The Giants have now negotiated the first quarter of their season cleanly and recorded their second straight easy victory over one of the league's have-nots in their 27-16 decision over the Chiefs.
This was never a game as the Giants recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and scored a touchdown right off. From there, it was simply a case of building the score against an opponent that lived up to its reputation, and more, as one of the league's youngest, most inexperienced squads. In other words, the Giants did exactly what they were supposed to do -- again -- which in itself is different from previous years. They're no longer playing down to the level of competition, and that trait will come in handy as they make their second-half push to the postseason.
One of the best things is that, just four games in, they've already got three road wins under their belts. Only five road games remain, which leaves plenty of home cooking over the remaining schedule.
Oh, and for those still wondering how the Giants were going to replace Plaxico Burress, how about Steve Smith's 11 catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Looks like an adequate replacement to me.
Here's the summary.
It came right to him, but Bryan Kehl came up with a huge recovery of a fumble on the opening kickoff at the KC 16. With the Giants converting that into a quick touchdown, it set the tone for what was going to be a good, productive afternoon for the offense. Kehl also fell on the onside kick that started the second half, with the Giants leading 17-3.
Eli Manning's 54-yard touchdown completion to first-round wide receiver Hakeem Nicks one play after bruising his right heel in the fourth quarter. Standing flat-footed, he swung a pass out to Nicks, who showed no signs of any lingering affects from his foot sprain in racing down to the 5, where he then sidestepped a defender to complete his first career touchdown for a 27-3 lead.
Ahmad Bradshaw's Wildcat run for nine yards and a first down on fourth-and-3 that helped set up Lawrence Tynes' 40-yard field goal for a 20-3 third-quarter lead. It was the first time this year the Giants showed the Wildcat.
Michael Boley's sack of Matt Cassel on the Chiefs' first play of the third quarter, the Giants' first sack in three games. The pass rush would look rejuvenated after that.
Michael Boley: His biggest showing of the year with five tackles, a sack, two passes defensed, and a pair of tackles for losses.
Steve Smith: Can't ask for more than what he gave. Manning started going to him immediately, and the Chiefs never were able to cover him adequately.
Brandon Jacobs: He finally looked like the power runner of old, knocking over defensive backs and pushing around defensive linemen for the extra yardage. He had three runs of 10 yards or longer in a 21-carry, 92-yard day. He even showed a nifty cutback to an open left side on a 10-yard jaunt.
Antonio Pierce: He had a nice game with a team-high seven tackles and probably should have been given credit for a shared sack with Justin Tuck.
Hakeem Nicks: His 54-yard touchdown catch-and-run came as redemption for blowing an earlier route at the KC 10. But there was no doubt about how relieved the Giants coaches were about his return to the lineup. He'll get more business now.
Bruce Johnson: Another solid game for the undrafted rookie corner. He played the first half, and then made way for the returning Kevin Dockery on the second-half nickel.
Travis Beckum: The rookie tight end continued to get involved somewhat in the passing game, catching one ball for 15 yards.
THE UGLY STUFF:
The fourth-quarter sequence where the Giants should have been running the ball with David Carr in there, but instead threw twice incomplete to give the ball back to the Chiefs with more than eight minutes remaining. KC eventually scored a touchdown to make it 27-16, but it should not have been that close. Then, on the Giants' next possession, Carr took a sack on third-and-3 back to the 50 to give the Chiefs another chance. Just basically an ugly part of the game.
Manning's fourth-quarter incompletion on a deep ball to Smith that preceded Nicks' touchdown. The quarterback bruised his right heel as he took a bad step while moving away from the pressure. Have to see during the week if this will have an effect on him for Oakland.
Mario Manningham made a beautiful, juggling 43-yard catch on the Giants' third series of the game, and then gave back the scoring chance when he let a second-and-15 pass go through his hands and get intercepted.
Manning lost a first-quarter fumble off a sack for the Giants' first turnover after two clean games.
Lawrence Tynes: Again. This time it was a 38-yarder. The score was 20-3 and the Chiefs had no hope of getting back into the game. But Tom Coughlin will probably do some serious thinking now about at least having that short list handy. That was Tynes' third miss of an eminently makeable field goal this season, the first two coming inside of 30 yards. None have hurt their outcomes, but one must wonder if it's only a matter of time.
Justin Tuck had his foot looked at during the first half, but was back in for the remainder of the game.
Eli Manning came out for David Carr in the fourth quarter after finishing the touchdown drive on which he bruised his right heel.
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