The New York Giants might be the league's most disappointing team three weeks in. Their Week 4 opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, might be the league's most surprising success story. With that in mind, the banged-up Giants could be in big trouble on the road.
The Giants may have a league-high 13 turnovers and the Chiefs may have a league-low zero, but, historically, this is the exact type of game the Giants can rise up and win.
Will that happen again this Sunday at Arrowhead? Will the G-Men again save their season from the brink? Maybe. But it's also true that this isn't the same old Giants team anymore. They've never been this down and out before, at least not in the Tom Coughlin era, and they don't match up well with this confident, fiery Chiefs team.
Here's our final preview of the matchup, along with a prediction.
What New York must do to win, offensive edition
Take care of the ball and establish the run. The Chiefs are somewhat vulnerable on the ground, and David Wilson showed some glimpses last week. The Giants' offensive line is a mess right now—it's missing two starters and gave up seven sacks last week—and the Chiefs are loaded up front on D. New York can't afford to be one-dimensional in this game.
What New York must do to win, defensive edition
Start actually getting some pressure. That's always been the key for this defense, and it definitely applies to a matchup with Alex Smith. The Cowboys and Eagles were able to bring heat against that line, and rookie right tackle Eric Fisher is still getting acclimated.
Five most important non-quarterbacks
Justin Pugh: You know, it's possible Chris Snee has been struggling as much as he has because he's had to help Pugh at right tackle. But with Snee and David Baas both out, the rookie will have to fend for himself against NFL sack leader Justin Houston and a stacked front seven.
Will Beatty: Beatty's job won't be any easier on the left side.
Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck: They won't win this game without some sacks and consistent pressure.
David Wilson: Perfect chance for a breakout performance. The Chiefs have given up a league-high 5.6 yards per carry this season.
Injury analysis, Giants edition
Snee and Baas are out, which means we'll see a lot of Jim Cordle and probably James Brewer and Brandon Mosley. With David Diehl still doubtful, they might only have five or six healthy offensive linemen Sunday.
On defense, Spencer Paysinger (probable, hip), Jacquian Williams (questionable, knee) and Corey Webster (out, hip) are all hurt. What a mess.
Injury analysis, Chiefs edition
Brandon Flowers has been dealing with a nagging knee injury and didn't practice Friday. His absence would hurt, but the Chiefs are relatively deep at corner with Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson.
B/R NFC East blog prediction: Chiefs 27, Giants 21
I've gone back and forth on this one. I'm not confident, because my gut doesn't believe Coughlin and Eli Manning could possibly start 0-4. But on paper, this shouldn't even be close.