Here are the three biggest things we learned from the Week 3 matchup between the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.
The New York Jets headed to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in Week 3 of the 2016 NFL regular season. Coming into the game, both teams were considered playoff contenders. After the final whistle was blown, only one actually looked like one.
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The Chiefs picked off Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick six times in the game, including three times in the end zone, as they rolled to a 24-3 victory. Fitzpatrick was under pressure all game, and made some head-scratching decisions throughout. The Chiefs sealed the game on a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown by Derrick Johnson, which put the team up 23-3.
New York’s defense also played very well on Sunday, holding the Chiefs offense to only one touchdown and field goal. Fitzpatrick continued to put the defense in bad situations, but they were able to bend, not break. Had the Jets gotten anything from their offense against the Chiefs, this game would have been much more competitive.
Here are three things we learned after watching the Chiefs host the Jets on Sunday.
1. The Kansas City Chiefs defense can be dominant
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets came into Arrowhead Stadium fresh off dropping 37 points on the Buffalo Bills. In that game, Fitzpatrick threw for over 370 yards, as the Jets sliced up former coach Rex Ryan. It was a huge win for the organization, and should have be a momentum builder heading into Week 3.
What really happened to the Jets this week was an absolute thumping at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. Those same Jets did nothing on offense, and Fitzpatrick was picked off six times in the game. To make matters worse, three of his interceptions came in the end zone, as an opportunistic Chiefs defense made his life miserable all day. The Chiefs were able to take advantage of a hobbled wide receiving corps, and hold the usually efficient Fitzpatrick in check.
The biggest thing was that the Chiefs offense did nothing as well, which meant the defense was responsible for making this win happen. Though they did allow the Jets to put together a couple of drives, they really held tight when the play went into the redzone. Kansas City’s defense was flying all over field on Sunday, and if they continue to play like this, they could be a serious contender for the playoffs.
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mediocre quarterback
The knock on Ryan Fitzpatrick going into the season was that he really only had one good, full season in his NFL career. He had spent most of the off-season holding out for more money, and the Jets actually caved and gave him more money than he was probably worth. Maybe it was because of a lack of depth at the position in the organization, but the bottom line is that he is very mediocre.
Last week, Fitzpatrick had a great game against the Buffalo Bills, throwing for over 370 yards in the game. He was able to utilize his two best receivers to perfection, while moving the ball with ease against the Bills. However, on Sunday he showed his true colors, fading when the game was on the line.
The mark of a great quarterback is how they play in big situations. Throughout his career, Fitzpatrick has never risen to the moment, and he showed the same characteristics against the Chiefs. The team was able to get in positions to make plays, but he continuously made bad play, after bad play. While his 2015 season was great, the truth is, he is just a mediocre NFL quarterback.
The Kansas City Chiefs did pick up the win on Sunday, beating the Jets 24-3, but their offense really did not do much. They scored only one touchdown as a unit, a 13-yard touchdown by Travis Kelce from Alex Smith. The Jets defense was able to keep them in check for most of the game, and had it not been for a defensive and special teams touchdown, this game would have been much closer.
Spencer Ware has done a nice job filling in for Charles, but he does not have the kind of play-making ability that Charles does. In a game where the defenses are dominating like Sunday, a player of Charles caliber can make all the difference in the world. The schedule is only going to get tougher, and Charles could prove to be the difference between making the playoffs, or not.
The passing game for the Chiefs is pretty vanilla, as Smith is usually looking for his tight end, or Jeremy Maclin. Charles is the kind of player who can open up other options on the offensive end, and Ware will be much more dominant in a backup role. The Chiefs defense looked very good on Sunday, and once they get Charles back, the offense should be able to follow suit.