Those are three problems that plagued the three phases of the New York Giants as they lost their first three games of the season. As they had done after each one, the Giants went back to drawing board this past Monday to find a solution. But the same problems resurfaced against the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s 31-7 loss on the road.
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“We’ve just got to get back to work Monday,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said on the field after the game. “I know it sounds repetitive, I know we keep saying it, but that’s all we can do. Coach said that when we’ve had enough, we’ll change this around. I thought we had enough this week. We’ve just got to come back to work Monday and learn from this.”
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The Giants appeared they had learned from the previous weeks and trailed the undefeated Chiefs by just three points late in the third quarter. But then their second-half woes continued in Arrowhead Stadium as they gave up 21 unanswered points in the final two quarters. Meanwhile, the Chiefs converted nine of 16 third downs and controlled the clock for 35:56.
However, the final score didn’t necessarily reflect the defense’s performance. Special teams gave up an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown while the offense turned the ball over three times.
“We have to get better with all three phases of the game – offensively, defensively, and special teams,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “Just come together, keep believing, have the belief that we can win. Having a 0-4 record can do a lot of things to your mind. It can mess with your confidence a little bit, but we have to be stronger than that. We have to overcome that and overcome the will and understand there are still 12 games left to be played this season.”
Moving forward, the Giants defense can build off the turnovers it forced in Week 4. The Chiefs entered the game not having turned the ball over once this season – and were an NFL-best plus-nine in turnover differential – but the Giants grabbed three takeaways, including interceptions by Amukama and Rolle.
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“I think we went out there and we fought throughout the game,” said Rolle, one of the Giants’ five captains. “There were a couple of things that took place that I think kind of flattened us a little bit as a team, but for the most part, I think we did a pretty good job of keeping that intensity and keeping that fight. We just have to learn to overcome things that might not go our way. As opposed to when the punt return happened, I felt like it kind of let a little air out of us a little bit. But we have to get better. We have to learn to overcome those things. That’s what’s going to make us a championship-caliber team.”