New York Jets (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYJ +3/KC -3
Over/Under Total: 43.5
The New York Jets make the trip to Arrowhead Stadium for a late-Sunday matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. These two AFC pioneers should make for a good game. The Jets made up for their one-point opening week loss to the Bengals by beating the Buffalo Bills on the road, 37-31, on Thursday Night Football. They look to make it back-to-back road wins this week against a Chiefs team that is looking to make amends for a 19-12 loss to the Texans in week two that evened their record at 1-1. At home this week, look for the Chiefs to try to make a statement.
The Jets may have come up short in week one, but that was to a really good Bengals team and it was only a one-point loss. And it took a last-minute 47-yarder from Cincinnati to do it. Against the Bills, they were able to really put it together, particularly on offense, with nearly 500 total yards. They did so against a Buffalo team that had beaten them five straight times, including in last seasonís week 17 game, when a Jets loss cost them a postseason slot. On that day, Ryan Fitzpatrick was terrible. He atoned for it, at least somewhat, with a 374-yard passing performance against the Bills in week two.
By the second quarter, the Jets had taken a 20-7 lead, with Fitzpatrick looking sharp. The Bills mounted a comeback and by the third quarter had taken a 24-20 lead, as the Jetsí offense had grown stagnant. The Jets responded with three straight scoring drives to take a 37-24 lead, as the Bills added a late TD score. Offensively, the positive signs were innumerable. On defense, the results were more mixed.
The Jetsí defense improved greatly under Todd Bowles last season in his first year at the helm. There is no reason to hit the alarm button yet, but there seems to be an early disconnect this season. With the line the Jets have with impact-making players like Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Leonard Williams, they still arenít covering all that well in the back. Poor Darrelle Revis has been exploited to an alarming degree in the first two gamesóa really troubling development. Buffalo, a team that hadnít been recently adept at stretching the field, used long plays to stay in the game, with an 84-yard bomb and a 71-yard strike costing the Jets. Against the Bengals, it was more of the same, with a series of long pass-plays putting the team behind the 8-ball. They got away with it in week two and the Chiefs are not the most aerially-inclined team, but itís something to watch as the Jets get into the meat of their season.
It would be nice if the recent offensive signs for the Jets were accompanied with a defense that keeps pace with its form of last season. Look for Bowles to get that part of the team more in order, as that is his area of expertise. Against the Bengals, they were better and they didnít get after it as well against Buffalo at home. But if the defense is going to struggle to find its footing, it really helps to have an offense that looks to be on its way up. After breaking the Jets record for passing TDs in a season, Ryan Fitzpatrick leads a powerful aerial offense into Kansas City.
Fitzpatrick nearly had three 100-yard receivers on Thursday, with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall both having excellent evenings. Quincy Enunwa, who had 8 receptions in week one, went for 92 yards against the Bills. Rookie Jalin Marshall even chimed in, giving a preview of what could be to come for the Jets if the line can stay on-point. Running back Matt Forte ran for 100 yards and is yet another reliable aerial target to exploit for Fitzpatrick. It might not be an offense that can be counted on to produce like that every week, but they appear to be on the rise and weíll see how good and consistent they can be. This tough road test could provide an indicator.
The Chiefs were pretty flat on offense on Sunday in their loss to the Texans. Still without Jamaal Charles, they have Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware, who can do damage, though they only ran the pair 16 times on Sunday. Turnovers in the form of lost fumbles didnít help any, with Alex Smith coughing the rock up twice, with Ware also fumbling the ball, which was returned 52 yards. In a close game where only one touchdown was scored by both teams, the three fumbles were key.
Smith also didnít have the best day through the air, with 186 yards on 37 attempts. He was sacked 4 times and hurried and hit numerous other times. Itís only been two games, but the line is going to have to find a way to keep pass-rushers from having such a field day against Smith. And there are going to be games where having Jeremy Maclin as your number-one receiver is going to cost you. And if they canít establish the ground-game for whatever reason, chances are the offense wonít succeed.
There was some cause for positivity about a KC defense that gave up a lone TD score on Sunday. They played well late against San Diego after looking awful and came back the next week and gave Houston some major issues at home, holding them to less than 3 yards a carry on the ground, where they ran 34 times on the day. Marcus Peters, exploited against San Diego and not looking himself, got back into the business of picking off passes on Sunday with a pair of interceptions. They were able to get after Osweiler some, with Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson registering sacks. This is a defense that can make plays and be pretty robust. But on Sunday, it was the offense that was unable to do their share of the heavy lifting.
This is a key game with the winner going over .500, while the loser would be on the precipice of letting the season start to get away from them with another loss putting them at 1-3. Itís just a pivotal game when 1-1 teams meet in week three. Look for the Chiefs to be fired-up at home as they try to score a big win against a good team. But the Jets could also put wind into their sails with what would be a morale-boosting road win. I see a really close game where a winner doesnít immediately suggest itself. It could come down to a real nip-and-tuck grind where it might be good to have three points in the bag.
Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Iím betting on the New York Jets plus 3 points.
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