The Kansas City Chiefs take on the New York Giants tomorrow at Arrowhead Stadium. Is this the week Todd Haley finally gets his first win as head coach of the Chiefs? Or will the Giants stay undefeated and on top of the NFC East?
Here are three players (Offense, Defense and Special Teams) from each team to keep your eyes on.
Offense: Larry Johnson
Will the real LJ please stand up? Or has he already? After three games, Johnson is averaging 2.5 yards per carry, one full yard less than his worst professional season. The Giants have an impressive defense when healthy, but right now they are hurting up front, which could help Johnson snap out of his funk and put up an average YPC closer to the 4.4 that backup Jamaal Charles has registered.
Defense: Brandon Flowers
If the Chiefs are going to stop the Giants running attack, defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast will have to keep extra men in the box virtually all game long. In order for that to work, the Kansas City defensive backs need to step up their game with Flowers leading the way. As good as he has been during his short career, Flowers will have to get to and stay at an elite level all day against the Giants if the defense is going to have any chance at slowing Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.
Special Teams: Dantrell Savage
For the Chiefs to beat the Giants, they will have to deliver big plays in every facet of the game. That means we will have to see the first long return of the season for the KC special teams. After a lot of juggling in training camp and the preseason, Savage seems to have a lock on the kick return job for now after delivering a solid, albeit unspectacular, debut last week.
Offense: Brandon Jacobs
It’s hard to play with a chip on your shoulder when your team is undefeated, but that won’t stop Jacobs this weekend. Last week against Tampa Bay, Fox analyst Tony Siragusa accused the Giants running back of tip toeing up to the line. During practice this week Jacobs didn’t have much to say in response, preferring to let his play against the Chiefs do the talking. Judging by his past two seasons, that’s bad news for Kansas City.
Defense: Osi Umenyiora
With Chris Canty out and Justin Tuck nursing an injury, Umenyiora will shoulder the load for the Giants along the defensive line. After a huge first week against the Redskins he was virtually shut out the past two weeks versus the Cowboys and Bucs. Umenyiora, like Jacobs, will be playing with a chip on his shoulder, so Branden Albert better bring his ‘A’ game if Matt Cassel is going to stay on his feet.
Special Teams: Lawrence Tynes
He’s baaaaack. And it seems like Tynes is currently playing the role he played most of his tenure in Kansas City. After playing a huge part in the Giants Super Bowl championship, Tynes missed most of last season with a knee injury and looked to be fully healed to start the season. He then proceeded to miss kicks of 29 and 21 in back to back weeks. His struggles haven’t gotten much publicity with the Giants being undefeated, but if the Chiefs can keep it close Tynes’ troubles could help them steal a victory.