Halftime Digest: Chiefs 17, Jets 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It wasn’t a perfect first-half, but don’t blame the Kansas City Chiefs felt that way at intermission, charging to a 17-3 halftime lead against the New York Jets and Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs parlayed three Jets turnovers into 17 points, controlling the line of scrimmage and the clock. Kansas City held the ball for 18 minutes, 19 seconds of the first half and outgained the Jets 140-114.

The Jets managed to cut into the deficit with a drive for a field goal late in the second quarter. The drive was aided by a facemask penalty by Dezman Moses at the end of the kickoff return that setup the Jets at their own 44-yard line.

Alex Smith took two shots deep near the end of the half, narrowly missing connection with Jeremy Maclin on both plays, that could have extended the Chiefs’ lead.

Keep the field football

The Jets love to control the clock and move the ball steadily. Down by two scores is not in their wheelhouse, and they need possession to comeback.

The Chiefs get the ball to open the second half, and holding the ball and keeping their momentum is key to the second half.

No Mistakes

The Chiefs truly only made three mistakes in the first half, and all three either took points off the scoreboard or setup the Jets for a score.

A holding penalty by Mitch Morse and a sack taken by Alex Smith took the Chiefs out of field goal range on their opening drive.. The penalty by Moses tacked on to the Jets’ kickoff return to the 29-yard line added 15 more yards, setting up the Jets for their only scoring drive.

Mistakes in all forms, whether they be dropped passes, turnover or penalties, have been the Chiefs calling card early in the season. Play mistake-free in the second half and a win is in grasp.

Keep winning third down

The Chiefs have been dominated on third-down all season, but they have flipped the script today. The offense has converted 6-0f-9 third-down opportunities while the defense has held the Jets to just 2-of-6 successful conversions.

The Chiefs have converted third downs in a number of ways, including a couple of perfectly executed option pitches from Smith to Spencer Ware. Wide receiver Chris Conley also made a clutch third-down catch setting up the Chiefs’ field goal, and Travis Kelce has a couple of big runs after the reception for a first down.

Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.