Dec 8, 2011
THE STORY: Mark Sanchez rallied the New York Jets to their second straight victory last week. New York scored 21 points in the final four-plus minutes of the game against the Washington Redskins. The Jets feel they have to win every game the rest of the way to reach the playoffs and hope to avoid the dramatics this week when they host the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City played spoiler last week by upsetting the Chicago Bears. It was the second straight strong defensive performance for the Chiefs, whose offense continues to struggle mightily with backup quarterback Tyler Palko under center.
TV: CBS, 1 p.m. ET. LINE: Jets -9, O/U 36.5
ABOUT THE JETS (7-5): The Jets, who are 5-1 at home this season, aim for their second three-game winning streak of the season and hoping to keep pace in the AFC wild-card picture. New York rallied from a 16-13 deficit last week as Sanchez found Santonio Holmes for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter for the second straight week, putting New York in a four-way tie for the conference's final playoff spot. New York has beaten the Chiefs two straight times, both at home, and got a career-high three touchdowns from Shonn Greene last week. Emerging defensive star Aaron Maybin also had a key sack of Rex Grossman to help put the game out of reach.
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (5-7): Kansas City surprised Pittsburgh two weeks ago with a solid defensive effort but couldn't put anything together offensively in a 13-9 loss. Last week, the Chiefs got their first offensive touchdown in three weeks to sink the Bears 10-3. Kansas City hasn't scored more than 10 points in its last five games but suddenly feels good about its efforts. Its defense recorded seven sacks and picked off three of Caleb Hanie's passes in his second start since Jay Cutler was injured. Palko is expected to get the call as Kyle Orton is questionable with a finger injury. Orton replaced the ineffective signal caller last week but was hurt on his first play. The Chiefs would like to run the ball with its crowded backfield, which includes former Jet Thomas Jones. Kansas City is still alive in the AFC West, trailing Denver and Oakland by two games.
1. Kansas City has won three of its last four games on the road.
2. Sanchez became the fifth QB to win 30 games in his first three seasons with last week's win.
3. Jets all-purpose back Joe McKnight will miss the game with an elbow injury
PREDICTION: Jets 24, Chiefs 10. This could be a long day for Palko, and Sanchez shouldn't have to pull out another come-from-behind victory.
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