In one of the more different matchups, in terms of discrepancy, the Kansas City Chiefs will welcome the New York Jets to Arrowhead Stadium. The defending champs are coming off back to back physical, dominant victories. Meanwhile, the hapless New York Jets are 0-7, the NFL’s only winless team. They look destined to “earn” the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Today, we will take our chance in giving our own game plans for each team. How can the Jets spoil Kansas City’s day? Plus, we believe that the Chiefs would be smart to keep riding the wave of, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With a post-Halloween date on tap, we will list ways in which both teams could emerge victorious. Let’s get it started with our keys to victory.
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Kansas City- 3 Keys To Victory
1) Pound The Rock
Kansas City has enjoyed back to back successful days on the ground. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire is getting much more comfortable to the speed of the NFL, as the weeks go by. His natural gifts of balance, shiftiness and vision have made life tough on opposing tacklers. The Chiefs’ offensive line has also been earning their keep in the run game. Ever since they switched up the starting five, it has helped Edwards-Helaire earn 6.4 yards per carry. Furthermore, Clyde ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards (551), entering Week Eight.
That’s a number Andy Reid has to be proud of, as it takes pressure off of guys like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill to create all the energy on offense. While the Jets have fared a little better on run defense than pass defense, this unit leads the league in missed tackles (76). That bodes well for the “smaller” rookie back from LSU.
2) Revenge Game
Sticking with the running back position, one would have to think that Coach Reid will allow plenty of opportunities for Le’Veon Bell to stick it to his old squad. The Chiefs actually had a lot more designed for the newcomer than most imagined last week in Denver. Not all of those chances played out like they were supposed to. Nonetheless, it’s clear as to how Bell’s skillset fits in the offense. In both the run and pass game, Kansas City will likely not be shy to give him his chances often. Especially if the game turns into a blowout, like the odd’s makers believe it will be. Expect to see wrinkles designed for Le’Veon in high percentage moments.
3) We Want Sam
The more Sam Darnold is forced to throw the better. Kansas City has done a good job the last two weeks, at pressuring the quarterback and disguising coverages. This is the type of matchup that Tyrann Mathieu feeds off of. His instincts and ability to toy with younger, more hesitant quarterbacks lead to multiple offensive mistakes. If you read our New York Jets: Behind Enemy Lines article, you would have learned that the Jets rank in dead last in most important offensive statistics.
The ones that stick out in particular, are passing yards, net yards per pass attempt and scoring percentage. If you cannot test the Chiefs deep over the top, odds are you are not making much ground. And with how little their drives have ended in points, you cannot naturally expect them to keep up with a Mahomes led offense. Let this red hot pass rush led by Chris Jones and Frank Clark continue to pin their ears back and tee off, while Mathieu, Juan Thornhill, Daniel Sorensen, Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton continue to build off of their relatively strong starts.
New York- 3 Keys To Victory
1) Get Creative
Both offensively and defensively, the New York Jets have to change tendencies. The Chiefs are less dangerous, the longer their defense stays on the field. With the ball, New York needs to focus on staying balanced, create a stronger push up front and create more favorable one on one matchups. How does that start? Allow Darnold to use his legs and test the Chiefs’ defense from outside of the pocket. In addition, allow the running backs to test the Kansas City front seven from multiple angles.
On the other hand, the defense has got to start generating a pass rush. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams must throw different looks at Mahomes and the blockers up front. If you are at least successful enough to throw timing off, odds are you can upset the Chiefs pass attack greater than most other ways. The Jets do rank in the bottom ten in many pass rush categories, including hurries, hurry percentage, pressures, pressure percentage and sacks. At some point, things have to start trending up, don’t they?
2) Stick With The Run
Part of this has to be because of their huge deficits, but the Jets have committed very little to the running game. Now with Bell gone and in KC, rookie back La’Mical Perine has really started to find his groove. The problem is, New York has yet to fully embrace what he offers. The Florida Gators product provides physical tools. His urgent running style and explosiveness have yet to be totally tapped into. Moreover, veteran Frank Gore can provide much needed energy, and possible missed tackle attempts, if he gets some steam. By sticking with the run, the Jets can play ball control, keep away and shorten the game down to their liking.
3) Don’t Give It Away
The Kansas City Chiefs defense ranks second in the league in takeaways (13). They have turned that into 39 points scored off of turnovers. We saw how four turnovers allowed things to snowball for the Broncos against the Chiefs. If you don’t play flawless, and more importantly, disciplined against the Chiefs, you might as well not come off of the plane at Kansas City International Airport.
Darnold has thrown six interceptions on the season. And for those that are unaware, he is only played in five games due to injury. So, finding that mix of taking deep chances and being smart with the football will be a splendid test for the former USC Trojans signal caller. The Chiefs secondary has had a fun time lately of flying around, and doing what they do best. New York has to find a common ground.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.