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When you first looked at the matchup between the Jets and Chiefs on paper, it was very difficult to find a tangible way of making yourself believe the Jets had a chance of losing the game.
Years of watching the Jets lose games under similar circumstances was the only reason to doubt the Jets' chances, but they've lost so many of them that it was hard to dismiss the danger pangs as mere pessimism. Those pangs went away after about five minutes of watching Sunday's game.
The Jets completely dominated the Chiefs through the first half of the game, rolling up 253 yards and four touchdowns on their way to a 28-3 lead that spelled the end of competitive football after 30 minutes of action.
The defense allowed just four Kansas City yards, a performance that would have ranked as truly impressive if not for the totally overmatched Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko.
If you've spent good parts of this season wondering if Mark Sanchez will ever make it as an NFL quarterback, watching Palko was a serious exercise in perspective. At his worst this season, Sanchez has never been close to as bad as Palko.
Sanchez was responsible for four Jets touchdowns, two in the air and two on runs from the doorstep of the end zone. The offense, which featured more of the Wildcat that returned last week, looked as balanced and potent as it has all season.
That speaks well of the decision to keep Tom Moore around for the rest of the year to help Brian Schottenheimer devise a scheme that can keep the Jets in the hunt for a playoff berth. That hunt got help when the Texans scored late to beat the Bengals and push the Jets into an even better situation.
With the game in hand, things slowed down in the second half as the Jets flipped on cruise control until the final whistle sounded on a 37-10 win. The only interesting thing to watch was for was to see if the Chiefs would wind up with more penalty yards than offensive yards as they totally melted down on a drive that saw the Jets gain 81 yards, thanks to flags on the opposition.
The Chiefs offense squeaked by in the end, but that's hardly a knock on the Jets' play. They left no room for the kind of horrible disaster that we've seen in each of the last two Decembers by smacking K.C. in the mouth at the outset and keeping their foot on the gas until all was said and done.
Shonn Greene had 129 yards and a score, the defense had five sacks and picked Palko off once in the first half. That interception led to the only bad moment of the day as Jim Leonhard was carted off with a knee injury following the pick and, based on his reaction, it looks like the Jets might have lost their best safety for a long time.
That will be something serious for them to deal with, but they'll be dealing with it coming off a third straight win and playoff chances that look better with every passing week.