Then he figured he might as well score, too.
The veteran linebacker snagged one of six interceptions thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick, scored one of the Chiefs’ two touchdowns off turnovers, and put an exclamation mark on a rather bizarre 24-3 victory over the hapless, turnover-prone New York Jets on Sunday.
“We put an emphasis on taking away the ball all the time,” said Johnson, who scored his fourth career TD. “If you can get a turnover, it’s a big momentum changer. And if you can score, it’s even bigger.”
A turnover? How about get eight.
Marcus Peters had two of the interceptions for the Chiefs (2-1), including the first of four in the fourth quarter. Johnson, Daniel Sorenson and D.J. White grabbed the others as the Jets piled up their most turnovers since setting a franchise record with 10 in a loss to the Patriots on Nov. 21, 1976.
“I’m stunned, disappointed … mad,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “We could have come out prepared. We could have come out and executed better. There’s 50 million things when you lose and we lost. Pick any one of them.”
Alex Smith was 25 of 33 for 237 yards and a touchdown for Kansas City, while Spencer Ware added 75 yards rushing. But it was the performance of the defense — and all those Jets turnovers — that helped the Chiefs bounced back from their first regular-season defeat in 12 games.
Eric Berry picked off a pass in the end zone late in the third quarter, and a fumbled kick return by the Jets’ Jalin Marshall was returned 27 yards by Demetrius Harris for another score.
“I think it stemmed from practice this week,” Berry said. “Everybody had a great practice. The emphasis was on finishing plays and not being too concerned with the score.”
The Jets’ Matt Forte, who scored three times against the Bills, was held to just 65 yards rushing, while wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker were held in check.
But it was Fitzpatrick who was downright dismal a week after torching Buffalo, going 20 of 44 for 188 yards. His six picks tied a franchise record while establishing a career high, surpassing the five that he threw for St. Louis against Minnesota on Dec. 11, 2005.
“I’ve had some bad ones,” he said, “so all I can do is put it behind me and move on.”
CHIEFS NOT INFALLIBLE
Kansas City appeared to take a 24-3 lead in the third quarter when Ware stretched the ball into the pylon for a touchdown. But officials reviewed the play and saw the ball beginning to come out, and decided that it was a fumble resulting in a touchback for New York.
“You don’t want them dropping the ball,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, “but it’s hard to tell them not to stretch.”
Things could have been worse for New York. Berry and Sorenson dropped picks moments before Sorenson hauled in his interception, and Fitzpatrick fell on his own fumble earlier in the game.
PETERS A ‘PICKER
It was the second straight two-interception day for Peters, who has quickly become one of the league’s top cornerbacks. He had eight as a rookie in the regular season a year ago.
“When things are happening like today,” Peters said, “you enjoy. You embrace the opportunities.”
Decker had his streak of touchdowns in six straight games come to an end. The Jets wide receiver, who has scored 15 times in his last 19 games, had his only catch in the fourth quarter.
Marshall was active after missing practice earlier in the week with a slightly sprained knee. But shadowed by Peters and Berry, the star wide receiver had a tough time getting open. He finished with three catches for 27 yards, on several occasions complaining about the tight coverage.
Jets: CB Darrelle Revis was evaluated for an eye injury and missed the final series of the first half. He returned after the break. … DL Lawrence Thomas left in the first half with a shoulder injury. … LB Erin Henderson was inactive because of a foot sprain.
Chiefs: RB Jamaal Charles (ACL surgery) remained inactive for the third straight week, but coach Andy Reid insisted the four-time Pro Bowl selection is getting closer to playing.