Giants vs. Chiefs: What to watch for

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After a nightmarish start to the season, the New York Giants will look to right the ship on Sunday as they prepare to face off against old friend Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. As always, the Empire Writes Back gets you up to speed on what to watch for out of the New York Giants as they desperately try to avoid a disastrous 0-4 start to the regular season.

Offensive Line

The running game has not looked good, and Eli Manning, who is used to having good protection, has been chased around more than the Giants and their fan base are comfortable with.  Bottom line – this offensive line has real monumental problems.

Coming off of the most embarrassing loss of the Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning era, the Giants could not have a worse time to see more players go down on their offensive line, which is exactly what happened this week.

Starting center David Baas and right guard Chris Snee were both absent from the practice field on Thursday, making seeing wither player on the field this Sunday very questionable. Even with the expected return of veteran Guard David Diehl on Sunday, which will certainly help, if the Giants are without Snee and Baas in Kansas City expect to see much of the same out of the Giants as they will struggle mightily to keep Eli Manning upright against a tough Kansas City defense.

The addition of John Connor to the running game

It’s desperation time for the Giants running game, and if things do not improve fast, we are likely looking at a Giants team that will soon be starring at a 0-4 record.  This week the Giants brought in former NY Jet Jon Connor, know by many as the terminator, from his days of Hard Knocks stardom with the cross town Jets.  Connor, who is an old school fullback should certainly help the rushing game improve, but will it be enough to save the Giants season?

The optimistic view would be yes.  Despite the ghastly performance out of the offensive line in Carolina, David Wilson did seem to make some strides, and looked more like the running back most fans thought he would be entering the 2013 season.  If Connor can help open up some holes for Wilson on Sunday it will go a long way in getting this team back on the right track.

Giants pass rush

For a team that has been known for getting after the quarterback, the Giants have just three sacks through the first three weeks of the NFL season.  That total ties them for last in the league with the 0-3 Pittsburgh Steelers.  Sitting at the core of the Giants sack deficiency is Jason Pierre-Paul, who has only one sack on the season.  Although these numbers are nothing to get excited about, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell says he sees improvement in JPP’s game.

“Over the last couple of weeks I’ve observed that he’s getting in better condition,” Fewell said Thursday. “This was his third contest, and so you can see his conditioning level getting better and better. He’s taking more reps in practice each day, and so he’s starting to get into his groove a little bit.”

While Pierre-Paul works his way back from offseason back surgery the other members of the Giants defensive front need to step up and take control of a defensive that is sliding in the wrong direction.

Mathias Kiwanuka, who moved back to his natural position this year has only one sack, while Justin Tuck has only a half of sack thus far.

Of course the Giants want to see all three players get going, but in the meantime some help may come in the form of rookie defensive end Damontre Moore, who made noise in the preseason with his natural ability to get to the quarterback.  After suffering an injury late in camp Moore missed the Giants opener in Dallas, and played only two snaps against the Broncos in week 2.  Last week Moore saw by far the most action of the year, taking nine snaps on defense in the Giants blowout loss against the Carolina Panthers.  With Moore looking ready to contribute on a regular basis the Giants may see some much needed youth injected into their defensive front this week.

 

Topics: Andy Reid, FanSided, Giants Chiefs, Giants Chiefs Week 4, Giants Offensive Line, Jon Connor, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, NY Giants, Si.com, Sports Illustrated, Tom Coughlin

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