New York Giants Defensive Preparation


Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The doom and gloom surrounding the New York Giants this week has been tangible, and for good reason. But make no mistake – escaping Kansas City with a victory on Sunday is an achievable endeavor.  After all, this is the adversity-fueled G-men we are talking about. Clearly the offense will have its hands full against a young, athletic and well-rounded Chiefs defense saturated with statistical accolades: 11.3 points per game, 15 sacks (7.5 for OLB Justin Houston), 49 quarterback hurries and 26 passes defended. It’s when the Chiefs offense is on the field that this game must be taken by the horns. The Giants defense must do their homework.

The Chiefs ball control offense has operated with mistake-free efficiency. They have yet to put the ball on the deck or throw a pick in three games (+9 turnover margin). KC also ranks sixth in the NFL in time of possession (33 minutes) and sixth in 4th quarter possession share (60%). What they’re sorely lacking, however, is a vertical passing game to throw the occasional curveball at the opposition.

Alex Smith Pass Breakdown


Distance from line




0-9 yards




10-19 yards




20+ yards




What’s the take away? Eliminate the short middle routes. 55% of Smith’s completions have come in the middle of the field between 0-19 yards. Last Thursday night, Donnie Avery absolutely obliterated the Eagles secondary running identical crossing routes from left to right all game long:

15-yard reception, 11 yards after catch

51-yard reception, 48 yards after catch

26-yard reception, 22 yards after catch

6-yard reception, 1 yard after catch

23-yard reception, 18 yards after catch

100 yards following the catch on five middle crossing routes

The most realistic long ball option for KC is the physically imposing Dwayne Bowe. In 2011, Bowe was the target of 25 deep shots 20+ yards downfield. In 2012, that figured dipped moderately to 22 shots. How about thus far in 2013? ZERO targets 20+ yards from the line of scrimmage. Up to this point they’ve shown little interest in establishing a vertical attack – force them to beat you by going outside of their comfort zone. And if they do, tip your cap. Stack the box against the run, don’t grant clean breaks off the line to receivers and tackle securely after the catch.