The season we expect sometimes isn’t the season we get.
Even at 2-5, even again without Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay, the 2-5 New York Football Giants should not be tiptoeing into Arrowhead Stadium for an obligatory “Monday Night Football” beatdown from Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
It’s not who you play, it’s when you play them.
And this is that time to play Mahomes, when he has misplaced his magic and his mojo and thrown a league-high nine interceptions, and this is that time to play the reeling 3-4 Chiefs, who stand 28th in overall defense (404.6 yards per game).
The Giants laid back-to-back eggs following their upset win in New Orleans.
After waxing Sam Darnold and the Panthers in Week 7, here comes a game for the Giants that can begin to turn a scrambled season sunny side up, at least for the immediate future.
There are games that can launch a season on life support, games that can spark a fire of confidence through any team that Bill Parcells used to tell us needs to teach itself what it is on the field, in action.
“We all would change our opinion of the New York Giants,” legendary Giants quarterback Phil Simms told The Post. “In other words: ‘Wow! This night happened quicker than we think as far as getting the franchise back on the path that we want to see it going.’ I know the Chiefs are 3-4 — I don’t care. They were in the last two Super Bowls, and except for [Dee Ford] lining up offside, they’d have been in three in a row.
“This is the cream of the crop still in a lot of eyes, and we all still expect Kansas City to turn it around and be a contender for the Super Bowl. I’m sure the Giants look at it that way. I think they’ll be motivated, and if they can pull it off … I don’t even have words for it.
“It would just be an unbelievable, emotional, tremendous confidence boost to the football team and the organization.
“If they beat Kansas City, hell, they’re gonna want to practice on Tuesday. If they beat Kansas City, I’ll fly up there and fly home with ’em ’cause that plane’s gonna be rocking.”
ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Louis Riddick will be working the game with Brian Griese.
“What it would mean,” Riddick said, “is you’re going into a hostile environment, not at full strength, with a revamped offensive line, down your best offensive player in Saquon Barkley, down many of your primary weapons on the perimeter, if you put enough points in a situation where, quite frankly, given what the expectations were of the Chiefs coming into this season and what the Giants expectations coming into the season were, it would just give the whole team a huge boost. A huge boost, as far as knowing that 1 to 53 on the roster you have other players that can step up, other players that are seizing their opportunities when they get one.
“If there’s any moral victories, so to speak, that go along with scoreboard victories, that’s a moral victory, because I think we all know that the Giants aren’t gonna be a part of the postseason. It’s gonna be another one of those seasons that people are just gonna pick apart with a fine-tooth comb once the season’s over, and that’s not where anybody wants to be. This would offer some hope again for the future as there are some good things happening underneath the surface here with this organization.”
One of the best things is the electric Kadarius Toney, who will be a game time decision with an ankle problem.
“He’s like a damn video game,” Riddick said. “He was that way in college, and he is showing all of us that it’s business as usual for him as far as just how ridiculously quick, tough, explosive, speedy of an athlete he is and of a football player he is. He is someone they need on the football field, man, they need him on the field in the worst way. He’s legit. Pound for pound, from an offensive player perspective, he’s as good as it gets, and we’re just hoping he’s able to get back sooner rather than later.”
It is difficult to find a comparison for Toney.
“Kadarius has that make you miss ability in a phone booth that’s just kind of freaky, man,” Riddick said, “and just great balance, vision, yards after contact. … He’s like a running back playing wide receiver but also has wide receiver route-running skills. He’s very, very unique. Anybody would be lucky to have him.”
The Giants finally found an identity in Week 7 — mistake-free offense and tough, prideful defense.
Given the way the Chiefs have performed, such a formula could give the Giants a puncher’s chance.
But there are no medals for trying.
The Giants need to be thinking knockout.
“Any win is a big win for us,” Xavier McKinney said, “and would do a lot for us.”
Mahomes, armed with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, remains a clear and present danger to light up the scoreboard should Big Blue show up as a one-hit wonder.
In which case, you don’t beat the Chiefs with Graham Gano kicking field goals, you beat the Chiefs with Daniel Jones, who is expecting the return of WR Sterling Shepard, getting his team in the end zone. Only Miami, Washington and the Jets have surrendered more points per game than the Chiefs (29.0).
How do the Giants win this game?
“It’s about winning the line of scrimmage for me,” Riddick said, “because that’s where Kansas City has lost games on offense and defense, ’cause they couldn’t play physical on the defensive side of the ball and either stop the run or rush the passer, and therefore, the offenses that they’ve gone against have had their way with ’em. And then on their offensive side, let’s just say uncomfortable to say the least as far as the consistency of the protection that he has got, the lack of consistency in the run game, and he has taken chances against teams that have really played them soft in the secondary and make him check it down underneath. And that’s right up the Giants’ alley.
“Not give up the big plays, get done hits on Patrick, win the line of scrimmage in the run game, and Daniel Jones, hit the big plays when they’re there to be made like he did against New Orleans. Now I know he’s not gonna have maybe the same weapons that he had against New Orleans, obviously with Saquon being the biggest one, but that’s how they have to approach this game, that’s how they can win it, and it’s winnable for them.”
Win it, and feel like Giants for a change.
View original post