Chiefs vs. Giants preview: 4 things to watch in Week 8

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off of one of their worst losses since Andy Reid arrived as head coach of the team back in 2013. It’s hard to expect that they’ll do anything less than respond and perform better on “Monday Night Football” against the New York Giants in Week 8. Will the bright lights of prime time provide an opportunity for this team to get back on track or will they simply bring more attention to this team’s deficiencies?

Here are four things that we’ll be keeping an eye on during the course of the game:

Does the Chiefs' pass rush show up?

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The pass rush in Kansas City has been one of the biggest problems on the defensive side of the ball this season. Theoretically, this is a game where the Chiefs should be able to take advantage, but we’ve said that about other matchups this season and it hasn’t been the case.

The Giants have one of the worst offensive tackle tandems in the league with Matt Peart and Nate Solder as their current bookend starters. The New York offensive line as a whole isn’t great in pass protection, allowing on average two sacks per game this season. The Giants team as a whole have allowed over 90 pressures on the year according to PFF.

With Frank Clark getting more comfortable by the week and Chris Jones expected to play after missing the first two days of practice, Kansas City should be able to take advantage here. If they could manage a strong performance from a tertiary player like Jarran Reed or Mike Danna, it’d be the ideal situation after eight weeks.

Will the Chiefs commit to the run game?

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chiefs fell behind early in Week 7 and failed to get the ground game going as a result. This week, Kansas City should take a balanced approach between the running and passing game from the get-go. However, with Andy Reid, you never know what you’re going to get when it comes to running the ball.

The Giants have allowed almost as many yards on the ground (879) as Kansas City has this season. They’ve allowed six rushing scores on the season which is right around the league average. You can run against this defense in the right situations, but the key will be identifying those situations.

The one area that New York has been strong in the run game is on third down. They’ve allowed the eighth-fewest rushing first downs in the league on the season, and are top-5 in the league in first-down rushing percentage. If the Chiefs get into a short-yardage situation and need a first down, the offensive line will need to buckle down.

Is this the week that Josh Gordon gets going?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of hype when the Chiefs signed Gordon to the 53-man roster two weeks ago, but so far that is all it has been. His snap counts have been going in the wrong direction since he arrived. The coaching staff in Kansas City has claimed a grand plan for Gordon, but according to Andy Reid, it hasn’t come to fruition quite yet.

“It’s kind of unique the way things have worked the last couple weeks—with all the two-minute stuff, we didn’t get him in there,” Reid said. “But he’s progressing and doing the right things and I’m proud of him for that. We’ll see how things work out going forward, but he’s doing a nice job for us.”

Eric Bieniemy echoed Reid’s sentiments. He added that the team doesn’t want to put Gordon into a bad situation. This week he expects that Gordon will be better prepared for the hurry-up offense.

“Well, we had big plans for him last week,” Bieniemy said. “Unfortunately, we fell behind and we were playing catch-up mode, and that wasn’t the situation that we wanted to put him in. We want him to have the opportunity to go out and do the things that he’s practiced all week long, so it’s all about making sure that you’re putting your guys in the right situation. We didn’t feel at that particular time that was the right situation for him to be in. Now, if that was to happen this week, will he be prepared for it? Yes, he will be.”

It seems like they’ll make a concerted effort this week to get Gordon involved in the game plan, no matter the situational elements.

A better game from Patrick Mahomes?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Mahomes had the worst regular-season game of his career in Week 7. It’d be a real surprise if he was unable to bounce back, especially after some of the reflections and comments he made after the game last week. Will he manage to have a better game in Week 8, though?

The Giants’ defense is allowed 7.3 yards per passing attempt with over 1,700 passing yards allowed on the season. They’ve allowed 14 touchdowns through the air with only six interceptions on the season. They’ve also sacked opposing quarterbacks 16 times this season, which is double Kansas City’s defensive mark.

Basically, New York has a middle-of-the-pack defense against the pass, one that Mahomes should be able to exploit. The fourth-year starter doesn’t need to be Superman for this Chiefs team to win games. Right now, the best thing he can do for his team is to eliminate the turnovers and remember that he can live to fight another down.

[listicle id=108018]

1

1