It’s a strange day in the NFL when a Sunday afternoon game with the New York Giants can reasonably be characterized as a “trap game.” Coming into the season, this looked to be one of the toughest games of the Chiefs’ early season schedule. I’m not sure it has the same level of intrigue as it did a month ago. The Kansas City Chiefs are enjoying their best start since the 2010 season. Conversely, the Giants are winless and coming off of a 38-0 shellacking at the hands of the Carolina Panthers. Might this be the game to catch the Chiefs off guard and bring an end to a previously unblemished season?
The short answer here is: yes! I think this could be a volatile situation if Kansas City isn’t careful. The Giants are troubled but talented enough that they’re fully capable of stealing this game. Last week, the Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles before millions of viewers on ”Thursday Night Football.” They corralled a high-powered offense on their way to a 26-16 victory at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are the class of their division in some NFL circles. Conversely, the Giants are battling the Redskins for the distinction as the “worst team in the NFC East.”
Arrowhead figures to be rocking on Sunday: the Chiefs are a likely Week 4 favorite, and after being sacked six times in the first half of the game with Carolina, Eli Manning should be seeking an order of protection from the Jackson County courthouse. Hope springs eternal right now in Chiefs Kingdom. So much so, I’ve heard a number of fans suggest that the Chiefs are going to steamroll the Giants. They seem to have forgotten that New York’s being led by the same head coach/quarterback tandem that won two of the past six Super Bowls.
Two weeks ago, I praised the team for staying cool under pressure. In last week’s article, I cited mental toughness as one of the keys to victory. In my estimation, the road to 4-0 will be paved with humility (on a side note, my intellectualizing of the first three weeks of the season ought to yield something like the professional football version of The Secret by year’s end). Kansas City can’t afford to believe in its own hype. Sooner or later, the Giants are going to awaken from their early season slumber. Sunday presents the perfect opportunity for them to “get off the schneid.”
If there’s one area where the Chiefs have been vulnerable, it’s been to big play receivers. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has been the one working part in an otherwise miserable offense this year (ranked 27th in the league in scoring). Cruz has 16 catches, 261 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns on the season. He already has a pair of 100+ yard days and has pulled down two receptions of at least 50 yards. In all likelihood, Brandon Flowers will be assigned to Cruz on Sunday. Hopefully offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride didn’t bother to watch the game tape from the Week 2 showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. Dez Bryant abused Flowers in the first half of that game and New York will want to follow suit.
He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them. – Sun Tzu
A game like this is partly why Andy Reid was brought to Kansas City. He understands that mental lapses can be deadly in the NFL. I suspect that he’ll impress that upon his football team throughout the week. A wounded animal is a dangerous animal. The New York Giants are facing an 0-4 start and could come out fighting on Sunday. No one wants to be out of playoff contention by late-September. Only one team, since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, qualified for the postseason after dropping its first four games.
Eli Manning and company know their beloved head football coach, despite twin Lombardi trophies, is back on the hot seat. Big Blue’s coming to One Arrowhead Drive seeking a momentary reprieve from a woeful first month of the NFL season. Will the Chiefs be ready for them and cut them off at the pass, or will they overlook the Giants and get ambushed? My Magic 8-Ball just sluggishly responded, “Cannot predict now.”
What say you, Addicts? Is this a trap game for the Kansas City Chiefs? Use the comment section below to chime in. As always, we appreciate your readership and support!
Until next time, Addicts!