AP Photo - Charlie Riedel
Here are some Stats, Quotes, Notes as well as what went right and wrong in the Giants' big win.
Stat worth noting: The Giants obliterated Kansas City in total yardage, outgaining the Chiefs, 429-193. New York averaged 6 yards per play to only 3.1 for Kansas City.
Stat worth noting II: Steve Smith, New York’s resident receiving star, was thrown to an astounding 16 times against the Chiefs.
Turning point: The Giants set the tone for this one on the game’s opening kickoff. New York safety C.C. Brown drilled Chiefs kick returner Jamaal Charles, forcing a fumble that Big Blue recovered on the Kansas City 16-yard line. Bryan Kehl came up with the loose ball and five plays later the Giants were in the end zone with a 7-0 lead.
Play to remember: This one was typical Eli Manning – and Steve Smith, too. It was early in the second quarter and the Giants had a 7-3 lead. On a first-and-10 from the Chiefs 25, Manning dropped back and fired a strike to Smith for a 25-yard TD. Smith ran a perfect skinny post pattern and came down with the ball and a 14-3 lead for Big Blue.
Play to forget: Through the first three games the Giants did a great job of not only protecting the ball but protecting Eli Manning as well. Those both ended midway through the first quarter when KC’s Tamba Hali nailed Manning for an 8-yard sack and forced a fumble that Glenn Dorsey recovered. That set up Kansas City’s first points of the game, a 34-yard field goal by Ryan Succop.
What went right
Steve Smith just keeps on keeping on. He was clearly the best player on the field once again on Sunday. Smith caught 11 passes for 134 yards and a pair of scores. En route to averaging 12.2 yards per catch, Smith caught TD passes of 25 and 3 yards. Through the season’s first quarter you’d be hard-pressed to find a more valuable player in the NFL than New York’s Steve Smith.
Brandon Jacobs bounced back after a week of hearing that he tiptoes when he runs. Jacobs was hardly hesitant or tentative as he bust out for 92 yards on only 21 carries, a 4.4-yard per carry average. With 64 yards from Ahmad Bradshaw, the Giants ground game did just about as well as Tom Coughlin could have hoped.
New York’s third-down defense was stellar. The Chiefs could not get any consistent drives moving because practically every time they faced a third down, the Giants stopped them. On 15 third downs, Kansas City was only able to move the sticks two times.
What went wrong
Whoever isn’t worried about kicker Lawrence Tynes raise your hand. Yeah, we thought so. Tynes had everyone worried coming into this game. But after he missed wide right on a 38-yard attempt, no one in Giantsland could possibly be all that confident in New York’s kicker. He had already missed two FGs from inside 30 yards during the season’s first three games.
The Giants turned the ball over on consecutive possessions in the first quarter. After not coughing the ball up during the previous two games, it took only three ‘drives’ for New York to hand the Chiefs the ball twice. First Manning fumbled when he was sacked and then Mario Manningham couldn’t handle a pass that he tipped in the air before it was picked off by Brandon Flowers.
A week after seemingly solving the green zone woes, the Giants scored one TD, one FG and missed a field goal in three trips inside Kansas City’s 20-yard line. The Giants had a fourth foray into KC’s green zone, turning the ball over on downs while trying to kill the clock very late in the game.
7 – Number of tackles for Antonio Pierce who led the Giants in his best game of the season.
8 – Number of penalties for New York, a figure that Tom Coughlin certainly didn’t enjoy.
19 – Years since the Giants started the season 4-0 in back-to-back campaigns, last turning that trick in 1989-90.
“I think we can play a lot better than that as a team. I think a lot of our victories are going to start coming a lot cleaner.” – Giants RB Brandon Jacobs
“We played a very good New York Giants football team. Not the result we wanted in any way, shape or form. We obviously have to improve in a lot of areas.” – Chiefs Coach Todd Haley