After losing two straight games and falling to 1-2, last place in the AFC East, the Jets play the Defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs tonight at the Meadowlands. Needless to say, things arent looking very good for us right now. The main problem would seem to be Zack Wilson, our third year Quarterback, who has had to lead what amounts to an anemic offensive attack after Aaron Rodgers went down with a season ending injury. To make matters worse, the schedule maker has not been kind; in their first four games, and despite having lost seven of eight games, six straight, to end the season last year, the Jets have had to face Buffalo, which made the playoffs and now sits in first place in the Divison; Dallas, which similarly made the playoffs and is now 3-1; the Patriots, who have missed the playoffs twice in the past twenty two years, and now the Chiefs, who have been in the Super Bowl three of the past four years, and won twice. Our backs are very clearly against the wall, and the outcome of this game would seem to be in no doubt. Jet enemies and critics have all made it clear, not only cant we prevail in this contest. But resistance is futile.
As our man Bent indicated in an article earlier this week, the Chiefs have a nasty and stout Championship level Defense, led by All Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones, arguably the best defensive lineman in the league. They get rush and pressure from four men down, and their linebackers are big, rangy and tough. Their corners, Sneed and the youngster Mc Duffie, are also, arguably among the best in football. They may otherwise seem like a no name bunch, but they are led by one of the league's best defensive coordinators in Steve Spagnolo; Spagnolo may not have succeeded as a head coach, but as a DC he has three super bowl rings and has been there several other times. This year, the Chiefs once again appear headed to a divison win, and, if all goes as expected, a fifth consecutive AFC championship. Their defense is a key, and underrated part of their success.
On the other side of the ball, Patrick Mahomes is the league's reigning Most Valuable Player. A two time Super Bowl winning Quarterback who has led his team to the Conference Championship five. straight. times. He's not the biggest guy, the fastest guy or the strongest guy. But he is the best, by far, no one else comes close right now. He makes every read, every throw, creates throws, creates angles, feels pressure, stays in the pocket, vacates the pocket, throws from stationary position, throws on the move, changes plays at the line, makes up plays as he goes along, everything. You cant stop him. You cant even really hope to contain him. You can only hope he somehow doesnt show up, because when he does, all he does is win the game. Resistance is futile.
His offensive line isnt the biggest or most talented, and he lacks some of the weaponry he's had in the past on the outside. He does, however, have a solid running backs in Pacheco, Mc Kinnon and Edwards Hilarie. Pacheco is a battering ram, low to the ground, aggressive runner who is very difficult to stop. Mc Kinnon plays critical roles in providing outlet and mismatched receiving roles on third down. But the main problem is Travis Kelce, again, the owner of multiple super bowl rings and Mahomes favorite target. Any plan, any hope of dealing with the Chiefs must focus on first holding the line up front, reasonable pressure and keeping Mahomes in the pocket, then containing Kelce in short zones and up the seams. I usually dont subscribe to the theory that big games are won or lost in the first quarter, but the Jets need to be aggressive and try to both hold and get a splash play early. Reid knows how to kill you, quick or slow, up to you. Desperation may be in order here, sitting back in zone and waiting for kill shots isnt going to work. Cover close, bracket Kelce over cover under man. Pressure hard. Get hands on that quarterback and put his ass on the deck. When the ball comes out funny and it hits you in the hands or in the chest--as it has four times in the past two weeks before Green jerseys let it fall to the ground--squeeze that leather and hold on tight. Take the ball away. Take the ball away. Take the ball AWAY.
On offense, as I've commented earlier, our line is big and mobile, I like the way its set up after Brown's injury, unfortunate as it was, cleared the way for Becton to move back to the left, Tippman in at RG and AVT at RT. We have to look to find ways to have the new configuration execute, either in space or in defined areas of the field in which we can take advantage of the atheltic mismatches. Not only does that mean running the ball, but more importantly, play calling that keeps Wilson clean, sets him up in the pocket, and syncs him up with timed routes, first underneath, then intermediate, then in open spaces against zone coverage. That's the key to this game, finding and taking away the space, especially in the pocket, that we need to make plays when we decide to pass it. They're gonna stack the box, if they force first down passing, make some easy throws, then attack the corners with Hall in the run game. Gotta find a way to back them out, open up some base offense, and move those sticks. Keep pounding it, if we can hold on to the ball and move it, we're gonna score, maybe enough to win if we can keep Mahomes off the field long enough. Ironically enough, and if we dont actually set him up to fail, I think Wilson will be fine, he should be starting to get what Hackett expects of him. But he needs time and he needs productive play calls. Hackett cannot spit the bit in this game, he has to attack and score points. Find Breece Hall, find Cook, find the tight ends, find Garrett Wilson, get Hardman some run, use weapons, man. And execute the plan. Do not be afraid to win this game.
Ok. So maybe resistance isnt so futile after all. Go Moseley. Go JFM. Go Q. Go Jermaine, bro go get the quarterback. Go Reed, go Sauce, go Whitehead, intercept the ball. It wont be easy. And its gonna get physical once Reid realizes we arent gonna lay down. But we can, and we will compete in this game. Dont turn it over and take it away more than we give it away? Taylor Swift is just another pretty face.
Jets 27-21. Yo. you heard it here first....