Le’Veon Bell’s revenge game never materialized as the Jets held their former running back in check. But they couldn’t come to close to containing Patrick Mahomes.
The Jets also couldn’t get the ball in the end zone for the second time in three games. That’s a recipe for disaster against Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champs.
Kansas City’s superstar quarterback had his way against the NFL’s only winless team, and he made it look easy. Mahomes threw five touchdown passes to lead Kansas City to a 35-9 victory over the hopeless Jets on Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Jets are 0-8 for the second time in their history. The other time was 1996.
"I’m doing this job to win," coach Adam Gase said, "not to go out there and get my face stomped in — just like all the rest of the guys in the locker room."
But Gase’s offense is the worst in the NFL and the Jets continue to get stomped. They’ve lost their eight games by a total of 144 points.
Mahomes’ five touchdown passes matched the Jets’ total offensive scores in the last seven games and was one more than their total touchdown passes for the entire season. He left in the fourth quarter with Kansas City (7-1) comfortably ahead. Mahomes was 31-for-42 for 416 yards and had a passer rating of 144.4.
"It’s always fun to go out there and score touchdowns and do all that different type of stuff," he said. "We have a lot of ways we can beat teams. Today they were doing a good job of kind of stopping up the run and we took it to the air.’’
Sam Darnold was 18-for-30 for 133 yards. Mahomes had more passing yards than that (141) in the first quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Darnold took a hard shot while scrambling on third down and appeared to aggravate the shoulder injury that kept him out for two games. He was favoring the shoulder as he left the field but finished the game.
Gase and Darnold didn’t think it was that serious, but he will be checked out on Monday.
"It’s fine," said Darnold, who should have slid on the play. "It was not a great decision by me. It was third and forever. I got to get down. It’s not a great decision, but it’s fine."
The Jets didn’t sack Mahomes once, forced no takeaways and were hurt by Chris Herndon’s fumble. They had a field goal blocked and allowed Kansas City to convert a fourth down on a fake punt.
On the very next play, Mahomes threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill, who also caught a 41-yard TD pass. Kansas City totaled 496 yards of offense.
"We had them off the field and we let up a fake punt," Gase said. "We wanted to try to avoid explosive plays. We gave up a couple, though."
Gase didn’t call the plays for the second straight game. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains did, but the results were the same.
The Jets drove into Kansas City territory on their first three series and got to the 20 once. All three drives stalled and ended with field goals by Sergio Castillo (39, 55, 48), which got the Jets within 14-9.
"When you play these guys, you can’t trade touchdowns when we’re kicking field goals," Gase said.
After Darnold converted a fourth-and-4 from the Kansas City 44, the Jets had a chance to kick a fourth field goal just before the half and cut it to 21-12.
They were set to receive the second-half kickoff, so it could have been a big swing for them, but Castillo’s 47-yard field-goal attempt with two seconds left was blocked by Armani Watts. The Jets’ offense faded to black from there.
In the second half, the Jets had five three-and-outs and Herndon’s fumble on their first six drives. They totaled two first downs after halftime.
"We got to score in the red zone," right tackle George Fant said. "That’s been the story of us this year. We got to get in the end zone, especially against a team like Kansas City. You know they’re going to light it up on offense. They got a lot of weapons."
Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce caught eight passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Hill had four catches for 98 yards and Mecole Hardman seven for 96 yards and a score.
Bell, whom the Jets waived on Oct. 13, ran the ball about as well as he had during his 17-game stint with the Jets. He rushed six times for 7 yards and was stuffed on fourth-and-1 in the third quarter. He also caught three passes for 31 yards.
The Jets were without their top two receivers in Jamison Crowder (groin) and Breshad Perriman (concussion). To keep it close against Kansas City, they would have had to become a totally different team.
Rookie receiver Denzel Mims caught two passes for a team-high 42 yards. Frank Gore led the Jets in rushing with 30 yards on 10 carries. Rookie La’Mical Perine rushed eight times for 27 yards.
"We got to find a rhythm somehow," Darnold said. "I’ve got to do a better job of getting the ball out when I can and make the most of our opportunities."