Similar Struggles on Offense
It looked like Week 7 against the Bills all over again as the Jets offense was impressive early, but struggled in the second half in the team's 35-9 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, falling to 0-8 at the midway point of the season.
"It's obviously not where we wanted to be," Head Coach Adam Gase said. "I'm just like everybody else in the aspect of I'm doing this job to win, not to go out there and get my face stomped in. Just like all the rest of these guys in the locker room. We'll go back to work. On Monday, we'll get things corrected and when we start practice again, I expect that same energy and that's what I've seen week in and week out for the last two years. Guys come in to work and try to find a way to flip things."
The offense put together three consecutive scoring drives on its first three possessions, but settled for four field-goal attempts (one was blocked). The offense had 157 first-half yards and QB Sam Darnold completed 12 of 18 passes for 107 yards while the Jets controlled the time of possession -- 17:44 to 12:16. Denzel Mims had an impressive first half for the second straight game including a 27-yard grab on the sideline. He led the team again with 42 receiving yards on 2 catches while Braxton Berrios, who started for the injured Jamison Crowder (groin), led the team with 8 receptions (32 yards).
The Jets offense's third-down struggles continued and converted 17 % (2 of 12). The Jets didn't get a first down in the second half until late in the third quarter, but right after TE Chris Herndon fumbled on the next play and the Chiefs recovered on the Green & White's 42-yard line.
"Yeah, I mean, the first couple drives [of the second half] were three-and-out, which, obviously, isn't ideal and then we kind of got a rhythm going," Darnold said. "The fumble killed us, just momentum-wise and being able to get down the field. I think for us we were on a good drive there and I think if we, hopefully, score seven there it's a different ballgame. But instead they get the turnover and go down and score. It's something you can't do against a good Kansas City team. We've just got to play better in the second half."
Darnold, who took a hard hit from DT Tershawn Wharton on a 5-yard scramble in the fourth quarter, finished with 133 yards and completed 18 of his 30 attempts (60%).
"Yeah, it's fine," Darnold said of his shoulder. "It's not a great decision by me. It was third-and-forever and I tried to run for it. I have to get down, man. It's not a great decision, but it's feeling fine."
Gase added: "Obviously with what happened a few weeks back, we'll be doubling back on that and making sure that he is okay. We'll just keep a close eye on that one."
See Best Images from the Week 8 Game in Kansas City
Defense Didn't Have Answer for Mahomes
The Jets' defense didn't have an answer for the Chiefs' offense. QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 416 yards and 5 TDs while completing 73.8% of his passes (31 of 42) before Chad Henne took over in the fourth quarter. TE Travis Kelce led the Chiefs with 8 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD while Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman each had 30-plus-yard scores.
"We knew what kind of game it was going to be," Gase said. "A game where if we gave up yards, that wasn't our worry. We wanted to make them drive the length of the field and we wanted to try and avoid explosive plays. We gave up a couple, though. We were trying to shorten the game as much as possible. We were trying to box them a little bit, but it's easy to say, harder to do."
One week after holding the Bills to 27% (3 of 11) on third down, the Jets defense allowed the Chiefs to convert 54% (7 of 13). The defense did a good job against the run, holding the Chiefs to 50 yards on 20 attempts (2.5 average). Rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who entered the game the NFL's second leading rusher with 551 yards, had 6 carries for 21 yards (3.5 avg).
"I think we had good knock back, we set the force real well," DL John Franklin-Myers said. "We contained the quarterback in the pocket, so he didn't scramble. Those are the things we knew that we had to do. We just have to continue to get pressure on him in the pass game and make some plays."
Sergio Castillo, who kicked for Sam Ficken (groin) for the second-straight game, connected on 3 of 4 first-half attempts, converting from 39, 55 and 48 yards. The 55-yard field goal is the team's longest of the season.
"I was trying to help the team out," Castillo said. "I was just trying to focus on the process and my technique and just try to help the team out as much as possible to put those three points up on the board. Any way I can help the team out."
The Jets special teams, however, made two mishad two mishaps in the first half. Castillo had an opportunity to convert a field goal before the half, but Chiefs S Amani Watts came untouched and blocked the try. Late in the first quarter, rookie P Tommy Townsend hit WR Byron Pringle for a 13-yard pass. Mahomes hit WR Tyreek Hill the next play for a 36-yard TD to put the Chiefs up, 14-3.
"Just from the corner of my eye, as soon as I took that first step I kind of saw a little bit of red," Castillo said of the block. "Then we saw the film and the guy came through the right side. I think I have to do a better job, too, of being a little bit quicker on my get-off time. I have to do better on my part."
CB Pierre Desir, who was covering the Pringle on the fake punt, added: "That was one of those things that you have to be aware of. They like to run fakes and they just so happened to run it in that situation. Just have to clue in on those situations and play the ball better and get off the field."