Chiefs vs. Giants: Scouting Kansas City’s Next Opponent


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The Kansas City Chiefs’ welcome the New York Giants to Arrowhead this weekend  as they their pursuit of an undefeated 4-0 start to the 2013 season.

The Chiefs have been one of the NFL’s best stories and biggest turnarounds this season, much in thanks to new head coach Andy Reid, new quarterback Alex Smith, and new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s tremendous defense.

The Giants, on the other-hand have been a disappointment. This is a team that has won the Super Bowl twice in the past six years, but currently finds itself at 0-3 on the season.

When it comes to scouting a team, there are many different levels of evaluation—all which are important. You can scout formations, individual players, units and of course, multiple games. Watching how a team lines up to different looks is always important, so watching multiple games is a key.

With that said, I personally think it’s also important to start with a baseline watch. Basically, when I first start scouting a team I watch their last game and take general notes on said team. That gives you a place to start your deeper scouting and evaluation. Watching the game without stopping to deeply scout gives you a feel of the team’s flow, reaction and character.

So with that in mind, here’s a baseline scouting report on the Giants, watching their last game against the Panthers.

Carolina won the game 38-0.


–Brandon Jacobs is back with the team at running back. He’s a strong, downhill runner. Player to keep an eye on.

–Eli Manning sacked three times in the first two offensive series. Bringing pressure is going to be a must for Kansas City, and thankfully that plays right into Sutton’s hands. Giants’ line seems unable to handle a strong push from the front line along with added pressure.

-New York’s front seven is going to bring pressure. Think the read-option game could really work well. Jamaal Charles and the screen-game would be a nice wrinkle as well.

–Pressure, pressure pressure. Eli seems to be getting rattled early. Tried to go with a counter play to negate the aggression from Carolina. Gap integrity will be important when bringing pressure. New York also tried to get the trap going.

-Manning sacked five times in one quarter. Make that six in about a quarter and two minutes

-Aaron Ross made a nice interception for the Giants. Lanky corner, keep an eye on him.

–Holding call negated a touchdown for the Giants. Most likely over-extending because of the pressure. Need to bring pressure.

–Victor Cruz is an immensely talented receiver. Can make something happen after the catch. Need to account for him, because Manning does have the arm to throw him open.

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–Giants will stick with their 4-3 look up front, will just bump a player out to account for a third receiving option on the edges. Chiefs should be able to run the ball against a 6-man box if they can spread this defense out. Trips will be a good formation if possible, looks to put the Giants in a one-high safety formation.

–Corner route seems to give the Giants’ defense trouble, especially in man-on coverage.

–Carolina came out strong at half, really threw a lot of different formations at the Giants. New York didn’t look ready to bounce back after a bad first half. If the Chiefs can get a lead by halftime, staying aggressive on offense is going to be important.

–Going back to the point on the read-option, it really seemed to work well against New York. Will slow down their aggressive front-line and get the Chiefs’ play-makers in open space. Dexter McCluster could be good here as a pitch-option after a jet-motion.

–David Wilson is a good runner for New York. Don’t take him lightly. Holding seemed to negate a few of his big runs. New York really hurt itself in this game.

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–Giants’ defense was demoralized by the fourth quarter. Put up a few big plays on them and the Chiefs can really “break their back” early.

–Saw a lot of duece formation from the Giants when they wanted to spread the field and throw the ball. Basically that means a wideout and slot on both sides, with the back in the backfield. Keep an eye out for that. Can cover that pretty easily with a variety of different looks including cover two, cover four, man, ect…

Final Thoughts

If I was coaching the Chiefs, my game-plan would revolve around pressure. Defensively the Chiefs have to capitalize on the rough start for New York and really get in the Giants’ heads early and often. If you can rattle Eli Manning and his offensive line early, you can take them out of the game early.

Offensively, spreading the field with three of four wideouts would be a good idea, as it really opens up the box up front. Jamaal Charles should have a big game as a runner, but he’ll also see some good looks as a receiver. I’d also look to use the read-option, as it will really freeze a pretty aggressive Giants’ defensive line.

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Overall, this is a game Kansas City should win.