This is a match up that can either help an improving team get its feet firmly underneath them, or completely ruin the season for good. Kyle Orton's doubtful status is encouraging. A QB isn't everything, but having a reserve passer under center is a mighty big burden on a struggling team.
No win is assured for any team, especially the Jets. However, If the Jets can pull off just a couple of successful offensive drives, that's all I really think it would take. The Chiefs overcame a team with similar problems to their own last week, a backup QB leading a defensive team. Mark Sanchez is better than Tyler Palko and Caleb Hanie, hands down. Sorry Bears and Chiefs fans. That's a simple but significant advantage that makes me feel confident. Injuries are a concern, namely Brandon Moore and Mike Devito.
Full breakdown after the Rundown and the jump. Feel free to leave your thoughts, predictions, projections, visions of the future; plans for the evening, personal problems, and planking challenges or really whatever the heck you want to say below.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets -- Sunday, Dec. 11th, 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.
Coverage: CBS. DirecTV 706. Sirius XM 93.
Record: All time regular season series is 16-16-1.
What happened last time? Jets beat the Chiefs 28 to 24 in 2008.
Jets Doubtful: Mike Devito (DT) Knee. Questionable: Brandon Moore (G) Hip, Marcus Dixon (DT) Hip, Joe McKnight (RB) Elbow.
Chiefs Doubtful: Kyle Orton (QB) finger. Questionable: Jovan Belcher (LB) Shoulder, Demorrio Williams (LB) Groin.
Offense: The Jets are 26th in overall offense, 9th in points, 20th in passing and 24th in rushing. KC is 27th in yards, 30th in points, 30th in passing and 9th in rushing.
Defense: The Jets are 16th in points allowed, 7th in overall yards allowed, 7th against the pass, and 15th against the rush (small but noticeable weekly improvements in run defense continue). Kansas City is 18th in points allowed and 12th in passing yards allowed, 16th in total defense and 25th against the run.
Kansas City Chief to Watch: Tamba Hali
Hali is an absolute monster when it comes to disrupting the backfield. Tamba has 8 sacks and 2 forced fumbles on the season so far on top of his healthy tackling totals. The Chiefs are actually ranked very well in pass defense and Hali will be on the outside applying incredible levels of pressure to Mark Sanchez who already struggles with decision making against horrible defenses, let alone units that perform well. Also watch for CB Brandon Flowers who is turning out to be somewhat of a ball hawk this year. He will be looking to reap the benefits of any throws forced by Hali.
Jets X-Factor: Aaron Maybin
The kid has earned it. What a great value he's been for what the team signed him for. The Chiefs are weakest on offense, and pressure applied by the speedy Maybin could be critical in rendering the struggling Chiefs air game completely impotent. It should be noted that the Chiefs strengths running the ball may limit Maybin's playing opportunities, but Mister Mayhem can help make the Chiefs offense entirely one dimensional (even more so).
Potential Jets MVP: Shonn Greene.
The Chiefs are good against the pass this year but allow quite a bit in terms of rushing yards. Greene is looking a little better each week. This is no time to let up on the Jets improving running game. There is serious potential for Greene to have an extremely productive day against Kansas City. A strong showing here, especially with a possibly weakened O line, could really help to re-establish the Jets identity as they enter a critical stretch of games.
Prediction: Jets 24 Chiefs 10
I'm probably cutting Gang Green too much slack against a great defense, but oh well. Nothing against the Chiefs, they have done a great job building their team and could have been a playoff team if it wasn't for disappointing injury woes, but if the Jets can't beat them then they don't deserve to have playoff hopes. The team needs a decisive victory here to give Rex & Co. a little bit of life to round out the season.