Here we go, Week 14, Jets vs. Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. Let's go inside the numbers to see how the two AFC teams match up:
A CASE OF THE RUNS: Every team except the Lions and Colts have been able to run the ball effectively against the Chiefs. This will be a must for the Jets, who took some baby steps last week in the running game. The goal, of course, is to put QB Mark Sanchez into play-action situations. That's when he's at his best, but his best isn't what it used to be.
Sanchez has attempted an AFC-high 102 play-action passes, but he has completed only 58 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That's roughly two points below the league average. Here's a look at the league's most prolific play-action passers and how they've fared:
Most Play-Action Pass Attempts
Quarterback --- Att --- Comp Pct
Drew Brees ........ 132 ..... 71.2
Aaron Rodgers ... 112 ..... 69.6
Mark Sanchez .... 102 ..... 57.8
Tom Brady ........... 96 ....... 67.7
ROMEO, OH, ROMEO: The Chiefs, under veteran defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, are well-coached and well-versed in the 3-4 scheme. But they're not going to show a lot of exotic fronts and they're not a high-pressure defense. They've used four or fewer pass rushers on 69 percent of passing downs, per ESPN Stats, making them one of the more conservative defenses in the league. But it's successful. In those situations, they've allowed only nine TD passes, with 12 interceptions.
Say what you want about the Chiefs, but they play good defense, especially against the pass. Since Oct. 2, they've limited opponents to 17.7 points per game, sixth in the NFL. Also over that span, they've allowed a 30.4-percent rate on third downs, fourth-best in the league.
SHOOTING BLANKS: In a span of seven days, the Jets get Rex Grossman and Tyler Palko. That's what you call a couple of QB cream puffs. The lefthanded Palko, starting for the injured Matt Cassel, has been terrible in three starts. In fact, he has the league's third-worst QB rating (ESPN's rating system) over than span. In this system, 50 is considered average. The list:
Worst Total QBR Last 3 Weeks
Caleb Hanie ... 8.0
Sam Bradford ... 23.1
Tyler Palko ... 27.6
Blaine Gabbert ... 28.0
BAD TO THE LAST DROP: The Chiefs have throwing issues and catching issues. They've dropped 20 passes, including five by WR Dwayne Bowe (104 targets), five by RB Dexter McCluster (46 targets) and four by rookie WR Jonathan Baldwin (33 targets), according to ESPN Stats. Those aren't very good ratios.
There's a subsplot to Baldwin facing the Jets. He played at Pitt and grew up in Aliquippa, Pa., Darrelle Revis' hometown, and considers Revis a mentor. Maybe he can get some ball-catching tips from Revis.