They Might Be Giants, Or Giant Killers

AA - Crowd Noise final

On its surface, this Sunday’s game against the New York Giants has all of the elements of an upset. Yes, that’s right – a trap game for the Kansas City Chiefs, as my colleague Stacy Smith wrote about earlier this week. It’s a must-read for Addicts – if you haven’t read it yet, please do!

Who would have thought it possible – the formerly 2-14 Chiefs a four-point favorite over a Giants team just two years removed from being Super Bowl champions?

The Chiefs are 3-0, coming off of a huge road win at Philadelphia and with confidence at an all time high. The Giants are 0-3 and on the heels of their worst loss in the Tom Coughlin era, a 38-0 thrashing by the Carolina Panthers. For the season, the Chiefs defense is giving up just 11.3 points per game, tied for second in the NFL. The New York Giants defense comes in at a League worst 38.3 points per game. The Chiefs are +9 in the turnover department; the Giants are -9. The Chiefs lead the NFL with 15 quarterback sacks. The Giants are tied for last with just three. After the Panthers debacle, Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck simply stated, “We are a desperate football team right now.”

Oh, and the game is at Arrowhead. Gee, Addicts, what could possibly go wrong?!!

In years past, we know exactly what could go wrong. The options are plentiful: (a) the defense gives up a long run or pass for a touchdown; (b) the offense goes three-and-out repeatedly through a combination of mind-numbing play calling and offensive ineptitude; (c) the Chiefs turn over the ball; or of course, (d) many or all of the above.

Why should this Sunday be any different than Sundays past? Will the New York Giants in fact, be Giants, or will they be giant-killers, knocking the Chiefs down to size? After all, the Giants still have Super Bowl talent in quarterback Eli Manning, receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, and defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Tuck. They are desperate, angry, have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and know a thing or two about playing well when the pressure is on.

How do you prevent a trap game? Stacy says to stay humble and be sure to cover Cruz. Natasha Sims, Arrowhead Addict’s senior copy editor, had two prescient tweets during last Sunday’s exhilarating win over the Eagles that offers two more nuggets of wisdom:

  • “…I forgot how great it was to have a defensive team. I mean, the Trent Green years were a blast, but those 90s D. The best.”

  • “…Alex Smith makes the OL look better because he doesn’t make stupid mistakes and turnover the ball.”*

That’s how you prevent a trap game. Do what you do well, but even more aggressively.

*Oy, senior copy editor and a glaring error in my own tweet. Facepalm. –NS

If I’m head coach Andy Reid and I win the coin toss, I would defer. I want Bob Sutton’s defense on the field first, with lockdown corners Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith on Cruz and Nicks, respectively, safety Eric Berry roaming the middle and eight guys in and around the box. Why? The Giants offensive line is porous. Center David Baas and rookie right tackle Justin Pugh both got schooled last week versus Carolina. Left tackle Will Beatty may be an even weaker link on the offensive line, which gave up seven sacks to the Panthers.

The Chiefs defense needs to do what they do, but better. Don’t just be aggressive, be more aggressive, like the high flying ‘90s pass rush of Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith. Don’t just lock down their wide receivers, lock them down more, like the old tandem of Albert Lewis and Dale Carter. Don’t just hit ‘em hard, from all over the field. Hit ‘em harder, like the glory days of Kevin Ross. Each defensive starter needs to dominate their matchups from the first defensive snap and set the tone for the day.

On offense, we need to do what we already do well — run a patient, turnover-free, mistake-free, clock-eating West Coast offense — but better. The Giants were defenseless against the run last week. Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams rushed 23 times for 120 yards, at 5.2 yards per carry. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton ran seven times for 45 yards, or 6.4 yards per carry. The Chiefs should both pound the ball with Jamaal Charles and Cyrus Gray, but also let Alex Smith loose on some designed runs, just like Newton did. I want to see Smith being even more cautious this week, checking down, taking the underneath routes to Donnie Avery. I know some fans want more flash, but for this trap game, I think we keep the offense doing exactly what they’ve been doing, just more of it.

Finally, we have to keep doing what we’ve been doing with turnover differential, but do it better and early. Turnover differential is one my favorite statistics, because it is one of the few stats that combines the impact of the offense, defense and special teams — the offense can’t make any, the defense needs to force them and special teams has to do both. You don’t get to +9 in turnovers with an offense making turnovers.

If we do all of these things, and do them early — play an overly-aggressive defense and an overly-conservative offense and keep winning the turnover differential— then I think we build momentum early, get Arrowhead Stadium rocking and avoid the trap game.

Addicts, what’s your recipe to avoid an upset?!

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • Justin Jones

    I agree 100%. what makes me nervous is that key secondary guys r not even practicing. u mention flowers. him and Lewis both r DNP. then we have had O-line issues all year and now Jeff Allen and Branden Albert are DNP and LP. the check down game with be rough since Kelce and Fasano are both DNP. we even have D-line issues with DeVito listed as LP. I honestly didn’t think we were that banged up until I saw the list yesterday. it makes me scared.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I hope we win the toss and receive. Score early and set the tone for this game.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Yep. Put the pressure on the NY line and make them play from behind. Also, I am not excited to see our offense try to come back from any deficit.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        You know it’s going to happen at some point. I honestly think that’s when we’ll learn the most about that unit. I think we’ll find they’re probably better at throwing the rock than we realize. It’s such a different ballgame when you don’t HAVE to take chances.

  • Josh Landers

    It seems like Andy Reid has been very cautious on practice days to not aggravate injuries that are not as serious as you think. Flowers is the one that really concerns me. Ron Parker did well in the short time he was in the eagles game but I don’t think he can hang with Cruz and nicks for a full game if flowers is out.

    • Bks1632

      Agreed here – flowers is key and we need him to one on one cover someone and take them out of the game. Cruz and nicks are good but they won’t torch us one on one like Dez did.

  • ArrowFan

    The Offense needs to do what they have been doing so far take what the D gives them. If they are going to play two deep or double Bowe just do what we have been doing. If however they try and take the short over the middle away and go 1 on 1 with Bowe, then I say it is time for Booms over Baghdad.

  • berttheclock

    Interesting take on the Giants at newsday. Column reads “Giants undefeated from Monday to Saturday”. Speaks about their practices and optimism.
    In another article, the writer writes that the season of the Giants will be on the line against the Chiefs. Manning tried to dismiss this by saying there are 13 remaining games, sort of a “One game at a time”, but, if any emotion will lift the Giants to play harder and smarter this Sunday, it really will be that “If you go 0-4, what really is left?” Therefore, if emotion will raise the abilities of the Giants, then, please, Chiefs, take that emotion out of them very early in the game. I would love to see the image of a giant Giants Macy’s Parade balloon be punctured and collapse to the turf. So, POOF commence.

  • Auburn78

    This game to me comes down to Hail, Houston, and Poe. Or H2Poe. Fluster their O into making mistakes.

    • Jason Seibel

      H2Poe! I love it!!! You need to copyright that!

      • Auburn78

        Lol I wish I could but apparently it’s some sort of hydration system. Oh well they’re gonna be H2Poe to me. Fellow addicts are encouraged to use it as well. Would love to see it in the stands for you locals.

        • berttheclock

          Tough to rain on your parade, but, check out what that product is supposed to do.
          “The wonderful potential addition to your bathroom cabinet hydrates and restores skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines to reveal a younger and happier you.”
          Excuse me, but, I want Poe to age Manning greatly, cause new wrinkles and frowns across his brow. I do not want to see Manning come out of the game with a younger look.

          • Battlespeed

            Maybe a little of it hydrates you, but you get too much H2Poe and you gonna drown, sucka. Manning’s gonna think he got hit by a tsunami.

      • micah stephenson

        I like too. Now Alex Smith on the other hand …….lol

  • Chris Tarrants

    We need the defense to come in and punch Manning in the mouth early! Get him rattled just like Vick last week and he will make mistakes. Our offense needs to demoralize their defense with little 5 yards runs over and over and over until they stack the box in which case hit a receiver for a 30 yarder, rinse and repeat

    • Battlespeed

      The fact is, neither of the Manning boys can handle the mouth-punching very well. As you say, do it early, and do it often. Do the Lord of the Dance on his liver, with hobnail boots. Screw him head-first into the turf and use his legs as a wishbone. Treat him like a baby treats a diaper.

      And then, do it all again.

  • Calchiefsfan

    I’m ready for a return by the special teams this week. They got behind after we churned the waiver wire and got all the new guys. They’ve been slowly getting up to speed. I’m hoping that this is the week they break out and Demps runs one back.

    • Battlespeed

      I agree!

    • sidibeke

      I’m thinking and hoping for the same.

  • Auburn78

    Just saw an interesting piece by Bryan Rose where Antrelle Rolle admits that while most of the Giants are friendly, they wouldn’t fight for each other. He actually said “We absolutely don’t fight for each other, no sugar coating it”
    If true this speaks volumes for where Giants are as a team. Eagles were supposed to be an all-star team last year, but could not work together. This is a team game and camaraderie can carry a team.
    This also means if bury them early then most likely they aren’t going to band together to work themselves in the game.

    • Battlespeed

      Not interested in their psychology, their camaraderie or whether they tuck each other into bed at night with a tender kiss and a fond caress. These are talented football players who have as much pride as anyone else, and multi-$million careers to think about. I figure they’ll be plenty scrappy on Sunday, and we would be very stupid to expect anything else.

  • micah stephenson

    Josh Freeman anybody??? Wat yall think about Josh Freeman. Can Andy get something out if him if we got him or do we still need to draft a QB?

    • kcchiefs28

      A. Rodgers: 1-2
      Josh Freeman: 0-3
      Eli Manning: 0-3
      RG3: 0-3
      Cam Newton: 1-2
      Matt Ryan: 1-2
      Michael Vick: 1-2
      Colin Kap: 1-2
      Sam Bradford: 1-2
      ALEX SMITH: 3-0

      Nah… I think we’re fine with our QB at the present, but thanks though!

      • Battlespeed

        Wait a minute. You mean it might NOT be about heaving the rock 80 yards in the air?

        Who’da thunk?

        • sidibeke

          If it were, we should get Trick shot back, no?

        • micah stephenson

          That was wack.

      • micah stephenson

        I cud hav jus checked the records of all 32 teams for that. I’m not a big Josh Freeman fan ether. Just asking.

      • micah stephenson

        I would take all those QBs except Bradford over A.Smith wise guy.

      • micah stephenson

        So is alex who you want at QB for the next 4-5 yrs or do you want to upgrade?

      • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

        I’d take Freeman over Daniel as the primary backup without blinking.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Yup.

    • berttheclock

      Micah, perhaps, you should write a letter to Doug Williams and see if he will come out of retirement.

      • micah stephenson

        Doug who? I’ll stick to the draft method.

    • berttheclock

      Hey, Micah, do you have any spare $8.43 million lying around to loan to Clark Hunt? That is the 2013 salary of Freeman.

      • micah stephenson

        Let me check my piggy bank.

    • sidibeke

      We should consider drafting a QB if the class looks as good next April as it does now. For now, though, Bray has potential, and I don’t see QB as quite such an unstable position. Smith is a fine caretaker for the position, as well, and whatever young QB comes along, Bray or otherwise, will have a couple of seasons to learn before being called into action. A position I like seeing the Chiefs in.

    • Chiefswatch

      give it up bro

    • Bks1632

      That’s the dumbest comment I’ve read all week

  • berttheclock

    With this game scheduled to shown by Fox, I’m sure both the announcer and color man are really spending hours upon hours trying to learn something about the Chiefs. Perhaps, they could begin with learning how to pronounce Poe’s name. Then, they might study just a tad on who does play for the Chiefs. Next, they could move on to learn there really is an AFC within the NFL.

    • Jason Seibel

      Those Fox announcers are terrible…aren’t they? I’m still baffled how they got away with being as bad as they were during the Cowboys game. I mean, it was barely watchable…

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Anyone know who’s calling the game?

    • Battlespeed

      I just saw a Tweet from one of them. “Is it Kansas City KS or Kansas City MO?”

      • berttheclock

        Coming from the Kansas side and the John Santa Fe RR community of Argentine, I assure you it is not KCK.

    • sidibeke

      Nah. They’ll just reminisce about the Chiefs-Cowboys game, focusing on Dallas of course, when they run out of things to say about the Giants.

    • Chiefswatch

      Yea i am sure they will call him Dontario all fucking game

  • Battlespeed

    I don’t want to see an “overly-aggressive defense”, which is exactly what gives up big plays and collects stupid penalties that keep the opponent’s drives going instead of getting them off the field.

    What I want to see is a defense that’s A TOTAL BEAST, but stays under control at all times. Otherwise, I agree.

  • berttheclock

    Hey, attention – Program note. The Niners at the Rams will be coming on shortly. Why should that be of any concern to fan of the Chiefs. The Niners have major problems at wide out. Very little separation with those remaining on the roster. So, Harbaugh said he was going to get Baldwin into the game as he thought Baldwin had been doing well in practice. Have the Niners discovered any “Separation Juice” to pump into him? Will a return to Missouri soil work wonders with his hands?

    • micah stephenson

      I missed the game. How did baldwin do?

      • Chiefswatch

        he had a good block…..

        • berttheclock

          He caught a pass as the Rams so-called defender did not jam him and he was able to cross in front of him. Two needed upgrades for the Rams. Far better corner backs and better wide outs.

  • sidibeke

    Just don’t lock down quite as hard as Dale; let’s keep the penalties down.

  • Chiefswatch

    Christ Almighty this is NOT A TRAP GAME. This is a shitty Giants squad that has 1. a terrible O line 2. No pass rush 3. no running game. Go ahead and tell me how I am wrong and I will make you look like a moron. This game straight up should be complete domination by the Chiefs. Anything less should come to every fan and poster as a complete surprise. If you think we are not a truly a top ten team than sure go ahead and say this has a chance of being competitive. If you believe like I do that we are a top ten team in the NFL right now, I do not see how you can even consider that we would lose to such a horrible team. How about one of these writers go ahead and write a true article saying the top ten reasons this game should not worry you. Or why to believe Houston just might get the single game sack record. How can you watch football and think we might lose this game or that its even a reasonable possibility? No you should come out here saying the truth and that is “If the Giants beat THESE Chiefs you would be insanely surprised.” But hey why be bold and truthful when you can hedge your bets.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      First of all, why are you being so aggressive? Why are you leaving a comment threatening anyone that disagrees with you? That makes you look childish and small. Throwing a tantrum in the comments section and insulting our writers because you don’t agree with their perfectly reasonable opinion that this game might not be as easy as it looks on paper, is a quick way to be shown the door. I want thoughtful, reasonable and courteous comments on this site. Please act accordingly.

      Second, the definition of a trap game is when you lose to a team everyone assumes you are going to beat. Thus your own confidence that the Chiefs will smash the Giants, makes this a trap game.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Thread.

      • micah stephenson

        I don’t like this guy ether. Seems like the type to talk a lot if shit on the internet but he wud b real quite if someone locked me in the room with him. He is real disrespectful and around where I’m at that will get you fucked up. Having an opinion and calling people names are 2 whole different things. He has disrespected me enough to whur if I had a chance, id take him outside and teach him some manners.

        • Chiefswatch

          Real scary

      • Chiefswatch

        Then I am out. Half of these bloggers are idiots anyway and this crap is getting harder to read everyday.

    • Bks1632

      Your not very Bright to think any team can’t be upset by another. We are a top ten team, but manning has a couple rings to his credit too. Remember when a 13-0 packers team came to arrowhead and got beat 2 years ago??? They weren’t supposed to lose either. On paper we shouLd crush the pathetic giants all day, but if you start overlooking opponents your aren’t undefeated anymore.

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