Three keys for the Giants to come away with a "W" on Sunday:
A look at the playmakers of the Giants' upcoming opponent
Sandwiched among three road games, the New York Giants play host to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 at MetLife Stadium. Big Blue, which has never lost at home to Kansas City, is coming off its eighth loss in nine games this season. The Chiefs, meanwhile, eye another AFC West crown as they start their post-bye push at 6-3.
Here are three keys to victory for the Giant on Sunday:
DESIRE TO FINISH
Fifty-two. Sixty-seven. Eighty-three. Forty-seven. Thirty-three. Those are the lengths of the explosive touchdowns the Giants have allowed in the last two games, and that's not even counting some of the big plays that didn't end in the end zone. Consequently, there were some "brutally honest" conversations in team meetings this week about the desire to finish plays.
"I think it'll do good," cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said, "because … you don't want to be the guy that when we look at film this week and it's the same guys, then it's going to be hard to walk in this locker room and still have trust from all of your teammates."
Kansas City is first in the NFL in yards per play (6.22) because they are versatile and they are loaded. Whether it's Kareem Hunt (second in the NFL with 1,131 yards from scrimmage) or tight end Travis Kelce (leads all NFL tight ends with 629 receiving yards) or homerun threat Tyreek Hill (three receiving touchdowns of 55-plus yards to go along with an 82-yard punt return), the Chiefs can gash defenses from different formations and motions. Oh, and Alex Smith leads the NFL with a 113.9 passer rating, having thrown 18 touchdowns to just one interception. Alignment, gap control, and eye discipline will all be key for Big Blue.
Once the Chiefs get the ball rolling offensively or defensively, they become a tough team to slow down, evidenced by a double-digit average margin of victory. So dictating the pace of play becomes a priority for the Giants, and the first way to do that is to run the ball. The Chiefs have allowed 100 yards rushing in all but one game this season, including an average of 147.5 in the last four outings (Kansas City lost three of those). Meanwhile, the Giants have run the ball effectively early in games, but the problem has been falling behind and turning away from the rushing game.
The most important thing, however, is holding onto the football. Kansas City is 5-1 when it wins the turnover battle, but only 1-2 when it is even or worse. The Chiefs have turned the ball over just four times this season, the fewest in the NFL. So if you can't take the ball away from them, you better make sure you hold onto it.
Photos from the all-time series between the Giants and Chiefs