EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs probably don’t know what to expect from the New York Giants, and neither do the Giants.
On paper, Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium is a mismatch.
The Chiefs (6-3) are well-rested coming off a bye week, while the Giants (1-8) seemingly have hit rock bottom after getting blown out by the Rams two weeks ago and then losing to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers last weekend.
Not only were the losses embarrassing, but the Giants showed a lack of effort several times in both games, like a team that was ready to play out the season.
Still, this game has some uncertainty.
The co-owners of the Giants on Monday voiced support for embattled second-year coach Ben McAdoo and said his job was safe, at least until the end of the season.
Two days later, the 40-year-old McAdoo and his team held a brutally honest review of the 31-21 loss to the 49ers. Nobody was called out, but the combined meeting had the offense and defense watching all the mistakes in front of one another: the miscommunications, the bad tackles, the lack of effort.
It’s something no player wants to see in front of his teammates, and that’s what makes this weekend’s game intriguing. The Giants have talent, and are capable of giving the Chiefs a game if they show up.
“The Chiefs are a great team and they have weapons all over the place,” Giants safety Darian Thompson said. “They are coming in here to play us and it’s an opportunity for us to correct the things we messed up last week, and to show people we are a good team, and can be a good team.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has reminded his team to focus on what it has to do.
“We got a lot of room to improve,” he said. “We’re not good enough right now, so we got to keep working, so that’s where it always starts. That’s the one great thing about football, you always have something you can get better at.”
The Giants have given up 82 points in the last two games. The defense has yielded 10 receptions of 20 yards or more in the games, including touchdown passes of 83, 67, 52 and 47 yards. The defense also has been shredded for seven runs of 16 yards or more, including a 33-yard TD by the Niners last week. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense gave up a season-high 474 total yards to San Francisco, 1 more yard than the Rams picked up.
BYE, BYE, BYE
Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 16-2 coming off a bye, including a 7-0 mark against teams that have losing records. His teams are typically good the rest of the second half of the schedule, too, going 10-2 after a week off last season and 8-0 the year before. “I have no idea on this,” he replied, when asked for the secret to his success. “I didn’t even know what my record is.”
The Giants have some concern about the right side of their line. Justin Pugh, who has been solid since moving from left guard to right tackle, is out after aggravating a back problem. Expect Bobby Hart to fill in. Right guard D.J. Fluker had to leave last week’s game for a time after injuring a knee. If he has to come out again, there is not much depth. Jon Halapio got his first career action on offense last week. New York also signed 10-year veteran John Greco this week.
Alex Smith’s franchise record of 18 touchdown passes without a pick to start the season ended in a loss to Dallas before the bye. The only QBs in NFL history to start better were Peyton Manning (20) and Nick Foles (19). Smith’s season-opening pick-less streak lasted 297 pass attempts.
While both teams have rookie placekickers, there is no comparison. Since being signed off Carolina’s practice squad on Sept. 26 to replace the injured Cairo Santos (groin), Harrison Butker of the Chiefs has converted 19 of 20 field goal attempts and all 13 extra points. He also has 30 touchbacks in six games.
Aldrick Rosas of the Giants has struggled, making 10 of 15 field goals. He has missed one in each of the last four games and had his opening kickoff last week go out of bounds.
KANSAS CITY (6-3) at
NEW YORK GIANTS (1-8)
Sunday, noon, CBS
OPENING LINE — Chiefs by 9
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Kansas City 6-3, New York 3-6
SERIES RECORD — Giants lead 10-3
LAST MEETING — Chiefs beat Giants 31-7, Sept. 29, 2013
LAST WEEK — Chiefs, bye, lost to Cowboys 28-17 on Nov. 5; Giants lost to 49ers 31-21
CHIEFS OFFENSE — OVERALL (5), RUSH (12), PASS (7).
CHIEFS DEFENSE — OVERALL (30), RUSH (29), PASS (28).
GIANTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (25), RUSH (25), PASS (18).
GIANTS DEFENSE — OVERALL (31), RUSH (30), PASS (30).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Chiefs are 6-1 against NFC East since 2013. ... Chiefs are NFL-best 28-7 in last 35 regular-season games. ... Kansas City coming off bye; coach Andy Reid 16-2 in games coming off bye. ... QB Alex Smith leads NFL with 113.9 quarterback rating. ... Rookie RB Kareem Hunt leads AFC with 1,131 yards from scrimmage and is second in NFL with 800 yards rushing. ... WR-PR Tyreek Hill aims for third straight road TD catch. ... LB Tamba Hali has sack and forced fumble in last two games. ... LB Justin Houston has 9½ sacks, two forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles in last seven road games. ... CB Marcus Peters has NFL-high 17 interceptions since entering league in 2015, when he was Defensive Rookie of Year. ... Giants’ 1-8 record is worst since 1980, when they finished 4-12. ... QB Eli Manning will make 209th consecutive start, passing brother Peyton for second all-time. Brett Favre leads at 297. ... Giants TE Evan Engram has TD catch in four straight games; his five overall TD catches tied for team rookie record. ... WR Sterling Shepard set career highs with 11 catches and 142 yards receiving last week. ... DE Olivier Vernon had first interception last week. ... Giants’ defense has given up touchdown passes of 52, 67, 83 and 47 yards in last two games. ... Fantasy Tip: Use Chiefs TEs. Giants have given TD pass to opposing TE in 10 straight regular-season games. TE Travis Kelce has touchdown catches in three straight, leads NFL TEs with 629 yards receiving and is second with 51 catches. Has TD catch in last three vs. NFC East.