The New York Jets were beaten by the New England Patriots last Sunday, 15 - 10, in a game that was not as close as the score would indicate. The loss brought their record to 1-2 for the 2023 NFL season. Now the Jets take on the Kansas City Chiefs in what on paper looks like a big mismatch. After being upset by the Detroit Lions on opening day, the Chiefs have reeled off two straight victories to get their record to 2-1 coming into this game. Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in the NFL, leads a Chiefs offense that is very difficult to hold down, and the Chiefs are fielding a pretty good defense this year as well. This one could get ugly early for the Jets.
Previewing this matchup, Tom Childs of Arrowhead Pride was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the 2023 Kansas City Chiefs.
Check out the Q&A below, and be sure to check out DraftKings Sportsbook for all your betting needs this season.
1. One of the early challenges for this year’s Chiefs team appears to be figuring out which of many young receivers are going to end up being Patrick Mahomes’ go to guys (after Travis Kelce) as the season progresses. Which young Chiefs receivers are you most impressed with and why?
The big story of the offseason was who was going to step up this season. With a number of potential candidates, there are already one or two that are breaking away from the pack.
The first is Skyy Moore. After a disappointing outing in front of a national audience in week one, he has bounced back well, reeling in 7 catches for 117 yards, which includes a game-sealing 54-yard reception against the Jaguars in week two, His redemption arc is developing nicely.
The other standout has been rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice. Although the stats aren’t overly impressive — 10 receptions for 108 yards and a score — it has come from a limited amount of snaps. It’s often said that rookie wide receivers struggle to carve out a role in Andy Reid’s offense. On the evidence presented so far, Rice may be bucking that trend.
2. Each team’s fanbase knows their team much better than other fans. Usually, there are a few guys who your team’s fans know about and love, but other fans might not be too familiar with. Could you let Jets fans know a few unsung heroes on the Chiefs, if possible at least one on both offense and defense?
The offensive guy is the tight end not dating Taylor Swift. Noah Gray is a third-year player who is developing nicely behind the all-world (and now all-famous) Travis Kelce. Gray will never be able to achieve what Kelce has and I think he understands that, but the work he is putting in is making Chiefs Kingdom feel a bit better about life after Kelce at the tight end position. Perhaps the drop-off won’t be as massive as once feared.
On the defensive side, there are a number of guys I could choose from this unit — especially considering the fact that this is the youngest defense in the league. However, I am going to go with a guy who is slowly but surely making his way up to the top table of safeties in the NFL: Justin Reid. His arrival in Kansas City raised some eyebrows at first. After all, the Chiefs had just gone from Eric Berry to Tyrann Mathieu and now were looking for their next leader of the defensive backfield. Fortunately, Reid looks at home in his leadership role. He says the right things off the field but also delivers on it. You know defensive backs are playing well when you don’t hear their name called. Hopefully Sunday night, his name won’t be mentioned too much.
3. How is the 2023 Chiefs draft class working out? Who are the early contributors?
Brett Veach’s draft class always seem to take a while to get going. There never seems to be a guy that hits immediately. I suppose that is the downside to picking late in the first round.
Rashee Rice and Felix Anudike-Uzomah are the only guys who have managed to carve out a role for themselves so far. I’ve mentioned Rice’s impact already, however, Felix’s impact on games has been less so. In the few snaps he has played, he has demonstrated the power that made him a fan favorite in Mizzou, although as yet it hasn’t materialized into anything tangible in the stat sheet. The early returns on this class have been limited, but after a dream draft class in 2022, I am refusing to give up on this group.
4. If you were the head coach of a rival team, how would you go about attacking this Kansas City Chiefs team on offense and on defense?
It’s a really tough question to answer purely because no one seems to have figured it out. Now the equation has become even more difficult because all of a sudden the Chiefs now have a top defense to complement their all-time offense. I have always believed that the way to give yourself a chance against the Chiefs is to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. You can either die by a thousand papercuts and hope that the Chiefs make enough errors to let a team win — see the Lions’ week one victory — or a team can just be highly aggressive. Go for it on fourth downs, don’t punt, don’t kick field goals. Always think about 6 points, not field position.
The Chiefs having a capable defense makes this a harder proposition than before, but you may as well go down swinging,
5. Understanding this seems obvious, if you were a DraftKings betting man which team would you bet on winning this game, and why? Also, just to make this a more interesting question, will the Chiefs win by double digits?
I think the Jets will hang around purely because of their defense. That unit is a beast that deserves all of the credit in the world. We all saw last week the number of chances that the Jets’ defense gave Zach Wilson to win the game.
You guys don’t need me to tell you that the Jets’ offense is a problem, I do expect a bit of a bounce back from Wilson, but it won’t be enough to reel in the Chiefs who do just about to keep New York at arm’s length,
Chiefs win 23-13.
Thanks for having me Jets fans. Enjoy the game and the rest of the season.