Jets vs. Chiefs: 3 things to watch – Metro US

Jets vs. Chiefs: 3 things to watch

Alex Smith
Getty Images

The Jets don’t have an easy task ahead of them Sunday if they want to break a seven-game losing streak.

A road game at the Chiefs (4-3), one of the most hostile environments in the league, is a tough task for a good team. The Jets do not happen to be a good team right now.

The seven straight losses are the worst under head coach Rex Ryan and the worst since the 2005 season.

Metro takes a look at three storylines to watch as the Jets travel to Kansas City Sunday (1 p.m., CBS).

1. Familiarity breeds respect

There is a mutual respect between these two coaching staffs, born from the coaches knowing each other very well. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was on the Jets staff from 2006 to 2012, serving as a coordinator in New York.

And the Jets have Marty Morninhweg, who was the offensive coordinator for Chiefs head coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia before taking the same position with the Jets. The close ties could make this a great chess match. Reid said the reason he hired Sutton was because he was “a Rex guy.”

“He knows that defense and that’s a phenomenal scheme,” Reid said. “You guys know Bob and the kind of person he is. He also has great relationships with all the people there and the Jets for a number of years.”

2. Turnover margin

It is well documented the Jets have issues with turnovers on the offensive side of the ball, including six last week. But the defense has its own issues with turnovers — mainly they never force any.

They’ve forced just three turnovers (two fumbles, one interception) all season.

Meanwhile, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is notoriously stingy with the ball. He hasn’t thrown an interception in any of the Chiefs’ four wins this season, and has seven touchdowns in those games.

3. Overrun

The Chiefs enter Week 9 third in the league in rushing, using a tremendous two-back rotation.

It is still Jamaal Charles’ backfield, even as the Chiefs have scaled back his workload this year. But Knile Davis a potent one-two punch, who filled in ably during Charles’ latest injury.

Charles is the franchise’s leader in rushing yards, yards per carry and he has the top three rushing games in Chiefs history. The Jets are ranked fifth in rushing defense, in large part because their pass defense has been so bad, teams don’t even run the ball against them.

“Both of them are very capable backs,” Ryan said. “The Davis kid is more of a run-downhill type, where Charles can bounce it. He has great vision. … Both of them present a big challenge for us.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.