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NFL Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs: 6 Defenders to Benefit vs. Hapless New York Giants

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Kansas City Chiefs: 6 Defenders to Benefit vs. Hapless New York Giants

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Three games into the 2013 season, the Kansas City Chiefs' defense is looking like one of the best in the NFL. Allowing 309 yards per game and an average of 11.3 points is very respectable, but where they really shine is with the big plays.

In the young season the team has already compiled nine takeaways, two pick-sixes and a league-high 15 sacks. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s impact has been enormous for the Chiefs. With four returning Pro Bowl selections, it was no secret this crew had the talent to succeed. With Sutton as puppet master, these guys are far from being the underachievers they were in 2012.

When the New York Giants come to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, they bring an offense that coughs up the ball more than any other team in the league. Much like the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3, the Giants may make a couple of big plays, but it’s safe to expect them to make some big mistakes as well.

The Arrowhead crowd is back, and when you add the fact that the Giants have no running threat, it makes another erratic game from Eli Manning a strong likelihood. After a Thursday night game, the Chiefs will have a long week to rest and plan for the Giants. It will be interesting to see what a defense like Kansas City’s could to one of the biggest messes in the league. In case you're wondering, the NFL record for giveaways in a game is 12.

Aaron Charles is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on twitter @aaroncharleskc or add him to your network on Google

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6. CB Sean Smith

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Smith has been a tremendous free-agent addition for KC thus far. He had a great game against the Eagles with two pass deflections and an interception, and he'll look to keep that momentum going as one of the most likely benefactors of Manning’s mistakes.

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5. ILB Derrick Johnson

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John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson has never been heavily involved in the Chiefs’ pass rush, but he is always one of the biggest impact players on the field. The team captain is one of the best at sniffing out a play and has averaged 126 tackles over the past three seasons.

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4. DT Dontari Poe

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Poe totaled 3.5 sacks in his first two contests but wasn’t able to take down the elusive Michael Vick in Week 3. With how often the Giants throw and how poorly Manning moves, Poe should be back to adding to his sack totals.

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3. OLB Tamba Hali

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Hali has compiled 63.5 career sacks in his career and is always a candidate for a big game. Some people credit part of Justin Houston’s early success to the attention Hali requires. After his monster start, opponents are going to have to give Houston more attention, and Hali could be the main benefactor.

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2. S Eric Berry

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure Berry can accurately be identified as a safety anymore considering the way Sutton uses him. Berry confuses offenses by lining up all over the field and is always a threat for a huge play. Last Thursday, he was definitely in the right place when he snatched a pick-six for the most important play of the game.

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1. OLB Justin Houston

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Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

Number one has to go to the NFL sacks leader who at the moment is on pace to record 40 on the year. Obviously he can’t keep up this rate, but Houston has been playing out of his mind early in the season. So far he has been everywhere, compiling 7.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and three pass deflections.