To call this a must-win for the New York Giants is an understatement. The Giants have to win this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, not only to get back into the playoff race, but also to give themselves and their fans some hope that they are going to improve from the 38-0 disaster. As it was mentioned in a previous article, the Giants are going to face a pass rush that has been lethal over the first three weeks of the season. Yet, the defensive line is not the only strong point of the Chiefs.
Quarterback Alex Smith has been good enough to keep his team in games. Similar to his style of play with the San Francisco 49ers, Smith finds ways to be successful with short passes and his receivers do the rest of the work. Since the Giants pass rush has been ineffective over the last three games, their secondary is going to be one of the keys to victory against Smith. However, with news coming out of camp that the Giants might be without cornerbacks Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster, the team is going to have to turn to Prince Amukamara and Aarron Ross for the best chance of stopping Smith. Two other players who could be difference makers for the Giants pass coverage are Ryan Mundy and Antrel Rolle. For Mundy, a newcomer from the Pittsburgh Steelers, this could be the chance to show Giants fans the physical presence he had while with the Steelers.
The Giants are will also be taking on running back Jamaal Charles. Over the first three weeks of the season, Charles has proven that he is one of the best running backs in the game. Last week against the Philadelphia Eagles he had 20 carries for 92 yards and one touchdown. For Charles, the game against the Giants is another moment to relish due to the Giants anemic defensive line. However, this is an assignment in which Jason Pierre-Paul can make up for his terrible start to the season. If Pierre-Paul can find a way to disallow Charles from gaining long yardage, the Giants will have a chance at taking away one of the Chiefs key weapons. Of course, the only way this could be successful for the Giants is if Pierre-Paul went back to being an unstoppable physical presence on the defensive line. This season, he has been one of the worst defensive linemen for the Giants with only 11 tackles and one sack. If he wants to get back to his old self, there is no better time to do it then this week against Charles and the other Chiefs running backs.
One of the most underrated parts of the Chiefs squad is their wide receivers. Last week against the Eagles, the Chiefs receivers completely outplayed the Eagles secondary. As previously suggested, they took the short passes thrown by Smith and turned them into long runs down the field. One of the receivers they Giants must watch out for is Donnie Avery. He was unstoppable against the Eagles, making seven catches for 141 yards. This season he’s totaled 11 catches for 190 yards and one touchdown. While it seems like a daunting task for anyone on the Giants secondary to cover Avery, this will be a good assignment for Prince Amukamara who leads the cornerbacks with 20 tackles. The reality is that the Giants have only two interceptions and that lack of productivity isn’t going to get the job done against a talented Chiefs receiving core. With injuries to Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster, the Giants are going to have to hope that the other members of the secondary will find a spark that’s been lacking over the last three weeks of the season.