barbecue in the Secondary
The Jets secondary has been the team's primary issue through the first two games surrendering big play after big play. Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams will try to avoid being barbecued Kansas City style when they go up against Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce - Alex Smith's primary targets downfield. The two teamed up for 102 yards on 11 catches in Sunday's game against Houston. It will be important for the trio of cornerbacks to limit the passing game, which will allow the Jets front seven to do their thing and stuff the run. Through the first few games, New York's secondary has not looked good. But, the questions can be put temporarily to bed with a nice outing at Arrowhead.
Jets fans held their breath when Brandon Marshall went down hard with an ugly knee sprain. It looked awful but he came back into the game and finished with six catches for 101 yards. The injury scare has kept him off the practice field throughout the week but he seemed unfazed. "I feel pretty good," Marshall told the media this week. "Anything better than having surgery is a blessing. I smile and I keep looking at that picture of the play and I'm so thankful to be able to still be in this locker room preparing with the guys." Marshall's status remains uncertain as he will most likely be a gametime decision on Sunday. He is not the only wideout suffering with the injury bug as Eric Decker (shoulder) and Quincy Enunwa (ribs) sustained slight injuries as well. Decker was limited in practice on Thursday and Todd Bowles said Enunwa was 'fine.' The key to this week, stay healthy and be productive. If the Jets can have all three receivers on the field in Kansas City healthy, they will do wonders for Ryan Fitzpatrick. A formal injury update will be provided after practice on Friday.
Continue 'Battle of Trenches' Success
Two of the more successful units for the Jets through the first two games this season have been the offensive line and defensive line. They have been consistent and extremely effective against a dangerous pass rush in both the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. If there is one thing that has been working for the Chiefs, it has been their rush defense currently ranked third in the league. The Chiefs defensive line - led by the powerful Jaye Howard - has also compiled three sacks in two games. It will be a battle at the line of scrimmage but it will be mostly important for the Jets to establish a run game with Matt Forte - who looked dominant on Thursday - and to stop Jamaal Charles - who looks as if he will start Sunday.
X-Factor: Quincy Enunwa
How about the start to the season for Enunwa? A seven-catch, 54-yard and one touchdown performance in week one and a six-catch, 92-yard outing in week two has turned some heads around the league. There was plenty of hype in training camp for Enunwa to emerge as the Jets third option at receiver and he has not faltered. If Marshall and Decker are not 100 percent and if Marcus Peters - coming off a two-interception game in Houston - shadows Marshall, Enunwa will have to step up and have another special performance. Keep an eye out for him because aside from Peters, the Chiefs secondary is not spectacular.
Prediction: Jets 23 - Chiefs 16
The Chiefs have not looked great by any means through their first two games. The Jets have had their share of struggles but this is the perfect time to play in Kansas City - before the Chiefs hit their stride. Arrowhead is an intimidating place to play and will most likely cause a handful of issues on offense but the Jets just seem like the better overall team after two games.
Joe Barone is a staff writer at JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone), or via email (email@example.com)