TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Bonnie Bernstein
*2004 rankings: Jets: offense 12th (3rd rush, 22nd pass); defense 7th (5th rush, 14th pass). Chiefs: offense 1st (5th rush, 4th pass); defense 31st (12th rush, 32nd pass)
PREDICTION: Jets 23-20
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Chiefs' retooled defense will get a stiff first test with the Jets determined to push the ball downfield more under new offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. Kansas City struggled to stop the pass during the preseason and if Jets RB Curtis Martin has success early, QB Chad Pennington won't be afraid to attack deep, even against new Chiefs CB Patrick Surtain. The Chiefs' high-powered attack returns, although the offensive line is starting to show signs of age. Still, everyone is expected to go Sunday, and containing RB Priest Holmes will be the Jets' No. 1 priority. Chiefs QB Trent Green will play despite surgery to place a stent behind his knee last week. Look for him to test CB Ty Law, who expects to play the entire game despite getting just 40 snaps during the preseason.
FAST FACTS: Jets: Open on the road for the 34th time in 46 years. ... QB Chad Pennington has thrown 11 TDs and 2 INTs in seven career games against the AFC West. Chiefs: Are 12-4 in home openers since Carl Peterson became general manager in 1989. ... Are 1-4 in their past five home openers. ... QB Trent Green's 12,320 passing yards since 2002 are second behind Peyton Manning's 13,024.
INSIDE THE CAMPS:
Asked to predict how much he would play in Sunday's season opener, Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham half-jokingly gave a range of between one and 50 plays.
Even after holding out of training camp while refusing to sign his one-year tender as the Jets' franchise players - a battle he lost - Abraham knows he's in good enough shape to get in on at least one play.
Yet since Abraham hasn't taken a real hit in practice since last year and didn't take part in any of the team's off-season conditioning, the number of plays that will follow is still a mystery. All Abraham knows is that he's not holding back Sunday in Kansas City.
"I'm going to be smart but I still have to play how I play or I'm not going to be effective like I am," Abraham said. "It's hard to prevent an injury because you really don't know when you're going to get injured. I can walk into the next room and get injured, so I'm going to go out and play the same way I've been playing."
The good news for the Jets is that Bryan Thomas has continued to play well, especially against the run. In fact, Thomas has done so well against the run since subbing for Abraham for the past several games of the season that he may be working himself into a platoon situation with Abraham, who will be used as a pass-rushing specialist for at least the early part of the season.
Coach Herman Edwards said it would be great if Abraham made it through 40 plays against the Chiefs but won't be holding him to a specific number.
"(He) looks great right now. He hadn't played a snap," Edwards said. "We'll find out. Hopefully, we can get in passing situations he can help us because he can do some things to rush the quarterback no doubt about that."
Trent Green completed his second day of practice in full pads Thursday without feeling any effects of the Aug. 30 vascular surgery that opened a constricted artery behind his left knee.
Green will make his 66th consecutive start - fourth-most among active NFL quarterbacks - in Sunday's season opener against the New York Jets.
"It feels real good," Green said of the lower leg and foot that were experiencing numbness before a corrective stent was installed to hold open an artery. "It's amazing how quick the turnaround has been. Everything the doctor said about how quick my recovery would be has come true. I haven't had any muscle soreness. It's really amazing how quickly it recovers."
But even Green admitted he had doubts in the days leading up to the angioplasty, when a battery of orthopedic tests could not detect a reason for the strange loss of sensation in the left leg he had surgically repaired after his career-threatening knee injury in 1999.
"There were no answers for a long time," Green said. "We went through the muscle things, the back things, the leg things. We gradually eliminated things until it got to the point that nothing was getting better and we couldn't come up with any answers. That's when I was most frustrated."
It wasn't until a vascular surgeon suggested an angiogram of his left leg that the restricted artery was detected and a course of treatment suggested. Green quickly agreed to the procedure when doctors assured him that, in a normal period of recovery, he would have no trouble playing football in 12 days.
"That's why I was so quick with my decision," Green said. I said, 'Let's go, let's get it fixed and get ready to go.'"
FB B.J. Askew will get work this season in short-yardage situations. The Jets have designed a package of plays with him in mind. He could split the snaps with incumbent Jerald Sowell and eventually take over the job.
CB Lamont Reid was waived just days after being claimed off waivers from the Cardinals.
T Scott Gragg, signed on Tuesday, is already practicing and will dress Sunday against the Chiefs.
G Isaac Snell, listed on the depth chart as a tackle, was waived but may be brought back to the practice squad. The Jets are thin on the offensive line, with just two reserve players.
TE Doug Jolley couldn't beat out Chris Baker for the starting job and has ended up in the doghouse after expressing his frustration to reporters and talking about a closed door meeting with coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.
G Brian Waters, a Pro Bowl selection last season, missed Thursday's workout with back pain and was a late addition to the injury list. Waters was held out only as a precautionary basis, coach Dick Vermeil said, and he is expected to play against the Jets.
RT Kevin Sampson missed the team portions of Thursday's practice and is not expected to play against the Jets. Sampson has a mending dislocated toe.
RT Jordan Black, who started four games at right tackle late in the 2004 season, is expected to open at the position Sunday in the absence of projected starter Kevin Sampson.
TE Tony Gonzalez could be facing a rookie free safety in the Jets' Kerry Rhodes in the season opener Sunday at Arrowhead. Rhodes likely will need help from linebacker Victor Hobson, but if Gonzalez is double-teamed, it's a single coverage opportunity for someone else in the KC passing attack.
RB Priest Holmes had a huge day the last time the Chiefs and Jets played on Oct. 6, 2002. He rushed for 152 yards and added another 81 receiving in a come-from-behind 29-25 KC win at the Meadowlands.