Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) talks with offensive coordinator Doug Pederson (left) and head coach Andy Reid (right) during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Giants Week 4: Keys to the Game

With a very disheartening loss last week in Carolina, Giants need to rebound. Will it happen in Kansas City?

Week 3 keys to the game started off poor due to the fact that Eli Manning had zero time to do anything. Cam Newton went off with the read-option attack, Greg Olsen was only held to 4 for 54, Aaron Ross had a solid first half but then withered in the 2nd, and the running game was shut down to the terrible offensive line play. I’ll give the Giants a 1.5 out of 5 for week 3, they need practically a clean sweep to come away with the win Sunday.

1. Makeshift O-Line

Snee is out, Baas is out, Diehl is doubful/most likely out. Rookie right tackle Justin Pugh is going against the league leader in sacks Justin Houston (7.5). On paper this match up looks like a disaster and I have a feeling it will be a hard one to watch. Houston, who owned Lane Johnson to the tune of 4.5 sacks last week is a terrible match up for Pugh who is known for his very short arms. Cordle will be getting the start at center, Brewer at RG. The Chiefs lead the league with 15 sacks and like to throw out multiple fronts along the defensive line which will throw this makeshift offensive line a few fits. Beatty had a real tough time against Greg Hardy last week allowing 3 sacks, and now he gets to go against Tamba Hali, another big test. This line needs to give Eli more time than they did last week, it is going to be tough.

2. Keep It Up-Tempo 

The best way to slow down the Chiefs defensive line is to go up-tempo. A quicker offense calls for quicker routes. Slants, curls, and other short patterns limits the amount of time Eli needs to stand in the pocket and deliver the pass. The quicker the snap comes, the less time the Chiefs have to set up these multiple fronts they use, making it a little easier for the o-line’s blocking assignments. Hopefully in practice, the Giants practiced some up-tempo to get their conditioning up, especially with this backup offensive line who barely have any real time experience. It is a great way to tire out a great pass rush and let the wide receivers and Eli do what they do best.

3. Jamaal Charles

You think the Giants had a tough time against Murray, Moreno, and Williams in the first 3 weeks? Jamaal Charles has the ability to do what all 3 did and then some. His speed to the outside is remarkable which doesn’t bode to well for this Giants defense. Paysinger will be nursing a hip injury suffered last week, Jacquain Williams is questionable with a knee injury. It is not only the running, but receiving skill that Charles has out of the backfield. Charles has 18 receptions for 151 yards on the season, and with Herzlich always having a tough time in coverage, number 25 will be a match up nightmare. Maybe Fewell will bring a safety down, most likely Rolle to help contain Charles, pushing him inside the tackles. If he can run free, it’s game over.

4. Watch Alex Smith

According to ESPN Stats & Information’s Next Level numbers, Alex smith has scrambled on 12.5 of his dropbacks for 101 yards. The Giants defensive line has a tough time getting to the quarterback as it is being tied for worst in the league with 3. Now the Giants will not only have to hit Smith, but make sure he isn’t escaping the pocket and running down field. With only 669 yards on 105 attempts, the best way to beat the Chiefs is to make Smith beat you on his own. Keep him in the pocket and force him to make throws down the field.

5. Donnie Avery

Donnie Avery you ask? Yes Donnie Avery. Of course, Dwayne Bowe is the big name receiver on the Chiefs, but with only 9 receptions for 80 yards and 1 TD all year, he is starting to become an afterthought in this Chiefs offense. Avery on the other hand shredded a porous Philadelphia defense last week with 7 catches for 141 yards, four of those receptions being 3rd down conversions. Avery ran a 4.43 40 at the combine in 2008, making him a great receiver for crossing routes over the middle where he had most of his success in week 3. This will fall heavily on the linebacking corps of the Giants to sniff out these slants and other crossing routes over the middle. Tipping the ball or  disrupting his routes will limit Avery’s ability to take advantage of the open field in front of him.


Those are my five. If the Giants can pull out a win this week against the undefeated Chiefs, their whole season can turn around. Instead of talking about next years draft, people will be talking about how the Giants may have resurrected a thus far dismal season. Again, if Eli does not have time, put it in the books, the Giants will be 0-4.




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