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Jets 38 Chiefs 31: The Josh McCown-Alex Smith Shootout We All Expected

Kansas City Chiefs v New York Jets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Jets got back into the win column today with a victory over the reeling Kansas City Chiefs 38-31 at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are 5-7 and still have an outside shot of a Playoff spot as we enter the final quarter of the season. How did the Jets get things back on track today? Let’s talk about it below.

The Good

Jermaine Kearse: Kearse had a second consecutive big game. Just as he did last week, he went over 100 receiving yards, posting 157 on 9 catches. He was running crisp routes with sharp cuts to create separation, particularly in the slot. The Jets kept going to him in the middle of the field.

Robby Anderson: Anderson also went over the 100 yard mark again, posting 107 yards on 8 catches. The Chiefs made his life easy. It is clear they were afraid of his speed so they consistently gave him big cushions, which made working underneath easy. When you do something well, it has a way of opening things up for you in other areas of the game. Anderson made one really nice grab in traffic in the second half. It’s always fun when you can watch things come together for a young player, and that is happening for Anderson before our eyes.

Josh McCown: The issue with McCown this year has been the fourth quarter. He has played a number of really solid games through three quarters only to undo the good with a killer mistake in the final period. Today there was no collapse. McCown made the plays he needed to make in key spots, throwing for 331 yards and accounting for 3 touchdowns (1 passing; 2 running). In weeks past I have said something like, “This wasn’t winning quarterback play,” regarding McCown. Today what the Jets got was indeed winning quarterback play. McCown, Anderson, and Kearse were the three man triumvirate who made the offense work for the Jets.

Leonard Williams: This was another game where Williams played very well in ways that transcended the traditional stat sheet. PFF credited Williams with nine pressures as he controlled his assignments.

Mike Pennel: After last week’s big mistake, Pennel had a solid game clogging run lanes and making plays.

Chandler Catanzaro: It was another perfect day for the kicker.

The Bad

Marcus Maye: There is going to be a consistent theme in this section. The Chiefs averaged over 10 yards per play. That only happens when the secondary has a disastrous day at the office. Maye had a really rough time on some of Kansas City’s biggest plays. He misread Travis Kelce’s route on the tight end’s second touchdown. He couldn’t get off a block on Alex Smith’s 70 yard run, and he didn’t adjust to the ball well enough on the big catch Tyreek Hill made late in the fourth quarter that put the Chiefs into scoring range trailing by only a touchdown.

Rashard Robinson: This was a less than stellar Jets debut. The book on Robinson has been that he relies too much on grabbing in coverage rather than using good technique. That was certainly the case in this game, and he was beaten on Hill’s first long touchdown.

Morris Claiborne: He was the culprit on Hill’s second long touchdown. It looked like he was expecting help inside that wasn’t there.

Rontez Miles: He got lost on Kelce’s first touchdown. It was difficult to figure out what he was doing.


The Jets are now 5-7 with a game at Denver coming up next.