Before the season, there was chatter that the New England Patriots might go unbeaten and the New York Jets may not win a game.
The Chiefs routed New England in the season opener and the Jets had a three-game winning streak at one point. However, they are 4-7 on the season, heading into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. New York has lost five of its last six games, just like the Chiefs. The Jets’ lone win was over Buffalo, which just beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
During the season, I’ll provide a quick overview of the next Chiefs’ opponent early in each week, and here are a few things to know about the Jets. The game is at noon on CBS (Ch. 5).
1. Josh McCown
Perhaps you thought that 38-year-old quarterback Josh McCown had retired. McCown considered stepping away from the game after playing the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
Instead, he signed with the Jets in the spring and was expected to give way to Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. However, McCown has played pretty well, completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,549 yards with 17 touchdowns against eight interceptions.
McCown tossed three touchdown passes Sunday in a 35-27 loss to the Panthers. On this scoring toss, McCown showed he is still mobile:
But McCown made one big mistake. McCown, who is with his eighth NFL team, lost a fumble in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game that proved to be disastrous.
2. Receiver Robbie Anderson
McCown threw two of his touchdown pass to receiver Robby Anderson, who has scored in five straight games. Anderson had six catches for 146 yards on Sunday.
Anderson made a this terrific catch despite having two defenders on him in Sunday’s game:
However, coach Todd Bowles was not happy that Anderson made a plea for Pro Bowl votes after one of his touchdown receptions.
On the season, Anderson has 41 catches for 714 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s a burner who ran a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash.
3. Fourth quarter troubles
The Jets led Carolina 20-18 in the fourth quarter, but McCown’s fumble was returned for a touchdown and the Panthers later took a punt return back for a touchdown.
Sunday’s game marked the third time in the last six games that the Jets coughed up a lead in the final quarter (it also happened against Miami and Atlanta).
“The fourth quarter has been a problem all year,” Bowles told ESPN. “Obviously, we lose our patience. Everybody is trying to make a play individually and we don't play team football in the fourth quarter. We gave away the football (game).”
ESPN also noted that the Jets have lost five games by eight or fewer points.
4. Meager running attack
New York ranks 21st in rushing (102.3 yards per game), and three backs have shared the load.
Bilal Powell has been the most effective, running for 454 yards in 102 attempts (4.5 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns. Eli McGuire (280 yards in 74 attempts) and Matt Forte (267 yards in 67 attempts) also are part of the rushing attack.
5. Special teams troubles
In addition to allowing the punt return touchdown to Carolina, Jets returner JoJo Natson muffed a punt, and had 7 total yards in four returns despite breaking off a 17-yard return. That’s too many backward runs.
On the season, the Jets rank 25th in opponent punt return yards (10.2 average) and 22nd in opponent kickoff return yards (22.6 average).
The Jets have had plenty of practice in defending punt returns as they rank fifth in total punts (61).