Last week I talked about the Chiefs’ pressure points so far this season. Again, by pressure points I mean the areas of a team’s roster and/or leadership that are exploitable weaknesses. As head coach Andy Reid leads his team off the bye and into battle against the New York Giants this Sunday, the Chiefs will be seeking to both protect their own pressure points and to punish the Giants’. At 1-8, the Giants look like an easy win. However, wilder upsets have happened in NFL history (albeit rarely). Since we already know the Chiefs’ pressure points, it’s time to see the Giants’ biggest weaknesses.
Generally speaking, the Giants’ defense is horrific. They are fourth-from-worst in the league in yards allowed and are one of the worst teams in the NFL at sacking the quarterback. When you dig down into the numbers, you see some interesting trends. The Giants have turned the ball over only 11 times in the season (under league average). Still, they maintain a -2 turnover differential.
Between the low sack numbers and the inability to get to enemy quarterbacks consistently, the Giants are just not making plays defensively. Certainly New York doesn’t have a roster full of superstars on the defensive side of the ball, but there is obviously also an issue with the coaching if players are consistently out of position. The Chiefs can take advantage of these trends with play designs that will get their best players in space.
The Giants were having some issues earlier in the season even before every starting wide receiver was injured. Their offensive line has actually surrendered fewer sacks this season than Kansas City’s. However, neither the rushing nor the passing offense have provided New York with a reliable outlet. Obviously, the injuries have taken their toll. Generally speaking, the Giants have not been able to cover their weaknesses at the offensive line, running back, and tight end position with the star power of their quarterback and wide receiver stable. With the receivers injured, quarterback Eli Manning can’t be sure that any one part of his offense will perform.