In Week Eight, the Kansas City Chiefs took care of the New York Jets. What aspects stood out from both sides of the ball for both teams? Today, we will list the top takeaways that resonated from Sunday’s game. While some of these results may be good for either the Chiefs or Jets, long standing issues still remain. Now, let’s get it started with our top takeaways with this week’s film session.
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Kansas City Offense Takes Flight
While the Jets defense is not great overall, their run defense was coming in to Sunday as a lot better unit than the pass defense. Andy Reid understood this and he let Patrick Mahomes feast. Reid talked about this after the game on Monday. “They’re pretty stout up front. So we felt like whether it was the RPO game or it was attached to the run game- that and/or our throwing game- that short to intermediate game would be good. So, we kind of leaned on those areas and it worked out okay.”
From the first drive, the Chiefs did a good job of using a lot of that RPO action. We saw Mahomes win on throws both over the middle or to the boundary. Most of the time, the plays were so open that receivers had ample room to run after the catch.
We saw Mahomes and the Kansas City passing attack generate 446 yards and five touchdowns through the air. Honestly, this was really the first time since the Ravens game where they were in total sync. Reid was smart to throw different looks at the Jets defense. They tried to show multiple disguises as well. However, the zone coverage was too soft, and the man coverage attempts were useless with no attempts of pressing receivers at the line of scrimmage. That was clear on the final touchdown to Tyreek Hill. Furthermore, Mahomes is just so dangerous when he’s able to use his legs and throw on the run.
Jets Played To Darnold’s Strengths Early
It was actually a pleasant surprise to see how the New York offense came out in the first half. They utilized play action, quick passes and moving the pocket to help Sam Darnold out. While the Chiefs pass defense was stout on the outside, crossing routes and quick slants or in routes ate them up in the first half. On the other hand, the Jets blocking unit was fairly impressive in pass sets in the first half. Chris Jones and others were landing quarterback hits after the pass. Nonetheless, it took a while for pressure to really get to Darnold. Unfortunately for him, touchdowns never came to fruition for the Jets and he was forced to drop back and pass too often in the second half.
Knowing that teams have to score a ton makes life easier for the Chiefs defense. This occurred once again in the second half of Chiefs vs Jets. Could Darnold match Mahomes blow for blow? Odds would say no, but it was not all his fault.
Receivers were struggling to get open due to effort or lazy routes. Braxton Berrios made a couple of questionable decisions. For example, he ran right into the defensive pursuit on a few screen passes. Elsewhere, he dropped a pass on third down, where Berrios was open near the boundary. In addition, Darnold was now forced to beat the Chiefs over the top with a large deficit. Too many throws were too short, or had to be perfect into tight windows. Bashaud Breeland in particular, led the way with a dominant game from the entire secondary. Kansas City’s pass rush also started to feed off of opportunities to pin their ears back and attack.
Coming Up Short
A constant issue for the Kansas City Chiefs offense continues to be failing on short down and distance situations. There were two plays especially, that resulted in crashing halts to close out offensive drives that had steam.
On one 3rd and 2 attempt, the Chiefs came out in a bunch set. Most of those attempts did not work against the New York defensive front. The interior offensive linemen whiffed on blocking assignments, and the Jets blew Le’Veon Bell‘s run attempt up in the backfield for a loss. Despite Bell having a patient style, this was more about the blocking failing to set him up.
Meanwhile, Kansas City came up just short on a 4th and 1 run attempt. The opening was actually there for Bell on this play. The Chiefs tried to pull the left side of the offensive line to the right side. New York’s defensive end did a good job of crashing inside, which muddied up the backfield and created havoc. If Bell or the blocking was able to reach up field a split second faster, it would have been a first down.
Against tougher defenses in the playoffs, Kansas City will have to figure out how to win in short yardage situations. That RPO action that worked in other parts of Sunday’s game, may be a better plan of action. Coach Reid also hinted that he is still hesitant to call a quarterback sneak, due to last year’s freak injury for Mahomes. He had this to say in Monday’s press conference. “You hate to admit it, but that didn’t work out so well. I think we have other things that we can do. We didn’t do very well with it (short yardage situations). It wasn’t good enough.”
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs article throughout this week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– 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.