Chiefs’ latest weapon rings a Bell for visiting Jets
Few juicy storylines generally arise before a meeting between two teams going in completely opposite directions.
However, the Kansas City Chiefs (6-1) happened to pick up a player of note, two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell, after his release earlier this season from the New York Jets (0-7).
So, there is that particular nugget in what would be considered a likely mismatch Sunday in Kansas City, Mo.
How the Chiefs deploy Bell is a work in progress since touches will also go to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, an impressive rookie drafted in the first round.
“They’ve both got the dual-threat thunder and lightning package,” said Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. “It’s just the ultimate weather storm out there.”
Bell carried six times for 39 yards last week in a 43-16 romp over Denver, while Edwards-Helaire logged eight attempts. Touches were limited for the Chiefs because snap counts got skewed by two touchdown returns, which diminished their offensive reliance.
“The offense fits (Bell). I mean, he can see his talents and what he does best show up in this offense. He could see it before he got here and then he had a chance to show it (at Denver),” said Andy Reid, who is seeking his 229th NFL coaching victory, which would move the Kansas City coach into a fifth-place tie with Curly Lambeau.
Most assume Reid can make that next move up the win chart by leading his team past the woeful Jets, though he has issued the requisite warning to his team about how “this league has been all about parity.”
The message, as usual, has been absorbed by Patrick Mahomes, despite the quarterback’s seemingly superhuman powers.
“People understand that in this league you can’t overlook anybody,” said Mahomes, who has thrown just one interception in 242 attempts this season. “If you watch the tape and don’t look at the record, you understand that this is a good football team.”
Numbers suggest otherwise.
The Jets rank last in the NFL in production (264.3 yards on average) and scoring (12.1). They managed just 4 total yards in the second half last week against Buffalo. Their defense did not give up a touchdown in that 18-10 defeat, but New York poses little threat offensively, scoring just eight touchdowns all season.
After missing two games because of a strained shoulder, quarterback Sam Darnold returned last week but passed for only 120 yards with two interceptions.
Instead of leaning on Bell, the Jets have turned to another veteran running back, Frank Gore, who has rushed for 310 yards in his 16th NFL season. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder leads the New York receivers with 29 catches, 383 yards and two touchdowns, but continues to deal with a groin injury that kept him out of the Buffalo game.
The production of wide receiver Chris Hogan, who has just 14 receptions for 118 yards and no touchdowns, is one of many disappointments the Jets are attempting to solve.
“Early in the season especially, Chris was the focal point of what we were trying to do,” Jets coach Adam Gase said. “We tried to call his number but whether it was dictated by coverage or something went wrong, it didn’t work out to get him going.”
Gase indicated the Jets would retain defensive tackle Quinnen Williams after it was reported the team was shopping around its former first-round pick.
Two offensive starters for the Chiefs, wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and tackle Mitchell Schwartz (back), missed the first practice leading into the Jets game after sitting out the Denver win.
–Field Level Media