Chiefs surge, Jets slump at Arrowhead Stadium
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Alex Smith doesn't care how the Kansas City Chiefs score touchdowns.
It could be on running plays with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. It could be short passes to tight ends Travis Kelce or Anthony Fasano. As long as they are putting up touchdowns, and the Chiefs are piling up wins, the veteran quarterback will be happy.
Nope, it doesn't bother Smith at all that no wide receiver has a TD catch this season.
''The most important thing is that we're scoring,'' Smith said after a 24-10 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. ''I think that speaks to the guys we have - we don't have guys looking at their numbers and fantasy numbers every week.''
Besides, the Chiefs (5-3) have won three straight and five of six. Charles and Davis have become a potent one-two punch, and their stingy defense shut down the Jets (1-8) in a game that was never really in doubt after the Chiefs took a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
So if the biggest quibble in Kansas City right now is the inability of wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and A.J. Jenkins to get into the end zone, so be it.
''I'm proud of them for starting with two losses and then coming back, putting some things together, getting some wins together,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
Meanwhile, the Jets' slide continued with another lackluster performance.
Michael Vick, starting in place of the injured Geno Smith, threw for 196 yards and a touchdown, missing one series in the fourth quarter after taking a blow to the head. He played well enough that embattled coach Rex Ryan plans to stick with him next week against Pittsburgh, but not well enough that the Jets could avoid their eighth consecutive defeat.
''I know I can still start,'' said Vick, who went through the NFL's concussion protocol before he was cleared to finish the game. ''I've played in this league a long time and I believe in what I can do. ... I'll do everything in my power to get this turned around.''
The Jets hadn't lost eight straight games since 1996, when they went 1-15 in their final year under Rich Kotite. The franchise has never lost nine in a row, an embarrassment the Jets will try to avoid Sunday against the Steelers.
''This team, I think, you misjudge the character if you think losses are the only thing that identify this team. That's not the case,'' Ryan said, when asked about the seemingly endless string of losses. ''This team is made up off character and these are mighty men. I hope like hell we don't have to endure too many more but we will, if that's the case.''
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, who had an NFL-leading 10 sacks entering the game, had two more on Sunday. He also sacked Vick 4 1/2 times last year, when the Chiefs played the Eagles. ''It's a group effort,'' Houston said. ''I'm receiving all the credit, but I can't do it without everybody else.''
SPEAKING OF SACKS: The Jets had 24 sacks coming into the game, tied with the Chiefs for fourth-most in the NFL. Jason Babin had their only sack Sunday, and it didn't happen until there was about 2 minutes left. ''Yeah, that was one I was just going to keep the clock rolling rather than throwing the ball away there,'' Smith said.
CHIEFS CRY PERCY: Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin was the lone bright spot, catching 11 passes for 129 yards in his second game since getting traded from Seattle. ''Overall, execution of the offense was pretty good,'' he said, ''other than we couldn't punch the ball in.''
BOWE PLATEAU: Bowe may not have a TD catch this season, but he still managed to reach another milestone. With six catches for 55 yards, he surpassed 500 catches in his career. Tony Gonzalez holds the franchise record with 916.
GOAL-LINE GATE: The Chiefs have been impenetrable at the goal line this season, the only team in the NFL that has not allowed a rushing touchdown. The Jets had a couple of chances from the 3, throwing a TD pass on one of them and an incompletion on fourth down on another.
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