Three Giants writers debate which post-bye week matchup is the most intriguing:
With the Giants returning from their bye week, our staffers discuss the most intriguing game left on the schedule in this week's Cover 3.
From a completely selfish perspective, I would say Oakland and San Francisco since those are two of the stadiums in the league that I haven't seen in person yet. But for some reason, our editors don't think our readers care about that. So instead, I'll go with the Chiefs. Two of the most exciting young players in the league, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, will be making their first ever appearances at MetLife Stadium. The Chiefs are also one of the teams that have a legitimate shot of getting to the Super Bowl in the AFC. To a lesser extent, I'm excited to see the new-look Rams in person and how the Giants' defense deals with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and company. It will also be a challenge for the Giants' offensive line against Wade Phillips. The Rams have been susceptible against the run, and I want to see if the Giants can get the ground game going again.
I'm going with this week's game against the Rams for a few reasons. First, you want to see how the Giants come out of the break after what was pretty much the worst-case scenario for the first seven games of the season. Pride will be on the line the rest of the way. Secondly, the matchup itself is a good one while the Rams have been one of the major storylines of the season. They're doing similar things to what the Giants did last year under a rookie head coach.
And last but not least, the previous two meetings between these teams have been exciting and, at times, heated. In 2014, Manning passed for three touchdowns and nearly 400 yards for a victory. He doesn't have Odell Beckham Jr. this time around (the then-rookie caught eight passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns in that game), but the Giants should be getting back Sterling Shepard sometime soon while Evan Engram has been the most productive receiver of the 2017 NFL rookie class. And last year in London against the Rams, Landon Collins became Landon Collins. Let's see what emerges in the latest round as the Giants look for their eighth consecutive win in the series.
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Of the Giants' nine remaining games, four are within the division. And considering every NFC East game is intriguing by default because the teams know each other so well, I'm only considering five (Rams, Niners, Chiefs, Raiders, Cardinals) to choose from. The one team that stands out from that group is Kansas City, one of the most balanced squads in the league. The Chiefs showcase a polished dual threat quarterback in Alex Smith, who is efficient in protecting the football, and have a strong running game thanks to the emergence of rookie Kareem Hunt, who is on pace to make his presence felt in the record book. On defense, they have a solid front seven highlighted by one of the best pass rushers in the NFL in linebacker Justin Houston, and on special teams, Tyreek Hill may be the most dangerous return man in the game. The Giants are going to be challenged in all three facets, and they'll have to play a game of chess with a familiar foe in Andy Reid, who has had plenty of duels with New York over his 14 seasons as the Eagles head coach.
This game has the coaching storyline, an unfamiliar opponent, and one of the best teams in the league as the Chiefs are off to a 5-2 start. While Kansas City has been more consistent than the Giants this season and will be considered a heavy favorite, the same was said for the Broncos game in Week 6 and very few predicted a Giants 23-10 victory in the Mile High. That's the parity of the NFL, and in Week 11 at home, against the Chiefs, New York will have an opportunity to once again test itself against a formidable AFC West opponent.