Chiefs thrive on turnovers in 24-3 blowout of Jets
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Daniel Sorenson was regaling a group of reporters about his first career interception, one of six by the Kansas City Chiefs in their 24-3 victory over the New York Jets, when cornerback Marcus Peters leaned over from the locker stall next to him.
''You should have caught the first one,'' Peters said.
''I know,'' Sorenson replied.
Yes, the Chiefs (2-1) could have had a couple more interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick in the lopsided affair. They still wound with eight turnovers total, two of which were returned for touchdowns, in the kind of game that can send one team barreling forward and the other spiraling out of control.
''Everybody had a part in that win today,'' said Peters, the second-year star who had two picks for the second consecutive week. ''Everybody made plays all across the board – linebackers, DBs, safeties. Everybody seemed to get their hands on the ball.''
They didn't seem to. They actually did.
The eight turnovers were the most by the Jets (1-2) since 1976, while the six picks set a franchise record and a career high for Fitzpatrick, who once tossed five of them for St. Louis in a game against Minnesota.
''We went out there and didn't play well,'' he said, pausing. ''Obviously, that's an understatement.''
Eric Berry picked off a pass in the end zone late in the third quarter, and a fumbled kick return by the Jets' Jalin Marshall was returned 27 yards by Demetrius Harris for a touchdown.
Derrick Johnson returned his interception 55 yards for another score the fourth quarter.
''The biggest thing we wanted to do was not force anything,'' Berry said. ''We wanted to be patient, not do anything outside of the defense.''
The Chiefs succeeded while the Jets failed in just about everything. The turnovers were the biggest story line, but here were some of the other key takeaways:
It wasn't just turnovers that doomed New York. Matt Forte was bottled by a defensive front determined to stop him, finishing with 65 yards rushing. Brandon Marshall managed three catches for 27 yards and Eric Decker had one for 31, failing to score a touchdown for the first time in seven games.
''It was just lack of execution,'' Decker said. ''You get a couple of turnovers early, and coming from behind against a playoff-caliber team, that's hard to do.''
SHAKY OFFENSE, PART 2
The Chiefs weren't exactly stellar on offense, either, scoring just 10 points. Alex Smith was mostly efficient , and tight end Travis Kelce had a big day, but the running game was inconsistent – Jamaal Charles was inactive once again as he continues his comeback from ACL surgery.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was especially critical of poor play in the red zone.
The most glaring mistake came in the third quarter, when Ware stretched the ball into the pylon for what looked like a touchdown. But officials reviewed the play and saw the ball beginning to come out, and decided it was a fumble resulting in a touchback for New York.
Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub has earned a reputation as one of the best in the NFL, and Sunday was another example why. Cairo Santos was perfect on field goals and PATs, Tyreek Hill had a couple more electrifying returns, and Demetrius Harris returned a fumbled kick return 27 yards for a score.
The Chiefs were only leading 10-0 when Jalin Marshall had the ball knocked loose by Dezman Moses and Anthony Sherman. Harris grabbed it out of midair and helped establish a comfortable cushion.
''That was a big opportunity,'' Harris said. ''I know it was early in the game. It was a critical score when we got the fourth turnover. In my head, once I seen it, I was straight end zone.''
Kelce's catch late in the first quarter was the first touchdown scored by Kansas City in the first half this season. The Chiefs had been held to field goals in each of their first two games.
MEAN GREEN D
Their backs repeatedly against the wall, the Jets responded with some solid defense. They held Smith to 237 yards passing and the Chiefs to 293 yards of offense, and made a stop on fourth-and-inches trailing 17-3 in the third quarter that kept them in the game.
''We gave up some explosive plays as people got behind our defense,'' Jets safety Calvin Pryor said, ''but struggled as a defense? I don't think so.''
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