5 Things New York Giants Need to Do to Defeat Kansas City Chiefs
5 Things the New York Giants Need to do to Defeat the Kansas City Chiefs
The New York Giants head into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday to take on the much-improved Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Tom Coughlin’s squad has been struggling as of late, loosing the first three games of the season. On the flip side, coach Andy Reid and his Chiefs are off to an impressive 3-0 start, surpassing their win total of last season. If New York wants to turn their season around, Big Blue’s offensive line needs to improve. Coaches at any level will tell you the game is decided in the trenches. The Giants offensive line lost their first three battles of the season and will have no stroll in the park against a hybrid, fast front in the Chiefs' defense.
If New York can give Eli Manning time in the pocket, he will have the chance to make plays. Last week, the Carolina Panthers got to Manning far to easily and pretty much at will. The Giants currently hold a -9 turnover differential, which explains their poor start. In the successful years under Coughlin, New York prided themselves around their turnover ratio. Of course, their defense was much better and that has an impact on this stat, but Manning definitely took better care of the ball in those seasons.
It’s obvious that the New York Giants aren’t playing to their potential as of late. If Manning wants to make a run for the playoffs down the road, Big Blue must play Giants football come Sunday. What can the Giants do to turn their season around and defeat the Chiefs?
Offensive Line Must Improve
It all starts in the trenches, especially on the offensive side. Kansas City has a great pass rush, led by Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Dontari Poe. Last week, Big Blue's offensive line couldn't block anyone. They gave up seven sacks, with six occurring in the first half. Will Beatty, Chris Snee and Justin Pugh need to bounce back for big games this week. If the Giants stand a chance against Reid's Chiefs, their offensive line needs to keep Manning clean.
Score first. Big Blue can't fall far behind at the start of games because it'll force Manning to drop back more than the Giants want. Manning has been sacked 11 times this season, which is second among NFL quarterbacks. The more times he drops back to pass, the greater the chance Kansas City has to sack him. If New York can score early, they will have the opportunity to run the ball more often. But if the Giants fall behind, the running game won't have a chance to develop and Manning will air the ball out at an alarming rate.
Step up, JPP
Jason Pierre-Paul, where are you man? In three games, JPP has just one sack, and it's the only time he has even touched a quarterback this season. He hasn't batted any balls down and is getting bullied by left tackles. If the Giants want to be successful on defense, their pass rush needs to get back to full form. In Big Blue's last eight regular season games, they only have six sacks! New York definitely won't force the "game manager" in Alex Smith into committing a turnover if he has all the time in the world.
Contain the Speed
There's no doubt about it, the Chiefs have a ton of speed on offense. Jamaal Charles and Donnie Avery must be contained and tackled. Giant defenders must wrap up and tackle in the open field to prevent big plays. If Big Blue can make the first tackle, Kansas City's big-play ability will be limited.
Keep the Ball on Offense
Possess and protect the ball. New York is averaging the least amount of plays per drive in the league. Their offense must stay on the field longer, to not only score more points, but to also give their defense some rest. Opposing offenses are dominating time of possession and this causes Big Blue's defense to be exhausted by the second half. No wonder why the Giants have let up more points after the first quarter than any other team. This exhaustion lowers the likeliness of New York to force an interception or fumble, which could be half of the reason why they’re -9 in the turnover battle. The other half falls on the offense, mainly the offensive line. Opposing defenses are rushing four and dropping seven back. Manning should have much more time in the pocket than he has gotten. All in all, this game will start and end in the trenches. If the Giants offensive line can create a solid pocket for Manning, he will play well. But if New York can't free up time in the backfield, look for the offense to continue their unsuccessful ways.