Kansas City, MO - Bottom line of the game: the New York Jets could not get anything going on either side of the ball. Losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 24-3, Gang Green shot themselves in the foot on this one. Eight total turnovers for the Jets. Two fumbles, one coming from Bilal Powell and another from Jalin Marshall on a kickoff return, which was then returned 27 yards by Demetrius Harris for a touchdown. The other six turnovers came from interceptions thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick, two in the red zone and three in the Kansas City end zone. Fitzpatrick tied a Jets record for most interceptions in one game, held by Joe Namath who did it three times.
"I'm always going to be out there fighting," said Fitzpatrick after the game. "The last few interceptions I'm out there trying to make plays." The journeyman quarterback went 20-for-44 for 188 yards while also scrambling for 22 yards. Fitzpatrick is the seventh quarterback in NFL history to have a passer rating under 20 (18.1) while also attempting 40+ passes.
On the flip side, Fitzpatrick's counterpart Alex Smith had a much better day. Smith went 25-for-33 for 237 yards and a touchdown. This game is significant for the Chiefs signal caller, as he is now 9-0 against the AFC East and also 3-0 lifetime against the Jets.
To begin, Kansas City won the coin toss and deferred, letting the Jets begin with the ball. Fitzpatrick went 2-for-3 on the drive, finding Marshall on both completions for 20 yards. Nothing could get going on the running game early, as Matt Forte rushed twice for -1 yard. He finished the day with 17 total touches and 64 yards. The Chiefs would take over on their 17 and went to work there. The Kansas City offense chipped away at the New York defense all day with short passes. On the home teams first offensive drive, Smith completed five passes, none going past ten yards. The Jets defense showed promise, as Darron Lee and Lorenzo Mauldin sacked Smith forcing the offense to punt.
This is where the Jets woes began. Fitzpatrick led his team away from their own one yard line and made it to the 22 before throwing an interception to Marcus Peters. Peters finished the day with two interceptions. The Chiefs would take advantage, as Smith passed short to tight end Travis Kelce 12 yards for the touchdown and the early 7-0 lead. It seemed as if the Jets defense could not cover Kelce, as he hauled in six passes for 89 yards and one touchdown.
"It wasn't just the turnovers, we just didn't play well at all on either phase of the ball game," said head coach Todd Bowles on his teams performance.
The second quarter was no different for the Jets, as on the next drive Powell caught a pass from Fitzpatrick for nine yards and fumbled before falling to the ground. Many thought Powell was down before the ball left his hands, but the ruling on the field stood as a fumble. On the Kansas City Drive, they would waste seven minutes of clock before kicking a field goal to go up 10-0. On the ensuing kickoff, Marshall had trouble holding on to the ball as he fumbled and it was returned 27 yards by Harris for the touchdown. Jets trailed 17-0 late into the second quarter. "We're not going to beat anybody turning the ball over."
New York entered halftime down 17-3 and already have turned the ball over three times.
To open up the half, the Chiefs and Jets exchanged punts before Spencer Ware would appear to have rushed in for a touchdown. After reviewing the play, Ware was diving into the end zone and fumbled as he was diving in, so the touchdown was taken off the board and it was ruled a touchback for New York, giving them the ball at their own 20. The Jets entered the Kansas City red zone for the first time on the second time on the day, taking it all the way to their five before Fitzpatrick threw his second interception of the day in the end zone to Eric Berry.
After stoping the Chiefs on 4th-and-1 in their own territory, New York marched back down the field to the opponent six yard line. On 2nd down, Fitzpatrick would be intercepted again, as the pass was tipped off Quincy Enunwa's hands and picked off in the end zone again by Peters.
The rest of the offensive plays would end in punts for the Chiefs and the rest of the offensive plays for the Jets would end in interceptions. After forcing them to punt the first time, Fitzpatrick was picked off deep intended for Brandon Marshall by Daniel Sorensen. After the second punt, Fitzpatrick looked to find Forte, only to throw too early when Forte wasn't looking back. Derrick Johnson would take it 55 yards to the house to put his team up 24-3 late in the fourth quarter. After the kickoff, New York ran with their hurry up offense trying to get down the field as quickly as possible. After getting into the Kansas City red zone, Fitzpatrick forced a pass deep to Marshall that was intercepted by D.J. White to seal the game.
At times, it looked as if New York should have been running the ball the whole time. On 22 attempts, New York ran for 117 yards, an average of 5.3 yards per carry. On the flip side, the Jets defense held Kansas City to 72 yards on the ground on 27 attempts. Stars Eric Decker and Marshall were quiet on the day, combining for four catches for a total of 58 yards.
"It wasn't just [Ryan Fitzpatrick], it was everybody," said Bowles. "We got to regroup Monday and get to work."