The Kansas City Chiefs look to extend their two-game winning streak as they prepare for a Week 4 matchup against the New York Jets. Despite what their 1-2 record shows, the Jets are a much more talented team than many would think, leading to some high praise on Wednesday from Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
“We look forward to the challenge of playing the Jets,” Reid began his press conference. “Good football team, we know that. One of the best defenses in the National Football League and an offense that’s growing, so we got to stay on top of our game.
“[The Jets’] special teams I think is number one in a lot of categories right now this season. So, we’ll start the practices today and make sure we detail our work going forward. They’re also well-coached. Robert [Saleh] does a real nice job with the team, and Nathaniel (Hackett) we know is a brilliant guy offensively and Jeff Ulbrich is a very good defensive coordinator, so they are fully loaded on the coaching staff. And they’ve got good players. We’ve got to make sure we put the work in this week. “
The big story for the Jets thus far has been the loss of quarterback Aaron Rodgers — their big trade acquisition over the offseason who tore his Achilles during their first offensive drive of the season. With their future Hall-of-Fame quarterback now out for the year, New York has scrambled to get by with backup quarterback Zach Wilson.
While the former second-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has struggled since taking over, Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay says New York’s offense is still loaded with talent that must be accounted for, especially at the running back position.
“They’re a team that wants to run the ball,” Gay explained to reporters on Wednesday. “Of course, that wasn’t to be funny or anything, but [Aaron Rodgers] got hurt and they turned into a team that was in panic mode almost. That’s what I see at least. They got great running backs, so now they’re just trying to ground and pound it… I feel like their running backs been rolling, so like I said, three great ones. I feel like that’s their game plan.”
Having said that, defense was the Jets’ calling card going into the season and will remain the primary focus heading into Week 4. Led by All-Pro caliber players in defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and cornerback Sauce Gardner, New York presents an interesting challenge for the Chiefs offense which Reid broke down ahead of this Sunday’s matchup.
“He’s a fantastic player, All-Pro,” Reid noted when asked about Williams. “He’s young and explosive, kind of wreaks havoc inside – and he’s not the only one. They’ve got really two full lines, eight guys, and you could probably add a couple of the rushers outside, so 10 guys that bring it. They’re going to throw fastballs at you. It will be a good challenge for our offensive line.”
As for their secondary, Reid points out their aggressive nature, especially in man coverage as Gardner sets the tone for the unit.
“They’re very good, they’re aggressive, Reid observed. “They play quite a bit of man coverage, both the corners play well in man and their safeties likewise. They’ve got good nickels, they’ll play some dime in there, too. They’re all pretty good. Sauce is a special guy, but they’re all very good coverage guys.”
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is well aware of the threat presented by the Jets’ defense. For him, staying patient and taking the simple plays given to him will be the key to success on Sunday.
“They have DBs, they have linebackers, we have a lot of respect for them,” said Mahomes. “I’m out there trying to prevent myself from negative plays. Just take those easy positive plays, if you get the opportunity to take a shot, take it, but if it’s not there, then you just have to continue to just drive and grind out points in this game. That’s a really good defense. It’ll be a great challenge for us.”