EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs probably don’t know what to expect from the New York Giants, and neither do the Giants.
On paper, Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium is a mismatch.
The Chiefs (6-3) are well-rested coming off a bye week, while the Giants (1-8) seemingly have hit rock bottom after getting blown out by the Rams two weeks ago and then losing to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers last weekend.
Not only were the losses embarrassing, but the Giants showed a lack of effort several times in both games, like a team that was ready to play out the season.
Still, this game has some uncertainty.
The co-owners of the Giants on Monday voiced support for embattled second-year coach Ben McAdoo and said his job was safe, at least until the end of the season.
Two days later, the 40-year-old McAdoo and his team held a brutally honest review of the 31-21 loss to the 49ers. Nobody was called out, but the combined meeting had the offense and defense watching all the mistakes in front of one another: the miscommunications, the bad tackles, the lack of effort.
It’s something no player wants to see in front of his teammates, and that’s what makes this weekend’s game intriguing. The Giants have talent, and are capable of giving the Chiefs a game if they show up.
“The Chiefs are a great team and they have weapons all over the place,” Giants safety Darian Thompson said. “They are coming in here to play us and it’s an opportunity for us to correct the things we messed up last week, and to show people we are a good team, and can be a good team.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has reminded his team to focus on what it has to do.
“We got a lot of room to improve,” he said. “We’re not good enough right now, so we got to keep working, so that’s where it always starts. That’s the one great thing about football, you always have something you can get better at.”
Things to watch on Sunday:
BIG-PLAY BLUES: The Giants have given up 82 points in the last two games. The defense has yielded 10 receptions of 20 yards or more in the games, including touchdown passes of 83, 67, 52 and 47 yards. The defense also has been shredded for seven runs of 16 yards or more, including a 33-yard TD by the Niners last week. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense gave up a season-high 474 total yards to San Francisco, 1 more yard than the Rams picked up.
BYE, BYE, BYE: Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 16-2 coming off a bye, including a 7-0 mark against teams that have losing records. His teams are typically good the rest of the second half of the schedule, too, going 10-2 after a week off last season and 8-0 the year before. “I have no idea on this,” he replied, when asked for the secret to his success. “I didn’t even know what my record is.”
O-LINE QUESTONS: The Giants have some concern about the right side of their line. Justin Pugh, who has been solid since moving from left guard to right tackle, is out after aggravating a back problem. Expect Bobby Hart to fill in. Right guard D.J. Fluker had to leave last week’s game for a time after injuring a knee. If he has to come out again, there is not much depth. Jon Halapio got his first career action on offense last week. New York also signed 10-year veteran John Greco this week.
TIME TO STREAK AGAIN: Alex Smith’s franchise record of 18 touchdown passes without a pick to start the season ended in a loss to Dallas before the bye. The only QBs in NFL history to start better were Peyton Manning (20) and Nick Foles (19). Smith’s season-opening pick-less streak lasted 297 pass attempts.
KICKING: While both teams have rookie placekickers, there is no comparison. Since being signed off Carolina’s practice squad on Sept. 26 to replace the injured Cairo Santos (groin), Harrison Butker of the Chiefs has converted 19 of 20 field goal attempts and all 13 extra points. He also has 30 touchbacks in six games.
Aldrick Rosas of the Giants has struggled, making 10 of 15 field goals. He has missed one in each of the last four games and had his opening kickoff last week go out of bounds.
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri contributed to this report.
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