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Week 13 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 31, New York Jets 38


What you need to know

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City lost to the New York Jets 38-31 in a back in forth shootout that dropped the Chiefs to 6-6. Alex Smith had his best game of the season, completing 19 of 33 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing once for 70 yards. Kareem Hunt rushed nine times for 40 yards and caught three passes for 23 yards. Travis Kelce had another monster game, catching four passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. The difference for the Chiefs was Tyreek Hill though, who caught six passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, including the touchdown that put the Chiefs up 31-30 late in the fourth quarter. Albert Wilson also chipped in with three catches for 27 yards.

New York Jets

New York won an exciting game that featured nearly 1,000 yards of total offense. Kansas City jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but New York quickly responded with two touchdowns of its own. As the game progressed, both offenses traded big shots. Specifically, New York's secondary did not have an answer for Kansas City's lethal vertical passing attack while Kansas City's secondary porous tackling led to big plays. Alike prior weeks, Josh McCown funneled targets to Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. Both Anderson and Kearse exceeded 100 receiving yards for the second straight week as McCown funneled 62% of his targets in their direction. New York's rushing attack was diverse and plentiful. New York compiled 49 attempts as six different players carried. Of note, Josh McCown (two rushing touchdowns), Bilal Powell (one rushing touchdown), Matt Forte (one receiving touchdown), and Elijah McGuire (one successful two-point conversion) all made an impact.

The fourth quarter has been New York's bugaboo, but Kansas City proved to the undisciplined team. Two costly red zone penalties gave New York's offense multiple attempts, resulting in eight decisive points.

Kansas City Chiefs

QB Alex Smith, 46 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 33 - 366 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 70 - 0
Alex Smith completed 19 of 33 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns in the Chiefs stunning loss to the New York Jets. Smith also ran one time for 70 yards, showing that he still had the athleticism and speed that made him an effective spread option quarterback in college. A week after Smith started to hear whispers about rookie Pat Mahomes potentially taking over the reins of the Chiefs offense, Smith went out and silenced critics regarding his inability to move the ball. In many ways it was a revelation, as Smith sliced and diced the Jets secondary, beating them deep down the field time and time again. The four touchdown passes equaled his touchdown total from weeks 8-12. Smith started off red hot, completing his first five passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and never took his foot off the gas. His first two touchdowns passes, both of which went to Travis Kelce, came on plays of 22 and 36 yards. On the first play, Smith play-action faked to Kareem Hunt and then waited for Kelce to get open on a deep crossing pattern to the left sideline. Smith threw the ball accurately into a small window and led Kelce perfectly, allowing him to sneak into the end zone. On the second play, Smith play action faked to Hunt once again, stepped up in the pocket and led Kelce very nicely down the left sideline. Kelce was wide open thanks to some nifty route-running and a mix up in the Jets secondary, but the throw was one that Smith was not making in previous weeks. Smith’s next touchdown pass came in the middle of the third quarter and went for 79 yards to Tyreek Hill. Smith lined up in the shotgun and hit Hill on a straight go-route down the field. Hill just flat out beat his man down the field, and although Hill had to slow down slightly as he caught the ball, Smith threw the ball 44 yards in the air on a rope and it was exactly where it needed to be in order for Hill to beat his man for a touchdown. Smith’s final touchdown pass went to Hill again for a 40 yard score. Smith lined up in the shotgun, play action faked to Hunt and threw a dime to Hill on a deep slant route. While the previous touchdown pass was just a touch behind Hill as he raced down the field, this one was exactly where it needed to be. It was placed in a small window and Smith had to gauge Hill’s speed perfectly, something that is not easy to do. Throw in a 70 yard run where Smith slipped a sack at his own 10 yard line, and then raced down the field, broke another tackle around the 50 yard and finished off around the Jets 15 yard line, and Smith had his best game of the season and one of his finest as a professional.

RB Kareem Hunt, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 40 - 0, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (5 targets)
Kareem Hunt rushed nine times for 40 yards, while also catching three of five targets for 23 yards. Despite the fact that the Chiefs scored two quick touchdowns in the first quarter, the game script was not one where he was able to get involved. The Jets caught up to the Chiefs quickly in the first half and then came out firing in the second half, forcing Kansas City to abandon the run and match them touchdown for touchdown in the passing game. It is easy to look at his stat-line and say he didn’t have an impact, but that would be foolish. Even with limited touches he was someone the Jets had to account for. Three of Alex Smith’s four touchdown passes came on play action fakes to Hunt, and allowed Hill and Kelce to beat their defenders deep down the field in one on one coverage. Hunt’s touchdown drought is now at nine straight games, which seems nearly impossible after he scored six touchdowns in his first four games as a pro. The Chiefs are still in the playoff hunt after losing six of their last seven games, and will a solid rushing attack to fend off the Chargers (6-6) and Raiders (6-6) as the season progresses into its colder parts. Hunt is still the Chiefs best option at running back, but his volume is way down, something that is not uncommon for rookies as they hit games 10-14. He will look to bounce back against a Raiders team that was responsible for his last 100+ yard game from scrimmage.

WR Tyreek Hill, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 185 - 2 (9 targets)
Tyreek Hill led all Chiefs receivers in receptions and yards, torching the Jets secondary to the tune of six catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Hill provided the spark that the Chiefs offense had been lacking in the second half of the season, scoring a pair of touchdowns that went for 79 and 40 yards, respectively. While Hill has really worked on his route-running, his touchdowns were due to pure, unadulterated speed, the kind that is rare among even the fasted receivers in the NFL. Hill understands how to use his speed, specifically hesitating and then getting back to top speed before his defenders can respond. This is exactly how Hill got behind the Jets secondary on his 79 yard touchdown catch. He ran a straight go-route and had at least six yards on his defender when Smith hit him around the Jets 30 yard line. Hill had to slow down slightly to make the catch was still moving so much faster than his defender that there was no way the play wasn’t going for a touchdown. Hunt’s second touchdown catch came late in the fourth quarter with the Chiefs trailing the Jets 30-24. Hill ran a deep crossing route from the right sideline across the field and again had at least a four yard step on his defender. Alex Smith threw this one out in front of Hill and he made a routine catch for a 40 yard touchdown that put the Chiefs up 31-30. Although the Chiefs eventually lost this game, they got the big plays from Hill and Kelce that they had been lacking in their previous six games.

TE Travis Kelce, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 94 - 2 (8 targets)
Travis Kelce caught four of eight targets for 92 yards and a touchdown. His final stat line looks big, but it was a little disappointing considering that Kelce had three catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns through the first five minutes of the game. Regardless, Kelce came up big on the Chiefs first two possessions, kicking it off with a 32 yard catch a run on the second play of the game. Two plays later, Kelce ran a slick crossing route to the left sideline which went for a 22 yard touchdown. Kelce’s speed, size and athleticism alone would make him one of the most dangerous tight ends in the game, but his route running is what really separates him from everyone not named Gronkowski. Kelce struck again on the first play of the Chiefs second possession. Alex Smith lined up in the shotgun formation, play action faked to Kareem Hunt and then waited as Kelce shook his defender and ran down the left sideline completely free. The play finished as a 32 yard touchdown catch for Kelce. Unfortunately for him, Kelce caught only one more pass the rest of the game, a four yard reception that made little impact.


New York Jets

QB Josh McCown, 91 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 36 - 331 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 19 - 2
Josh McCown played his best game of the season. When he wasn't exposing Kansas City's porous secondary, he managed a rushing attack that compiled 49 attempts over 42 minutes of possession. McCown aided the rushing attack by accounting for two rushing touchdowns. In the first quarter, McCown called his own numberķand converted for 1-yard touchdown. Late in the fourth quarter, McCown called his own number, again, and converted for a 1-yard, game-winning touchdown. When he wasn't burrowing behind his offensive line, McCown picked apart Kansas City's listless secondary. McCown funneled targets to Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse who made numerous plays in the open field. Anderson, who primarily operated out of the slot, was peppered with intermediate targets while Kearse was targeted on deep sideline routes, short crossing routes, and screens. McCown was money on third down, converting 13-of-20 attempts to keep Kansas City's potent offense off the field. McCown and Kearse had a long play of 51 yards on a catch-and-run. Kearse ran quick crossing route, ran through two arm tackles, and accelerated into the open field. McCown tossed one touchdown pass, an 11-yard strike to Matt Forte on a post-route. Forte was lined up in the slot, caught the quick pass, and took a big shot from Ron Parker before getting into the end zone.

In summary, McCown played very well. His offensive line completely stymied Kansas City's talented front as he picked apart their listless secondary. Anderson and Kearse made several big grabs while the rushing attack was diverse and successful. New York's defense was gashed for a several big passing plays, but credit McCown for answering with scoring drives of his own.

RB Bilal Powell, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 48 - 1, Rec: 2 - 2 - 0 (3 targets)
New York's offense totaled 49 rushing attempts, so all three running backs saw numerous opportunities. Powell, however, was utilized most frequently and was a staple in the red zone. In the first quarter, Powell took a toss-sweep off left tackle, bounced off one tackle, and skipped into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Powell was given five touches inside the 7-yard line, but was unable to score. After a Kansas City penalty created a new set of downs, McCown called his own number and scored from 1-yard out. New York showed faith by feeding Powell, but he has to convert.

RB Matt Forte, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 58 - 0, Rec: 3 - 33 - 1 (3 targets)
Matt Forte turned in a workman-like performance. Working in tandem with Bilal Powell, the elder stateman found some success running between the tackles. Forte had a long run of 14 yards off right tackle. As a receiver, Forte had an 11-yard touchdown reception. On the scoring play, Forte was lined up in the slot, caught the quick pass, and took a big shot from Ron Parker before getting into the end zone.

RB Elijah McGuire, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 20 - 0
New York's offense rolled up 49 attempts, so the young rookie was used to spell his backfield counterparts. McGuire had a long run of 19 yards on a toss sweep and converted on a critical two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. A pitch to the wide side of the field was called and McGuire used his speed and acceleration to beat the defender to the corner.

WR Robby Anderson, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 8 - 107 - 0 (12 targets)
Robby Anderson's five-game scoring streak ended, but he continued to dominate targets. Anderson has primarily been an outside receiver, but New York moved him into the slot to avoid Marcus Peters. It was a great game plan because Anderson dominated his match-up against Steven Nelson. Overall, Anderson brutalized Kansas City's overmatched secondary on intermediate and crossing routes. Anderson had a long catch-and-run of 26 yards on a deep cross route. The timing and anticipation between Anderson and McCown is special as this young receiver continues to mature and get better.

WR Jermaine Kearse, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 157 - 0 (10 targets)
Jermaine Kearse had arguably the best individual performance of his career. In addition to setting a season-high in yardage, he had three highlight-worthy plays. In the first quarter, Kearse dusted Steven Nelson for a 44-yard gain on a wheel route. Robby Anderson ran a crossing route underneath, causing Kansas City's defenders to run into each other before Kearse made an easy downfield grab. In the fourth quarter, Kearse made two impressive plays. On a 3rd-and-4 play, Kearse ran an out-route and made a leaping one-handed grab to convert. Later in the quarter, McCown and Kearse had a long play of 51 yards on a catch-and-run. Kearse ran quick crossing route, ran through two arm tackles, and accelerated into the open field. Outside of the two big plays, Kearse was a fixture over the middle of the field.

WR Chad Hansen, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (3 targets)
The young rookie manned the slot and made two big grabs, namely a 13-yard catch on a key third down.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)
While Kearse and Anderson dominated targets, Seferian-Jenkins was an after-thought. He only saw three targets and made short grabs over the middle of the field. He wasn't utilized in the red zone at all.