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Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

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Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:27 am

Game Preview: Giants (3-0) at Kansas City (0-3)
The Road Warriors wrap up a three-game stretch on the road against a struggling Kansas City team that seems to be in a state of transition.

This is EXACTLY why this Chiefs team is dangerous.

A year ago, the Giants, who were undefeated, rolled into Cleveland to face the underdog Browns on a Monday night matchup. High on their press clippings, the mighty giants strolled onto the field only to b served a huge helping of humble pie served cold.

What happened then was the Giants didn’t take their preparation as seriously as they should have. Head coach Tom Coughlin hinted that the preparation and focus wasn’t where it should have been. And he made it clear that this year, he doesn’t want anyone taking the opponent for granted – even if it’s a winless team in transition.

“We know full well what history has shown us -- we talked about last year’s trip over to Cleveland,” Coughlin said earlier this week. “I think our leadership is strong. We are trying to improve our football team. And I think we have done that. We are just going to continue to emphasize it.”

So to make sure his team understands the importance of not taking their preparation too lightly against a winless team, Coughlin and his staff has been presenting the Chiefs as though they were defending Super bowl champions.

“I think that the challenge is very much there,” Coughlin said honestly.

QB Eli Manning said the opponent’s won-loss record is insignificant when establishing the team’s approach for that weekend. “It is the same approach every week,” he said. “It doesn’t change by what your record is or who you are playing. You have to go in there and play your best. We know we have to have a great game plan and we have to be focused, and have a great week of practice and go in there and be ready to play.”

Manning said it’s all about doing the little things and mastering the fundamentals, something that they didn’t do last year when they were beaten down by Cleveland.

“We have to go out there and have a great game plan., and go and execute it. We can’t turn the ball over. We have to make the plays. We have to be effective and avoid the bad plays and the sacks and the miscommunications. We have to stick to our game plan and hopefully we can go out there and play well.”

KEYS TO THE GAME
Get the tight end involved the passing game. We have been waiting patiently for a game to feature the receiving talents of TE Kevin Boss. Well, with opposing tight ends finding tremendous success against the Chiefs’ defense, this could very well be the week we get our wish. Much like last week, the Giants should be able to have success with their fullback lead package, which will give them the opinion of sending Boss out into passing patterns. And if he does get sent out as a receiver, we don’t’ see any reason why he can’t post numbers similar to what Philly’s Brent Celek (eight catches for 104 yards, one touchdown) and Baltimore’s Todd Heap (five receptions for 74 yards, one touchdown) logged.

“We certainly hope that Kevin will be a big part of our game plan,” said Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. “He always is and sometimes the reads will take us to a different spot but when we throw him the ball he usually catches it and does some things with it. The amazing thing to me is always – he can run after the catch. Looking at him you would not label him or categorize him as a good after the catch runner. He is. He almost makes positive yardage every time. So we certainly try to get the ball in his hands.”

By the way, don’t rule out an expanded role for rookie TE Travis Beckum, who last week saw his first significant action of the young season.

Shut ‘em down on third down. Last week the Chiefs were zero for 11 on third down conversion. The Giants defense? Well it shut out Tampa on third down as well on nine attempts. So logic would dictate that the defense should be able to continue its dominating ways in forcing three-and-outs, which would in turn allow guys like Justin Tuck, who are slowly working their way back into the mix after injury, more time to get right. The way to do this is to bring the heat on every play – and if the Giants can replicate what they did last week against Tampa, where they typically only brought four, that will make for an easy afternoon.

“The Eagles really brought full blown pressure a lot,” said defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan about the Eagles defensive performance that yielded just 116 yards passing and 99 yards rushing.

However, Sheridan said that while it was a risk that paid off for the Eagles, don’t expect the Giants to copy that game plan. “I think that is tough for anybody and it’s risky to do that. I know at times Kansas City struggled with it. If anything else, they just got outnumbered and risked the coverage and were willing to do it. Obviously at times Kansas City couldn’t handle it.”

Stop RB Larry Johnson. Johnson is the Chiefs’ leading rusher with 54 carries for 136 yards, but that’s just a 2.5 per carry average –not very impressive. Still, the Giants see Johnson as a very real threat. “He is every bit as dangerous, I think, as he has ever been,” said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. “He is powerful, he is fast. He is decisive, he is patient. He uses his blockers well.”

Sheridan agreed. “There are times where people play eight-man fronts and they get him corralled up but there are other times where he just rips through their front seven. He is as good a back in my mind that we are going to see.”

So how do you stop Johnson? What you don’t do is try to tackle him high, which is something that members of the Giants defense have slipped upon in the first three games (though last week against Tampa, the tackling was much better than it was in the first two games.) Bottom line: the Giants defenders need to make sure to wrap up Johnson and not let him drag them around for yards after contact.

INJURY REPORT
GIANTS: DT Chris Canty (calf), RB Danny Ware (elbow), WR Domenik Hixon (knee), and CB Aaron Ross (hamstring), are out.

LB Clint Sintim (groin) is questionable.

OL Adam Koets (ankle), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), OG Rich Seubert (shoulder), OT Kareem McKenzie (knee), and CB Kevin Dockery (hamstring) are probable.

KANSAS CITY: WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring) is questionable. LB Derrick Johnson (groin) is probable

ACROSS THE FIELD: GROWING PAINS
It hasn’t been an easy seven months for Kansas City’s rookie head coach Todd Haley or QB Matt Cassel.

Haley, of course, made the leap from the top of the heap – he is the former offensive coordinator for the defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals – to take over a Kansas City team that last year finished at the bottom of the AFC West with a 2-14 record.

Cassel, meanwhile, enjoyed a breakout year in 2008 as New England’s starting quarterback, playing in place of the injured Tom Brady. And although Cassel led the Patriots to an 11-5 record which equaled the mark of AFC East division winner Miami, the Patriots found themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs due to tiebreakers with both Miami and Baltimore, the latter of whom edged the Patriots for the final wild card spot.

As fate would have it, the paths of these two men crossed in Kansas City, where they are hoping to form the cornerstone of a new foundation and give Chiefs fans something to cheer about after years of subpar performances.

But so far, things haven’t worked out quite the way they hoped. For starters, Haley’s 0-3 team has struggled on third down conversion attempts. “When you are (0-11), I would say you’re very concerned about your third down. The thing is with our third downs, specifically in that game, we had two first and twenty, I think we had six second and twelve or longer, five third and twelve or longs. When you are in those types of situations, that isn’t going to go very good for you. The key is to be a little better on first and second down, or a lot better. Then on third down, a more manageable third down, you have to execute. We need to have guys execute and make plays.”

Then there is his defense, which was exploited last week by Philadelphia to the tune of 420 yards of total offense, 327 of which came via the air.

What went wrong for the Chiefs? “That is an explosive team. They have a lot of talent, a lot of players on the offensive side of the ball. I think they play fast, they give you a lot to worry about, a lot of different formations, a lot of different motions, things like that.”

Sound familiar Giants fans?

Then there is Cassel, who is 38 of 57 on the year for 331 yards (5.81 yards per attempt), three touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s been sacked five times this season behinds an aging, shaky offensive line far from what he played behind in New England.

The biggest difference though for Cassel? The chiefs, unlike the Patriots, are a young team and are one that is still trying to find its identity.

“We do have a young team,” Cassel agreed. “We do have some veterans in the locker room that really uphold the leadership role like Mike Vrabel and Brian Waters and Mike Goff and those kinds of guys. But overall, we really are a young team. So we are developing a chemistry and the young guys are learning how to work. We just have to start establishing our identity a little bit. Because I think everybody is searching for that win or what is going to be the key ingredient when you can’t force these things. You just have to let it happen and just keep grinding away.”

Cassel was asked if the Chiefs are showing more signs of being a running or a passing identity on offense. “I think we are still trying to figure out our identity ourselves. So we don’t know exactly what we are just yet. Until we figure it out and start winning games I think it will be a process of going through both.”

The Chiefs know that they won’t be a contender this year, but they at least hope to be competitive when they take the field and begin building some momentum. Whether that momentum comes against a 3-0 giants team that has an identity on both sides of the ball and which seems to have gotten stronger in terms of its play every week will be their biggest challenge. Certainly everyone remembers the spark that Cleveland got last year when they popped the Giants’ perfect record. And the Chiefs certainly would welcome a chance to play the role of spoiler this weekend as they begin to assemble their building blocks for their identity.

But do they have a realistic chance? “That comes up to Coach Haley and the game plan and what he thinks is going to give us the best opportunity to win,” said Cassel.

PERSONNEL-LY SPEAKING
Kevin Boss. Opposing tight ends have caught 14 catches for 185 yards against the Chiefs defense. Last week, Philly’s Brent Celek logged 104 yards alone while Baltimore’s Todd Heap had five catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. “I think it’s the personnel,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley when asked why opposing tight ends have had such great success against his defense. “We faced some pretty good tight ends. At the same time, we haven’t done a good enough job slowing down those players to give us a fighting chance to compete.”

While Boss isn’t quite in the same category as Heap, his strength is in the passing game, where he has the ability to find soft spots in the zones to make big plays. So don’t be surprised if he joins the list of tight ends that have put up big numbers against the Kansas City defense.

Ahmad Bradshaw. Everyone from head coach tom Coughlin to offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to Bradshaw himself is insisting that the running back will play this weekend, this despite the fact that he missed __ practices, his foot encased in a protective boot. The plus side is that Bradshaw as able to walk around – albeit gingerly – with the boot on, so one would think the injury isn’t bad enough to where he had to stay off his feet. However, even if he does play, given that his running style was partially the catalyst for the foot injury to begin with, how effective will he really be?

Lawrence Tynes. This week Tynes, who has struggled with his field goal kicking, let it be known that after eight years of approaching field goals one way, he has, on the recommendation of his coaches, changed some mechanics in an effort to hit the ball better and improve his accuracy.

While players always try to improve their game, there was some concern that Tynes, who also changed his kickoff style, might have bitten off more than he can chew. But special teams coordinator Tom Quinn, who in the off-season suggested the changes to Tynes, feels that the veteran kicker is adapting well.

“He is watching a lot of tape when he was really doing it well. He is trying to discover some things that we can do better,” Quinn said.

When asked if this was unusual for a kicker to undergo so many radical changes, Quinn shook his head. “No, there are constant adjustments they go through,” adding that while the change is taking rook, it’s not uncommon for players to revert to old, bad habits, which Tynes has said has been the case with him on his missed kicks.

So far, Tynes’ misses haven’t hurt the Giants, but he knows that his luck can’t hold out forever, which is why Tynes spent extra time this week reviewing film and working to correct some of the flaws in his game. Will he get it squared away in time? The Giants certainly hope so.
http://trainathought.insidefootball.com/2009/10/game-preview-giants-30-at-kansas-city-03.html
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Re: Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:33 am

And with all that said. The Giants should be on course for starting the season 4-0. Losing this game would be a big dissapointment
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Re: Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:13 pm

from espn's scouts inc

Giants-Chiefs: 10 observations

Insider
By Matt Williamson
Scouts Inc.

After breaking down film of both teams, Scouts Inc. offers 10 things to watch in this week's Giants-Chiefs matchup.

1. The Giants must be the more physical team: The Giants are a very physical team on both sides of the ball. If they play their brand of football and maintain their usual level of intensity, they should dominate the line of scrimmage and wear down the Chiefs. It is also safe to say that New York will not abandon its running game -- it never does.

2. Stop the Chiefs' running game: Dallas ran all over the Giants in Week 2. Though Tampa Bay could muster only 28 yards on the ground against this defense in Week 3, surely the Chiefs will spend a lot of time analyzing the methods by which Dallas generated such success. It will not be an easy chore, but even a semblance of a ground attack would really help to eat the clock and limit the damage that QB Eli Manning could do. However, it should be noted that last week against the Eagles, RB Larry Johnson looked like a shell of the player he once was.

3. Giants should take chances on the back end: The Giants have a very good secondary and Kansas City really is lacking in big-play downfield receiving options. Plus, QB Matt Cassel hasn't proved to be much of a deep-ball thrower. In turn, New York should take some chances with its underneath coverage and maybe dial up more blitzes than usual this week, as it is unlikely that the Chiefs will burn them deep.

4. New York must limit turnovers: Let's just say it -- the Giants are a better team than the Chiefs. In turn, it is important for New York not to give Kansas City any added breaks or make unforced errors -- especially on the road. That isn't to say that the Giants should play it safe, but they must value the football in all phases.

5. Matchup to watch: Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe vs. Giants CB Corey Webster: Webster doesn't get the publicity of some of the other top corners in the league, but his play speaks for itself. He will prove to be a very difficult matchup for Bowe, who is the top target in Kansas City's passing attack. The Giants have been extremely tough on opposing wide receivers this year. Bowe was inactive last week with a hamstring injury. If he can't play again, Kansas City is in big trouble.

6. Keep Cassel upright: DE Justin Tuck is not 100 percent, but the Giants have plenty of other pass-rushing forces to come after Cassel, who could be forced to throw quite a bit if the Giants get an early lead. Kansas City will be overmatched in protection, so it will be very important for Cassel to quickly read the defense and get the ball out in a timely manner. Cassel is still battling a knee issue, which could limit his mobility. New York allowed a measly 58 yards through the air last week in Tampa Bay, but they did not record a sack.

7. Harass Manning: Manning is a cool customer who is very difficult to rattle. And the Chiefs are a poor pass-rushing defense. That equation doesn't look good for Kansas City. But the Chiefs would be wise to sell out on occasion from their 3-4 base scheme to pressure and hit Manning. Letting him sit in the pocket with ample time to throw is a recipe for disaster.

8. Hang around: In a game like this, it will be very important for Kansas City to keep the score close. If New York gets up by a substantial margin, its power running game and elite pass rush will seal the Chiefs' fate. But if Kansas City can hang around and play it tight, they might be able to seize an opportunity in the fourth quarter.

9. Limit RB Ahmad Bradshaw: Brandon Jacobs is a special running back, but it could be argued that Bradshaw is the more potent runner right now. Bradshaw has a more similar skill set to that of the Eagles' LeSean McCoy, who put together a very respectable day against Kansas City in his first NFL start.

10. Matchup to watch: Chiefs LT Branden Albert vs. Giants DE Osi Umenyiora: Trent Cole tormented Cassel off the edge in Week 3 and the Chiefs' offensive line was rather overmatched against the Eagles. It won't get any easier this week. If Tuck is healthy at the other defensive end spot, Umenyiora should receive plenty of one-on-one blocking against Albert.

Prediction
New York 27
Kansas City 7
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Re: Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:33 pm

I think Brandon Jacobs will have a big game.

Alot has been said about his running style (mucht of which is unfair)

Jacobs has a chip on his shoulder and will be out to make a statement. I think he is going to punish the Chief's defense (which isn't that good)
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Re: Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:56 pm

my predictions on the KC game:

Rushing
  • Jacobs - 28 att, 126 yds, 2 TD
  • Bradshaw - 12 att, 60 yds
  • Johnson - 10 att, 50 yds


Passing
  • Manning - 20/30, 250 yds, 2 TD, 0 Int
  • Carr - 4/6, 75 yds


Receiveing
  • Smith - 6 rec, 70 yds
  • Manningham - 5 rec, 75 yds
  • Nicks - 4 rec, 50 yds, 1 TD
  • Moss - 2 rec, 30 yds
  • Boss - 3 rec, 45 yds, 1 TD
  • Beckum/Johnson - 2 rec, 25 yds
  • Bradon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw/Madison Hedgecock - 4 rec, 30 yds


Final score - NYG 31, KC 7
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Re: Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:02 pm

This seems like a fair assesment on the game Pete.
I would love it to see Eli distributing the ball like you predict.

Look out for Hedgecock to catch his first 3 yard swing pass of the year. Maybe even for a td!!!
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Re: Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  Big_Pete on Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:12 am

Big_Pete wrote:my predictions on the KC game:

Rushing
  • Jacobs - 28 att, 126 yds, 2 TD
  • Bradshaw - 12 att, 60 yds
  • Johnson - 10 att, 50 yds


Passing
  • Manning - 20/30, 250 yds, 2 TD, 0 Int
  • Carr - 4/6, 75 yds


Receiveing
  • Smith - 6 rec, 70 yds
  • Manningham - 5 rec, 75 yds
  • Nicks - 4 rec, 50 yds, 1 TD
  • Moss - 2 rec, 30 yds
  • Boss - 3 rec, 45 yds, 1 TD
  • Beckum/Johnson - 2 rec, 25 yds
  • Bradon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw/Madison Hedgecock - 4 rec, 30 yds


Final score - NYG 31, KC 7

I wasn't that far out Smile
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Re: Giants - Chiefs Game Preview

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:56 pm

that was prety close Pete.
Other than Manningham having a case of the dropsies it was a real good game for everyone involved I thought.
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