Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) vs. New York Giants (1-8)
MetLife Stadium: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Sunday 1:00 ET (CBS: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn)
This is the 14th all-time meeting between the Chiefs and Giants. The Giants lead the series 10-3. This will be the Chiefs’ first game at MetLife Stadium after going winless (0-6) in games played at Giants Stadium.
Chiefs Injury Report
OUT: Defensive lineman Allen Bailey (knee), linebacker Dee Ford (back), linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), wide receiver Albert Wilson (hamstring)
Giants Injury Report
OUT: Linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back)
DOUBTFUL: Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: Defensive tackle Damon Harrison (ankle), linebacker Devon Kennard (quad), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (illness)
When the Giants Have the Ball
Believe it or not, the Giants offense having success against the Chiefs defense is not as far fetched as it sounds. The AFC West leaders are ranked 30th in total defense, 28th against the pass, and 29th against the run.
This is the type of game that Eli Manning (who will make his 209th consecutive regular season, surpassing his brother Peyton for second all-time to only Brett Favre) usually has great success in: a game against an opponent they have no chance of beating. Manning will have to throw the ball downfield to have any chance of taking out the Chiefs, as their secondary is kind of suspect.
Manning will also have to get Evan Engram involved early and often. The Chiefs defense is missing some potency at the linebacker position and Engram can be potentially be a matchup nightmare for any linebacker or safety trying to cover him.
The Giants will also need to have a good game from their running backs. In last week’s loss to the 49ers, the Giants produced 114 yards on the ground in 23 carries. They will need more from Orleans Darkwa (who accounted for 70 yards on 14 carries) and Wayne Gallman (22 yards on three carries).
When the Chiefs Have the Ball
Whatever flaws the Chiefs might have defensively, they make up for them with their offense. The Chiefs have the fifth-ranked offense in the NFL, averaging 28.1 points per game.
The Chiefs’ biggest threat to the Giants will be tight end Travis Kelce, one of the NFL’s most productive receiving tight ends. He has 14 receptions for 203 yards in his last two games. Since the Giants are dealing injury/inexperience at the linebacker position, Kelce might feast on the Giants defense all afternoon.
The Giants might want to go a three-safety set if they want any chance at containing Kelce. The problem is that a three-safety set might open up the Chiefs’ running attack, headlined by Kareem Hunt. Hunt ranks second in the NFL with 800 rushing yards this season. The Giants also have to contend with wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who has embarrassed many a defense this season.
The Giants defense has surrendered 82 points in their last two games: losses to the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams and fellow NFC basement dweller San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Ben McAdoo questioned the desire to finish plays, specifically cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
The Giants defense have a tough task against one of the NFL’s most potent offenses. The real question is which version of the defense will show up: the one that was present for the first five games of the season, the Denver Broncos Sunday Night Football version, or the version that has allowed more than 100 points in their last three games?
Who Will Win?
The Giants have won 10 out of 13 lifetime games against the Chiefs. The Chiefs have never won an away game against the Giants. Each time a West Coast team has made the journey to MetLife Stadium this season, they all came away with a victory. Why should the Chiefs be any different?
After all, the Chiefs are coming off their bye week. Their head coach, Andy Reid, is one of the best coaches of all-time following a bye week. He is plenty familiar with the Giants from his years coaching the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs can score and the Giants can’t keep anybody of the end zone.
At the same time, this is the type of game that Eli Manning usually shines in: games in which nobody’s giving him and his team a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. The Chiefs defense cannot stop anyone from moving the ball. The Giants are playing for pride at this point and could settle into the role of spoiler as the Chiefs have a two-game lead in their division.
The Giants haven’t won a game at MetLife Stadium this season…and, while they won’t look as bad as they did against the Rams and 49ers, it still won’t be enough for Win #2.