KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The New York Jets’ season was lost long ago, so coach Rex Ryan figured he might as well go for it on fourth down at the Kansas City 3 early in the fourth quarter on Nov. 2.
What did he have to lose? What else could go wrong?
Well, the answers this season have been “anything” and “everything,” and that was the case again. Not only did Michael Vick’s pass end up incomplete, the quarterback was slammed to the ground by Chiefs linebacker Josh Mauga and walked woozily off the field.
Vick eventually returned to finish the 24-10 loss, the Jets’ eighth straight defeat, but only after he went through the NFL’s concussion protocol and was cleared to continue.
“We had some opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them,” said Vick, who started in place of the injured Geno Smith. “Whenever that happens, and the other team do capitalize on theirs you don’t finding yourself winning the game.”
Smith was inactive with a shoulder injury, leaving Matt Simms to also play one series.
New York actually moved the ball well most of the afternoon, utilizing Percy Harvin in the running and passing games to perfection. But the Jets kept misfiring in Chiefs territory, settling for a field goal just before halftime and then turning it over on downs three times.
The result was another defeat tacked onto their longest losing streak since 1996, when the Jets went 1-15 in their final year under Rich Kotite. The franchise has never lost nine in a row, an embarrassment they’ll try to avoid when they play Pittsburgh on Nov. 9.
“I think no different than the rest of our team, the rest of our organization,” Ryan said. “We all feel the same way. We’re stung by it. Shoot, we’d do anything for a win.”
Ryan said after the game that he would stick with Vick at quarterback next week. “I thought he played well,” Ryan said, “and we’ll give him a shot against Pittsburgh.”
Meanwhile, Alex Smith threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns for Kansas city, and Jamaal Charles ran for another score. Tight ends Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce had the TD catches.
“I feel OK about where we’re at,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “We just won. Normally I feel good. But I like the aggressiveness that the team is playing with.”
That was evident from the opening drive, when the Chiefs moved 81 yards in relative ease. Charles was the workhorse, carrying six times and capping the drive with a 1-yard TD plunge.
After the Chiefs forced three-and-out, it took them just seven more plays to score again — this time on a play that encapsulated the way everything has been going right for Kansas City, and the way everything has been going wrong for New York.
With first-and-goal at the 2-yard line, Smith’s pass was knocked down by Calvin Pace, but the ball went right to Fasano. The tight end caught the inadvertent pass on his rump, rolled over the goal line and gave the Chiefs a stunning — if not humorous — touchdown for a 14-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ defense was getting after Vick every time he dropped to pass.
Justin Houston, who had 4 1/2 sacks of Vick when he faced the Eagles a year ago, had two more on the elusive quarterback. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe also tracked Vick down for a sack, all before Mauga knocked him from the game with his crushing blow in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a group effort,” Houston said. “I can’t do it without everybody else.”
The only bright spot for the Jets was the play of Harvin, who caught 11 passes for 129 yards in his second game since getting traded from Seattle. Harvin showed the speed and shiftiness that the Jets were hoping he would provide when they made the deal.
It was just far too little in a game dominated by Kansas City’s defense.
“Right now, I think the offense is moving the ball pretty well. We’re just not making the big plays at the right time,” Harvin said. “Defense, we stopped them pretty well. But when we needed that clutch play, we couldn’t get it.”
(DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer)