Beat Chiefs, but Problems Still Abound
Most NFL fans would love for their teams to be 4-0 right now, so I must tread lightly with this piece.
The Giants defeated the Kansas City Chiefs today, 27-16 at Arrowhead Stadium, in a game that thrilled and shocked no one.
It was a contest between a good team that has been plagued by injury and inefficiency and a rebuilding team that just didn't have enough to compete.
It wasn't a very pleasant game to watch for fans of either team.
Kansas City has two dozen new faces on their roster and is still in honeymoon mode with new coach Todd Haley. They are a mishmash of veterans and young players that may gel someday as a team, but as of yet they have not.
They don't protect their quarterback Matt Cassel very well, and they try to generate a running game with Larry Johnson, who—let's face it—has seen his better days.
Their young defensive line is still finding itself—mostly on the turf—as they don't seem to be getting to opposing quarterbacks nor stopping the run.
Today against New York, they looked disorganized and out of sync until the fourth quarter, when the Giants stepped up and squashed any dreams of a comeback.
The Giants were flat and benefited from a few generous calls from the officials. The Eli Manning-to-Steve Smith connection continued to buoy most of their drives until the running game got cooking.
The Giants racked up 429 total yards on offense and held the Chiefs to only 193, most of those coming late in the game.
Still, the scoreboard showed only 27 points for New York.
They continued to sputter in the red zone, only scoring once in four trips, furthering their inside-the-20 futility to the tune of 4-for-16 this season.
Their kicker, Lawrence Tynes, missed another makeable field goal—this one from 38 yards, the third such "chippy" he's blown thus far this young season.
Giant fans had two "hold-your-breath" moments: when Manning pulled up lame in the third quarter after stepping oddly on his heel, and when TE Kevin Boss got his knee wrenched in a Chiefs sandwich after making a reception inside the five-yard line.
Both should be fine, but after all the injuries that team has had, losing these two for any amount of time would have spelled big trouble.
Once again, the defense was up to the task. The Giants had not had a sack in the two previous games but recorded five today. The secondary seems to have become an elite one, even without the services of two former first round picks—safety Kenny Phillips and corner Aaron Ross.
Next week, the Oakland Raiders come to the Meadowlands, and the Giants will seek to improve to 5-0 before they take on some real competition in the final 11 games.