When: Sunday, December 11
Time: Noon, Central Time
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
TV Broadcast: CBS (12:00 PM CT): Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, commentators.
Radio Broadcast: Over 60 radio stations on the Chiefs Radio Network, see KCChiefs.com for affiliates, Mitch Holthus, Len Dawson, Kendall Gammon, commentators; La Casa de los Kansas City Chiefs (La Gran D 1340 AM in Kansas City), Enrique Morales, Oscar Monterosso, and Ricardo Soto, commentators; SIRIUS: 137 (KC), 93 (NYJ). XM: 226 (NYJ).
Not to be a “Danny Downer”, but any chance the Chiefs have of winning their game Sunday against the New York Jets has a lot more to do with the Jets than the Chiefs. If the Jets bring anything close to their “A” game, it’ll be a rout.
Heck, at this point, if the Jets bring a “C+” game or better, you’ll be able to get a head start on more holiday shopping in the fourth quarter because the Jets will be up by 10 points or more. And a Jets 10-point lead for the Tyler Palko-led KC offense is too much to overcome.
If any of you can figure out what the heck head coach, Todd Haley, is doing with back-up quarterback, Kyle Orton, please inform the rest of the Chiefs Nation because we’d like to know.
We all thought the team was paying Orton $1.5 million (or more) to play quarterback for the team, but according to Haley last week, Orton was only going to come into the Bears game for just a handful of plays and not to take over the starting spot from the league’s worst quarterback, Palko. Say what?
Hey, that may be unfair to Palko. After all, he didn’t turn the ball over in the Bears game and he did end up getting a win over Bears QB, Caleb Hanie, who was sacked seven times and threw three interceptions.
Too bad the Chiefs are playing against a QB this week that plays in one of the toughest stadiums for visiting teams to win, and is a guy who carries a very average QB rating of around 75 for the first three quarters of his games, but explodes up to a 95+ rating in the fourth quarter.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez takes a ton of heat from the New York media and fan base, but the simple fact is that he peaks both late in games and late in the season and is a winner. It will take a huge game from the defense – just like they’ve done the past two weeks – for the Chiefs to win because the first team to 17 may win this week.
Here are three things the Chiefs have to do to win in New York:
1. Cause turnovers and lots of them. Sanchez’ biggest failure as a quarterback is his lack of accuracy, especially if he gets hit early in games. When Chiefs rookie linebacker, Justin Houston, exploded on the scene last week with three of the teams’ seven sacks, it finally gave defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel, a bookend pass rusher to go with Tamba Hali. Both men will have to have at least one sack and several quarterback pressures on Sunday to get Sanchez to throw too early. The good news for the Chiefs is that right tackle has been a big, big problem for New York all season and if Houston can put pressure on the left side, Hali can get to Sanchez on the right. Then it will be up to the Chiefs secondary – tied for second in the NFL in interceptions with 17 – to get some turnovers. Piece of cake.
2. Don’t even throw one pass towards Darrelle Revis. Jets’ cornerback, Darrelle Revis, is simply the best cover corner since Deion Sanders was in his Prime (Time) and any team that throws towards him will almost certainly have at least one pass intercepted. And the ones that aren’t are usually knocked away. With either Palko or Orton behind center, there isn’t a fraction of the talent or rhythm needed to complete passes to any receiver his is covering. Revis will be on Dwayne Bowe for most of the game so it is up to Steve Breaston and rookie Jonathan Baldwin to step up big time.
3. Utilize Dexter McCluster more in the run game. One of the best interior defensive linemen that you’ve never heard of is the Jets Sione Pouha, who is a massive force against the run. Simply running Thomas Jones or Jackie Battle up the middle 20 times will be a waste for the Chiefs. However, sleepy and ancient KC offensive coordinator, Bill Muir, cannot seem to rouse himself from nappy-time long enough to call an up-tempo game plan for more than a minute at a time. Maybe with his job on the line, Haley will take over more of the play-calling duties during the game and get McCluster the ball out in space where his speed is most effective? Then again, nothing else about this season has made any sense when it comes to Haley. McCluster is the only one on the offense with enough game-breaking speed to give the Chiefs a chance to win.
I’m pretty sure that the Chiefs offense will remain broken until 2012, so it will be up to the defense to win every game from here on out. It’s sad when you figure that the Chiefs will be hard-pressed to score at least one touchdown per game, so it doesn’t look good on the road against a good defensive team.
Prediction: New York – 17, Kansas City – 6.
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