From MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
For the better part of the last month, the Chiefs defense was the only consistent part of the team. While the offense struggled to put points on the board or keep possessions going, the defense was asked again and again to keep the game from getting out of hand.
They got the job done until Sunday against the New York Jets. While they were not as bad as the Chiefs offense, the Kansas City defense got punched in the mouth, run over, ran past and out thought in the first half.
That they staggered into the locker at half-time down 28-3 left them frustrated and just outright mad.
“We’ve been getting the job done and to play like that, in a game that was so important for us to win, that’s just not right,” said FS Kendrick Lewis. “We just had too many mistakes. We didn’t need to help them and we did.”
Yes they did. In the first half, the Jets pretty much did what they wanted to do. It began with an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive on their first possession. By half-time they had three more touchdowns.
While the Chiefs were able to stymie the WR-duo of Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes, they were not able to handle the RB-duo of Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. Burress was shutout, while Holmes had two catches for 12 yards â€“ one of those catches was a 4-yard TD play.
Greene and Holmes however, touched the ball a combined 38 times for 251 of the Jets 314 yards of offense. Screen passes killed the Chiefs, as Green had one that went for 36 yards, and Tomlinson added one for 31 yards and then a 19-yard screen for a touchdown.
“They’re a fast flow defense,” said Jets QB Mark Sanchez. “They rush the passer very well and some of that misdirection stuff can get those guys if you have the right timing. And we did. The offensive linemen got out in the screen game, the backs did a great job of positioning themselves and you just have to get the ball to them. They’re like long handoffs; that’s the way we treat them.”
One of the biggest problems for the Chiefs defense was their tackling. Greene started the game with a 31-yard run on the first offensive snap, where he ran out of three different tackles. When Greene scored on a seven-yard run, he ran through the arm tackle attempt by CB Brandon Carr and then blasted Lewis while getting into the end zone.
“That first half was not very good for us,” said LB Derrick Johnson, who led the defense as always with a dozen tackles. “We played a lot better in the second half.”
The numbers would agree, but then the game’s outcome was already decided. In the second half the Jets had just 61 offensive yards on 26 plays, with no only one advance going for more than 10 yards. In the first half on 40 plays, nine went for more than 10 yards.
“Not our best effort at all,” said DE Glenn Dorsey. “I’m not sure why. They didn’t surprise us with anything. We were prepared. They just played better than we did.”