The Giants went into this game as heavy favorites, and won easily, 27-16, with most of Kansas City’s points coming in garbage time. The only way the Chiefs could have beaten the Giants was if they had Len Dawson, Otis Taylor, Ed Podolak, Curly Culp, Buck Buchanan, and Jan Stenerud still playing.
The star of the game for New York was Steve Smith. He caught 11 passes for 134 yards and scored two touchdowns—and he barely played in the fourth quarter. And guess what? He now leads all NFL receivers in just about every major category. He’s No. 1 in receptions (34), No. 1 in yards (411), No. 1 in yards per game (102.8), and No. 1 in TD’s (4).
He runs his routes with perfection and always seems to be open. He and Eli Manning have a great chemistry going. Best off all, he doesn’t suffer from the prima donna syndrome that most star receivers are afflicted with these days. I really don’t think Smith will be changing his name to Steve Unodos anytime soon.
The big concern coming out of this game is, of course, Manning’s injury. If it’s just a bruised heel, he should be all right. But if it turns out to be an Achilles problem, it could be trouble. But the Manning family seems to be indestructable. If Archie could survive all those years on those horrible Saints teams, then nothing can keep this family off the field (or away from the cameras making TV commercials).
The checklist going into yesterday’s game included getting some sacks for the first time since week one and getting Brandon Jacobs off the schneid. Both goals were accomplished, as the D sacked Matt Cassel five times and Jacobs had his best game of the year, picking up 92 yards on 21 carries, for a 4.4 average.
Michael Boley and Antonio Pierce had good games. Bryan Kehl recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and then grabbed an onside kick to start the second half. Hakeem Nicks caught one pass, but it was good for a 54-yard TD run, most of it his own doing, dodging tacklers on his way down the sideline.
But the Giants surely weren’t perfect. They’re still settling for too many field goals once they get inside the red zone. And Lawrence Tynes is missing one FGA per game. Where’s Pete Gogolak when you need him (ok, he’s 67 years old, but still)?
Mario Manningham dropping and bobbling balls is becoming too commonplace (Manning’s one INT came on a Manningham drop). And they’re still letting teams get too close to them in would-be blowouts.
The Giants’ easy and relaxing early season schedule continues next week, when they host the 1-3 Raiders. It should mean a 5-0 start for Big Blue when they have to start facing some tougher competition - that is unless Oakland brings Ken Stabler, Mark van Eeghen, Fred Biletnikoff, Dave Casper, Otis Sistrunk and Phil Villapiano with them.