By Dave Thomas
Can things get any worse for the New York Jets and head coach Rex Ryan?
The answer to that question is of course, yes, but New York fans are probably wondering just how much more suffering is awaiting them.
If you looked at the AFC East at the start of the season, there was no clear-cut favorite. Yes, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are typically the odds-on choice to come out on top, but the Pats have had a number of changing parts to deal with over the last couple of years, making them a little more vulnerable in the eyes of prognisticators.
With that said, Buffalo, Miami and those Jets likely thought it could easily be a four-team race for division supremacy. As it turns out, it is now a three-team race, with the Jets sitting all alone and comfortably in the basement.
So, is there better news on the horizon, specifically starting this Sunday in the nation’s heartland?
Chiefs Heading Upward
While the Jets stumble around at 1-7, the Kansas City Chiefs are going in the opposite direction, sitting at 4-3 in the AFC West.
With wins over San Diego and St. Louis, the Chiefs have moved to within a half-game of second-place San Diego in the AFC West. With a win this weekend over the Jets and a Chargers’ loss in Miami, Kansas City would move into second place behind the Denver Broncos.
After taking Kansas City to the playoffs a season ago (lost in first-round to Indianapolis), Andy Reid and the Chiefs came into the 2014 campaign with high hopes. While Kansas City stumbled out of the gate at 0-2, the Chiefs appear to have righted the ship. During their run to 4-3, the Chiefs dismantled Tom Brady and the Patriots on a Monday Night Football contest several weeks ago at Arrowhead Stadium.
Heading into their meeting with the Jets, the Chiefs are again led by quarterback Alex Smith (1,496 yards passing, 9 TDs).
Smith looks to tight end Travis Kelce (352 yards receiving) and wide receiver threat Dwayne Bowe (343 yards receiving), while Knile Davis (401 yards rushing) and standout Jamaal Charles (363 yards rushing) lead the running attack.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kansas City has been turning to linebackers Josh Mauga (47 total tackles) and Justin Houston (10 sacks) to keep opposing offensives on their heals.
If you’re looking at this Sunday’s contest as yet another Jets debacle, keep in mind that New York nearly upset New England a week ago this past Thursday in Foxboro (lost 27-25).
While there are no moral victories in the league, both Jets players and fans were likely feeling better about the team after that tough loss, but any of those good feelings went by the wayside after this past Sunday’s clunker at home against Buffalo.
With Michael Vick expected to start at quarterback this Sunday in place of the benched Geno Smith, do the Jets have it in them to gain their second win of the season or will this be yet another gloomy Sunday for folks wearing green and white?
For more Jets news and updates, visit Jets Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.