COMMENTARY | When the New York Giants (0-3) travel to Arrowhead Stadium Sunday afternoon to face the Kansas City Chiefs (3-0), no one could have predicted that their records would be polar opposites of each other at this point in the season.
The Chiefs have already exceeded last season's win total by completely righting the wrongs that plagued the team in 2012.
Improved quarterback play, ball protection and a much better overall scheme -- especially on defense -- are all paving the way for a football rebirth in Kansas City. And continuing the positive makeover of the franchise with a victory over the Giants this week will all but spoil New York's chances at making the playoffs and could cause a huge ripple effect within that organization.
Since the AFL-NFL merger, only the San Diego Chargers -- who capped off the 1992 season with an 11-1 stretch -- went on to reach the postseason following an 0-4 start to the year.
While the Giants are notoriously streaky, ending the season on a high-note seems to be their specialty.
New York began its Super Bowl season of 2007 with an 0-2 mark, only to finish with a 10-6 record and eventually take down the undefeated New England Patriots following an impressive playoff run. And their championship 2011 season saw the team sitting at 7-7 before reeling off six-consecutive victories, capping things off with another win over those same Patriots.
It seems unlikely, however, that this Giants team will be able to turns things around in enough time to salvage their 2013 season (let alone a postseason berth) -- especially with their weaknesses playing into the strengths that Kansas City has exuded thus far.
The Chiefs lead the league in quarterback sacks (15) and turnover margin (plus-9), while the Giants have given up 11 sacks (tied for second most) and have a minus-9 turnover margin (tied for the worst total).
These two areas are likely to decide a game between two (perceivably) equally talented teams that are headed in the wrong direction.
Kansas City has the look of an organization in complete control, while New York is unraveling at the seams -- highlighted by last week's 38-0 drubbing at the hands of the Carolina Panthers.
Head coach Tom Coughlin is confident that his group will pick up the pieces of an almost broken season, but did challenge his team to make the necessary strides.
"We don't finger point, we don't blame anybody. There's no excuse for what happened. We are a team, and I think the stressing of remembering that even in a situation such as yesterday's (Sunday's) game was very important…I can give you a laundry list of things. We talked last week about playing four quarters. That still is there. We talked last week about supporting and being in harmony with one another. That's not there, or that has to happen. I think you get the response you want to get off the sideline when people make plays and they rally around each other."
A loss of that magnitude brings into question the entire make-up of a franchise, which the Giants have reason to be very proud of. But changes are on the horizon, and Coughlin is in the midst of possibly the greatest challenge of his coaching career.
Missing the playoffs would be the least of New York's worries should this season continue on its current path. And the Chiefs are in position to make that happen.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Kansas City Chiefs
- New York Giants
- New York
- New England Patriots