Key play: De’Anthony Thomas dashed 26 yards on a reverse, leaving Jets defenders unsuccessfully grasping at him.
Key stat: After an incompletion, Alex Smith completed six straight passes for 77 yards.
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Key play: Thomas answered a Jets touchdown by returning a kickoff 78 yards to the New York 29, setting up the Chiefs’ third TD of the game.
Key stat: The Chiefs scored touchdowns in all three of their red zone opportunities.
Key play: Nose tackle Dontari Poe chased down Michael Vick for no yards and a sack, forcing a punt from the Jets’ 40.
Key stat: Cairo Santos’ 19-yard field goal was his ninth straight without a miss.
Key play: The Chiefs stopped the Jets on fourth and goal at the 3 when Josh Mauga’s hit on Vick forced an incompletion and temporarily sidelined the New York quarterback.
Key stat: The Chiefs stopped the Jets on three straight fourth-down situations in the quarter.
Players of the game: The offensive line of center Rodney Hudson, guards Mike McGlynn and Zach Fulton and tackles Eric Fisher and Ryan Harris kept an aggressive, blitzing Jets pass rush from harassing Smith.
Reason to hope: Considering the difficulty of the schedule and the number of key players lost to injuries early in the season, to reach the halfway mark at 5-3 is pretty impressive.
Reason to mope: No matter where the Chiefs finish this season, they’re going to look back at that season-opening loss to Tennessee and wonder what might have been.
Looking ahead: The Chiefs travel to Buffalo next weekend for a noon game against the Bills, who had the week off.
The Chiefs punctured the NFL’s fifth-ranked run defense for 113 well-earned yards. Jamaal Charles was effective on second-effort runs to the second level of the defense, and De’Anthony Thomas’ 26-yard run provided a change of pace.
Alex Smith continues to be efficient if not spectacular, throwing for 199 yards and two touchdowns, and most importantly no interceptions for the third straight game. Smith completed passes to nine different receivers, and his offensive line kept him upright against a good pass-rush unit until his very last pass, a sack he took intentionally to keep the clock moving.
The Chiefs continue to be the only team in the league not to surrender a rushing touchdown. The Jets’ speedy Chris Johnson found some holes in the defense, but the Chiefs were playing soft with the lead and happy not to give up the big play.
The Jets’ two high-priced receivers, Percy Harvin (11 receptions, 129 yards) and Eric Decker (nine for 63) had productive days against a secondary that had some moving parts due to injuries. The Chiefs’ pass rush kept the pressure on Vick and Matt Simms with three sacks.
For the second straight week, a kickoff return changed the complexion of the game. De’Anthony Thomas’ 78-yard return after the Jets had made it 14-7, restored momentum for the Chiefs. The Chiefs tried squib kicks to neutralize the dangerous Harvin, but he returned one for 65 yards, plus kicker Cairo Santos was flagged 15 yards for tripping.
Coach Andy Reid kept his team focused against a one-win team they could have taken lightly. They committed no turnovers, were called for just three penalties for 20 yards and gave a workmanlike effort against a desperate team.
To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @randycovitz.