Last Sunday’s deflating 35-27 loss to the visiting Carolina Panthers likely was the nail in the coffin of the New York Jets’ playoff aspirations. At 4-7, even in a wide-open AFC wild-card race, they have don’t look to have a December run in them.
At least Gang Green will get a chance to take advantage of a Kansas City Chiefs team that’s in free fall. Briefly considered the best team in the NFL this year, K.C. has won one of its last five after beginning the year 5-0 and beating the defending champion New England Patriots in the season opener.
Hey, the Giants managed to beat the Chiefs on Nov. 19, so the Jets have to think they can win this one at MetLife Stadium. Here are three (more applicable) reasons why.
Revis Island paradise
The Chiefs added former Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis on Nov. 22 in an effort to bolster a weak secondary. The Jets saw enough of him last year to know that might be a good thing.
The likely Hall of Famer last year was a step slower than the elite receiver he used to shut down. With deep threat Robby Anderson coming off a two-touchdown effort — and a five-game scoring streak — don’t be surprised if Gang Green goes after their old teammate.
Alex against the wall
Through October, the Chiefs were 6-2 and Alex Smith had 16 TD passes with no interceptions. During the ensuing three-game slide, he’s throw four interceptions and just three scores.
The Jets have been relatively opportunistic this season on defense, picking off 10 passes through 11 games — tied for 11th in the NFL. If Smith remains off his game — or he’s pulled in favor of rookie Patrick Mahomes — cornerback Morris Claiborne and the secondary should be the beneficiaries.
20 and over
For all the preseason concerns about how the Jets’ offense might look with Josh McCown at quarterback, they haven’t been so bad at putting points on the board the past six weeks. In that time, they’re averaging 23.8.
Kansas City, meanwhile, has fallen off its prolific scoring rate from early in the season. The Chiefs failed to score at least 20 points in any November game. If the Jets’ defense plays its part, the offense has proved capable of scoring enough to get the job done.