Sunday’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants at MetLife Stadium looked like an L and smelled like an L.
After all, the Giants were outscored 106-45 in their previous games, all losses including last week’s drubbing by the previously winless San Francisco 49ers. The Giants were undermanned on both sides of the ball with a head coach that is potentially losing the locker room.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, were coming off their bye week. They have one of the NFL’s most potent offenses and a head coach in Andy Reid who was 16-2 coming off bye weeks in his career.
The Giants lost both games this season to opponents coming off a bye week (Week 7-Seattle Seahawks, Week 9-Los Angeles Rams). Both losses were at home to teams outside of the Eastern time zone. No reason to expect anything different, right?
Someone forgot to tell the Giants as they handed the AFC West-leading Chiefs a 12-9 loss in overtime. For the Giants, it snaps a three-game losing streak. For Kansas City, it was their fourth loss in five games after starting the season 5-0.
The Giants played more urgency than they’ve shown since defeating the Denver Broncos in Week 6, perhaps the most urgency they’ve played with all season.
Eli Manning, starting in his 209th consecutive regular season game and passing his brother Peyton for second all-time, didn’t have eye popping stats. He finished the day 19-of-35 for 205 yards. However, he didn’t turn the ball over and made plays expected of a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback when the Giants needed them the most.
The offensive line, in their seventh configuration of the season, protected Manning’s backside pretty well. No. 10 wasn’t sacked at all and only hit once. The defense came out and held the once-explosive Chiefs offense to a mere nine points scored on three field goals.
Special teams has been under fire as of late with missed field goals and muffed punts. Aldrick Rosas didn’t get off to a great start, missing the point after attempt on the game’s only touchdown: a one-yard run by Orleans Darkwa in the second quarter. Rosas, an undrafted free agent out of Southern Oregon, made up for that gaffe with two field goals: a 26-yarder and the game-winning 23-yarder with 1:54 left in overtime.
The Giants also showed some cojones early in the game with a fake punt that turned into a first down. This is something they wouldn’t have thought of doing earlier in the season. Their next trick play, a halfback option that was picked off, didn’t have the desired result but it at least showed the world that the Giants are willing to try something, anything for a win.
Although Ben McAdoo critics/haters don’t want to hear this, this victory is the first step in his being retained beyond New Year’s Eve, the final day of the regular season.
Despite all of the noise, McAdoo lead his team to a win that most people didn’t see coming. There was no hint of anyone quitting or not giving maximum effort against the Chiefs. McAdoo sounded a little touched in the head when he implored fans to come out to the game to support the team and watch them get a victory. Right now, he doesn’t sound so crazy.
The Giants have now 11 of 14 games lifetime against the Chiefs, including seven at home. This victory means significantly more than that. Now, the players have a taste of what winning feels like. There will be no questions of potential player revolts or the head coach’s job security on this day…just the happiness of winning a football game.
Of course, this happiness could be short-lived because this is a short week. The Giants head to the nation’s capital for a Thanksgiving night showdown with the Washington Redskins.