Weak first half dooms Chiefs in 37-10 loss to Jets
Monday, December 12, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Todd Haley could have spent the rest of Sunday pointing out everything his Kansas City Chiefs did wrong — just in the first half.
Coming off two strong defensive performances, the Chiefs couldn’t get out of their own way in a 37-10 loss. They couldn’t get in the Jets’ way, either, falling behind 28-3 by halftime.
“The first half, when we can’t get a first down and are terrible keeping the other team from getting a first down, that will not be a good half,” Haley said.
“They did a great job in the red zone,” he added about the Jets. “They were more prepared and just played better, period.”
Through two quarters, New York (8-5) led Kansas City 253-4 in yards, 16-1 in first downs, and 20:34-9:26 in time of possession.
Not a formula for success for the Chiefs (5-8).
“It was probably our worst half of football,” Haley said. “I don’t know if it’s even close this season.”
The second half wasn’t much better, marked mostly by penalties. In the most brutal stretch, the Chiefs were penalized five times for 81 yards during the Jets’ final touchdown drive. One of those was an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Haley. Kansas City finished with 11 penalties.
“That generally gets you beat,” said Haley, who would not elaborate on what he said to the officials. “The one thing we can’t do is lose our composure on calls.”
Tyler Palko was sacked five times, a week after the quarterback earned his first victory as a starter at Chicago. He was 3-for-8 for 11 yards in the first half. He finished 16-of-32 for 195 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“It seems like they play 12 or 13 guys sometimes because they have guys all over the place,” Palko said, comparing New York’s defense to Pittsburgh’s.
Dwayne Bowe dropped a would-be touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter for Kansas City.
Mark Sanchez threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as the Jets improved their lot in the AFC playoff race. The Jets were helped by that inept Chiefs offense, and K.C. couldn’t stop New York’s rushing game, either.
Sanchez was 13-of-21 for 181 yards and was cheered warmly in pregame introductions after being booed in the team’s last home game two weeks ago. Shonn Greene had a season-high 129 yards rushing and a score, and Santonio Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson each caught touchdown passes for the Jets, who have won three straight and improved to 6-1 at home.
The Jets’ first drive began ominously as Sanchez was forced to call a timeout — to loud boos — before New York even ran a play because of confusion on personnel.
The Jets rebounded nicely with an 11-play, 77-yard touchdown drive jump-started by Greene’s 31-yard rumble on the opening snap. On third-and-goal from the 3, Sanchez threw incomplete into the end zone, but Chiefs cornerback Javier Arenas was called for holding.
Sanchez took the next snap, faked the handoff to Greene and nearly every Chiefs player bit as the Jets quarterback rolled to his left and strolled into the end zone untouched.
Ryan Succop’s 53-yard field goal late in the opening quarter made it 7-3.
Palko, starting again with newly signed Kyle Orton inactive with an injured right index finger, made a poor throw intended for Steve Breaston that Jim Leonhard picked off easily early in the second quarter. Breaston grabbed Leonhard for a twisting tackle on which the safety’s right knee was injured.
On the next play, Sanchez, facing heavy pressure, dumped the ball to Greene, who zipped down the left sideline 36 yards. Sanchez found Holmes in the middle of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
Greene’s 7-yard run put New York ahead 21-3 after a fumble was challenged by coach Rex Ryan and overturned by video replay.
Things started getting out of hand midway through the third quarter when the Chiefs were called for three straight penalties, including the unsportsmanlike conduct on an irate Haley, helping move the Jets all the way from their 3 to the 43. A few plays later, Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis were called for consecutive pass interference penalties, bringing the ball to the K.C. 4.
On third-and-goal, Sanchez took the snap and rolled into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run and a 35-3 lead.
Notes: Chiefs K Ryan Succop badly botched an onside kick attempt that traveled 3 yards early in the fourth quarter. ... Chiefs S Jon McGraw left in the second quarter with an injured left ankle and didn’t return. ... New York’s five sacks were a season high. ... Chiefs RB Thomas Jones had just 12 yards on five carries, but passed Eddie George and Tiki Barber for 22nd on the NFL’s career list.