Florham Park, N.J. - The New York Jets prepare to take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead stadium. Gang Green is 1-2 in their last three games at Kansas City, with the last one being a 24-10 loss in 2014, where former quarterback Michael Vick made his first start with the Jets. In most categories on offense, the Chiefs sit outside the top 15 in the NFL. Don't let it fool you, though, as their offense can be very dangerous if they're on their game.
Quarterback: Alex Smith
Overall on the year, Smith has lead his team to a 1-1 record by going 54-for-85 for 549 yards and two touchdowns along with one interception. Not too bad, but not too impressive. Week one against San Diego, Smith lead an unbelievable 17-point, 4th quarter comeback to win in overtime. He threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns, while also getting picked off once. Not only that, Smith dove into the end zone to get the victory for his team. Come week two, however, against a tough defense like the Houston Texans, Smith didn't dazzle. He threw for 186 yards and that was about it. Smith is one of the smarter and safer quarterbacks in the NFL, only throwing 41 interceptions since 2010 (second least in that time frame in the NFL). Last year, he had a passer rating over 100 in six games. Yet in nine games last year, Smith threw for less than 200 yards. Sometimes not taking risks can hurt you in the end.
No Jamaal Charles still could mean a problem against a Jets defense that is 5th in the NFL in rushing defense. In week one against the Chargers, Ware had a solid game, rushing for 70 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. He had an even bigger game catching out of the backfield, hauling in seven balls for 129 yards. For West, he ran the ball three times for -1 yards. In the air, he had a solid six catches for 24 yards. Week two against the Texans was a little different. Ware had ten touches for 57 yards while West had six for 61 yards. In the air, Ware had two catches for 48 yards and West had one for two yards. Both are speedy backs that can run and release out of the backfield to catch. However, since New York's front seven is so tough, the runningbacks shouldn't be a problem.
This is where some damage can be done depending on Smith. In passing defense, the Jets rank 26th in the league, allowing 315.5 yards through the air per game. It doesn't help that the Jets secondary, particularly Darrelle Revis and Buster Skrine, keep giving up big plays to opposing wide receivers. Last week, the secondary was burned deep for 84 yards on one play and 71 on another. In week one against the Bengals, three pass plays were let up for 48+ yards. In two weeks, Maclin and Conley have combined for 17 catches and 189 yards to go along with one touchdown. Yet, the biggest reception from a receiver wasn't longer than 22 yards. This comes from the fact that the Kansas City offense is more short-pass based than deep-ball. That's where Smith will do his damage with his receivers, between 3-8 yards down the field.
Tight End: Travis Kelce
One of the best tight ends in the NFL right now. 11 catches for 108 yards, numbers could be better but a not-so-good performance from Smith in week two didn't help his case. Yet, he has become Smith's primary target down the field beyond Maclin. The Jets linebackers have done good in limiting opposing tight ends so far, but this battle might be too difficult. Kelce can deal with rookie Darron Lee and a banged up David Harris.
This might be one of the weakest points that the Chiefs have. The offensive line has allowed seven total sacks in two weeks (New York had seven alone in week one). This can be a major problem when you're going up against Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams, and Steve McLendon in the front four. The defensive line for the Jets is no longer in contain mode, and they are most certainly hungry for some sacks.
The New York defense should have no problem dealing with the Kansas City offense when it all comes down to it. They might be without feature back Charles, which hurts the run game against a stiff Jets front. Throw in a weak offensive line, and the Chiefs are just asking to get bullied in the trenches. New York's problems in the secondary hasn't been the short passing game, but it's the deep ball and the big plays. If the Jets don't allow those big plays, which won't happen often due to the offense in which Kansas City runs, then there shouldn't be a problem.