Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?
Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under?
Scream but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you?
You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July
‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ‘em what you’re worth
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ‘em all in awe, awe, awe
– Katy Perry, Firework
Approach to the Game – New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs, September 29, 2013: There are a dozen ways I thought about taking this game preview since there are a lot of things I want to get off my chest, but most of those thoughts will wait for another day.
For now, let’s not address the big picture and the future – the personnel, personnel department, and coaching staff.
It’s still September. The leaves haven’t fallen from the trees yet. There is a lot of football left to played. There is still a chance if the Giants will only ignite
Giants on Offense: It’s time to ignite that light and shoot across the sky. It’s time for Kevin Gilbride to go back to his run-and-shoot days in Houston. Joey in VA talked about it in his game review. Shaun O’Hara alluded to it in his interview with The New York Post. It’s time to force the defense to react to what you are doing rather than react to what the defense is doing. It’s also time to for the Giants to get their best 11 players on the field.
At this point, I don’t play it safe. I am aggressive and I attack. Take the initiative. Go four wide with Nicks, Cruz, Randle, and Murphy. Spread the Kansas City Chiefs out and go no-huddle or hurry-up. Consider letting Eli Manning call the plays. Don’t let the Chiefs collect themselves. Attack!
Is it risky? No doubt. The offensive line will likely be minus Chris Snee and David Baas and therefore green as grass. Even if there is talent in the line (which is questionable), there is little experience and no cohesion. That’s the main reason why I would eschew the run at this point. The line simply hasn’t played together enough to maintain any sort of consistent ground attack. Losing Henry Hynoski at this point may be addition by subtraction. Because he missed so much offseason work, Hynoski was a shadow of his former self. Bear Pascoe is not a threat as a receiver and just a so-so blocker. Having those two guys on the field was almost the equivalent of playing with nine starters as the defense could virtually ignore them. Brandon Myers can’t set the edge in the running game. You can use him as a receiver out of the slot, but I would use Murphy there instead.
The Giants’ are a finesse offense. There is no use trying to make them a physical team right now because they can’t be. They don’t have the horses to be physical. But they can be a damn good finesse team. The Giants can own the night and terrorize the enemy secondary. Attack! This strategy should invigorate the offensive team. It’s fun and will at least make things more interesting.
The huge weakness in this strategy? The bad offensive line has to give Eli at least a couple of seconds. And he is going to take a lot of hits. But you can be aggressive with a quick, short passing game too. Three-step drop or shotgun. Get rid of the ball quickly. Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Bob Sutton comes from the Jets and runs multiple defensive looks. The Chiefs have an NFL-high 15 sacks in three games. For a veteran offensive line, this is a tough scheme. No matter what, the young pups up front will be confused and over-matched. But if the Giants go max-protect, I think they play right into Sutton’s hands. It will take dangerous chess pieces off of the Giants’ chessboard and I’m not sure the Giants will be any less confused or overmatched. Make Sutton react to what the Giants are doing. You want to blitz your defensive backs Bob? Live by the blitz, die by the blitz. The added potential benefit, in the running game, is that by spreading the Chiefs out, the dangerous-in-space David Wilson could have more room to operate.
Play to your strengths New York. Your strengths offensively are Eli Manning and the wide receiving corps. Attack!
Giants on Defense: The Kansas City offense is not scary. Their biggest strengths are RB Jamaal Charles and the fact that they haven’t turned the football over yet this season. Regarding the latter, that pace is obviously unsustainable and there is no better time than the present for the Giants to finally start winning the turnover battle. Stop Charles and get after the football.
The key with Charles is not only stopping him on running plays, but also focusing on him in coverage in the passing game. He’s their leading receiver. Once again, the Giants’ linebackers will be on the hot seat. Andy Reid will target the Giants’ linebackers in coverage.
A largely unimpressive passer, QB Alex Smith is surprisingly the Chiefs’ second-leading rusher. But you can get to Smith on the pass rush as he will hold onto the football. Wide receivers Dwayne Bowie and Donnie Avery are the main targets outside.
More than anything, the Giants need to bring an enthusiastic, nasty, and physical attitude to the game, “dog” as Antrel Rolle loves to call it. Don’t talk about it, do it. Football is still a violent contact sport. Hit and punish the other team. Get excited. F*ck up your opponent.
Giants on Special Teams: The Giants need a little of that headhunter mentality on special teams too. Let’s go. Make a play. Win the game with forced turnover or big return. Have fun out there.