1. Stop Larry Johnson
The former Penn State superstar is not the player he used to be. In fact, he’s a shell of his former self, at the tender age of 29.
His yards per carry is a sad 2.5, down from 4.5 last year and 5.2 in 2005. Yes, it’s hard to believe that only four years ago, LJ was one of the top players in the league. But this is what happens when your team runs you into the ground (752 carries in 2005-2006) and surrounds you with the kind of talent you’d find on a very good Division I college football team.
But enough about how the Cheifs’ ineptness has ruined Larry Johnson’s career. His 4.5 Yards Per Carry last season leads me to believe that he still has talent buried somewhere in his beat-up body, and the Giants should not underestimate him.
If they can hold the Bucs to 28 yards rushing, they should certainly be able to hold Johnson under 50.
2. Sack Matt Cassel
Last Week, the Giants pressured Byron Leftwich, disrupting him all day and hitting him six times. But they came away without a sack, something that certainly raised my eyebrow.
If they perform this week the way they did last week, they should be fine. But I’ll still feel more comfortable going forward if they are able to get at least a couple of sacks against an offensive line that has allowed eight in three games.
The pressure on Cassel so far this season has caused their passing offense to be nonexistent. Their leading receiver, Mark Bradley, has one fewer receiving yard (101) than Kevin Boss, the Giants’ third leading receiver.
The Chiefs are averaging 164 passing yards per game, good for 28th in the league (or should I say bad for 28th in the league?). I see no reason why the Giants shouldn’t be able to continue this trend by putting ample pressure on Matt Cassel.
3. Get Boss Involved
Over the last two games, here is the amount of times each receiver has been targeted: Steve Smith- 20, Mario Manningham- 20, Everyone else- 20.
At some point, opposing defenses are going to try to clamp down on Smith and Manningham. And while this is tougher done than said, I’d like to see Eli Manning rely on these two a little less.
I’m not saying that he should force the ball to other receivers. Obviously, Manning should throw to the open man. But the more threats involved in the passing game, the harder the offense is to stop.
But Kevin Boss the team’s third leading receiver, only has six receptions.
The Chiefs have allowed big games to a tight end in two of their three games (Todd Heap: five receptions, 74 yards and a touchdown; Brent Celek: four receptions, 104 yards and a touchdown). The other game was against the Raiders, who do not employ a passing attack, so that doesn't count.
This week is as good a week as ever to feature Kevin Boss in the passing attack and add another dimension to the offense.
4. Stop Getting Injured
For the love of God, stop getting injured. You’re not the New York Mets (and I thank my lucky stars for that every night). Seriously, it’s getting ridiculous. Just stop getting injured and stay healthy. It’s that simple.
5. Don't Sleep Walk
It’s hard for a team to be much worse than the Chiefs have been the first three weeks of the season.
Take a gander: 30th in total offense. 28th in passing offense. 22nd in rushing offense. 24th in points. 21st yards allowed. 20th in passing yards allowed. 19th in rushing yards allowed. 27th in points allowed
Statistics and science suggest that the Giants should be able to walk all over the Chiefs. But they cannot go into Sunday’s game thinking they can sleep-walk over the Chiefs.
The coaches and players are saying all the right things, and I trust that they will not take this game lightly. Just as long as they keep doing what they’ve been doing and don’t try to get cute, they should leave Arrowhead Stadium with a victory.