The first two games of the New York Giants’ three-game road stretch went well. With a second straight winless opponent up next, New York will look to stay unbeaten before finally heading home.
The Giants face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in their first game at Arrowhead Stadium in more than eight years.
A week after needing a field goal as time expired to win at Dallas, New York (3-0) had little trouble with lowly Tampa Bay last Sunday, rolling to a 24-0 victory. The Giants outgained the Buccaneers 397-86, using the game to re-establish their dominant ground attack and turning in an outstanding effort on defense.
“We had a couple of objectives coming in here,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “We had a game in which we didn’t play very well against the run (against the Cowboys), so we knew that we would be tested and we would have to rise up and do a better job there. We also knew we needed to rush the ball better than we had, so we did a pretty good job with that.”
Coughlin’s team gave up 251 rushing yards in Dallas, but held Tampa Bay to 28. Meanwhile, Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) ran for 104 yards on 14 carries and Brandon Jacobs(notes) had 92 yards and a touchdown as New York piled up 226 yards on the ground.
“Our defense was very, very, very impressive,” Jacobs said. “I knew they would come out with a chip on their shoulder.”
It was all the more impressive considering how banged up the unit is. Starting defensive end Justin Tuck(notes) was in for a handful of plays a week after suffering a left shoulder injury, while the Giants were without defensive lineman Chris Canty(notes) (calf), cornerbacks Aaron Ross(notes) and Kevin Dockery(notes) (hamstrings) and safety Kenny Phillips(notes) (knee), who is out for the year.
The Giants hope to get Canty, Ross and Dockery back soon, but none of them have played this season.
New York also has some injury issues on the offensive side. Coughlin anticipates Bradshaw playing Sunday, but the running back didn’t practice Wednesday because of ankle and foot injuries.
“He’s got an old ankle (injury) that causes problems,” Coughlin told the team’s official Web site. “He came out of the game and was re-taped. He has a foot that has bothered him. So he has a couple of things going on.
“He has a unique style and I think it puts a lot of pressure - it has in the past - on that one ankle. So he has some issues there.”
The Giants were also without wide receivers Domenik Hixon(notes) (knee) and Hakeem Nicks(notes) (foot) last week, and starting right tackle Kareem McKenzie(notes) was forced out of the Tampa Bay game with a knee injury.
With their depth set to be tested again, New York will take on a Kansas City team that is near the bottom of the league offensively and defensively. The Chiefs (0-3) have given up 28.3 points per game while scoring 16.0 per contest.
Kansas City lost 34-14 last week to a Philadelphia club that was without its starting quarterback and relied heavily on youngsters and backups. The Chiefs allowed Kevin Kolb(notes) to throw for 327 yards and two touchdowns en route to their seventh straight loss.
Matt Cassel(notes) went 14 for 18 with two touchdown passes, but totaled just 90 yards through the air. Kansas City was hindered badly by penalties, committing 10 for 90 yards and having Jamaal Charles’(notes) touchdown run wiped out by a holding call.
The Chiefs were called for 19 penalties in the last two games.
“We cannot have 9-10 penalties in a game. We just can’t do it,” first-year coach Todd Haley said. “We have to coach them and make them more aware than we have to this point.”
The Chiefs have lost seven straight at home since their last win there Sept. 28 of last year.
“We have the talent to compete with anyone,” Cassel said. “We just have to eliminate the bad football and the penalties.”
New York took the last three meetings between the teams, the most recent coming in 2005, and won 13-3 at Arrowhead on Sept. 23, 2001 in its last visit. The Giants lead the all-time series 9-2.