It’s halftime of the KC Chiefs’ Sunday afternoon showdown against the New York Jets, and they trail 21-17 at MetLife Stadium. Here is Chiefs beat writer Terez A. Paylor’s quick analysis.
1. Really good playcalling to open the game
The Chiefs scored touchdowns on their first two drives, with both scores (to tight end Travis Kelce) coming on plays in which Kelce was schemed wide open. Don’t underestimate the amount of time quarterback Alex Smith had to throw, too, as Smith has uncorked some deep balls in the first half, a change from the past few weeks. Considering the Chiefs’ playcalling switchup, which was reported before the game, it would appear on the surface to be a result of that. However …
2. Remember the first 15 plays are scripted
So before you break out your “See, Matt Nagy is better!” takes, remember that Reid still installed the game plan this week and oversaw its creation. I do think letting Nagy, the offensive coordinator, call most of the plays Sunday was a good move, however. Sometimes it helps break tendencies and get your team out of an offensive funk.
3. The run blocking still isn’t good enough
The Chiefs will never reach their full capability unless the offensive line cleans up its technique and starts playing with a little more power. With the amount of zone coverage teams play against the Chiefs, they should be able to pound opponents up the middle, especially in even-count boxes. The number of passes the Chiefs attempted in the first half is likely a reflection of the Jets’ desire to take it away and the offensive line’s inability to create movement, anyway.
4. The run defense needs to pick it up, too
The Jets’ offensive line has underperformed all year, and their running backs aren’t that impressive. Yet, the Jets have managed to pound the ball enough to mount a comeback from an early 14-point deficit. The Chiefs just haven’t shed blocks quickly enough or tackled well enough for anyone’s taste in this game.
5. Darrelle Revis’ debut
The Jets came out wanting to attack Revis’ desire to play football. Revis, who started at right cornerback and even took Steven Nelson’s spot in the base 3-4 package, was ran at plenty early on as the Jets tried a lot of stretch runs to Revis’ and Frank Zombo’s side. Zombo was briefly replaced after the Jets’ second touchdown by Tanoh Kpassagnon. Revis has remained in the game, even though he’s missed a few open-field tackles. It will be interesting to see if the Jets try to throw at him in the second half.