Is there one single reason things have gone this bad for the New York Giants?
For the past couple of weeks, when exchanging “Five Questions” with writers from the teams the Giants were preparing to play, that question keeps being asked. There is, as anyone paying attention should know, not a single reason. There are many. With many people deserving at least some of the blame and many factors having led the Giants into this 1-8 morass.
Let’s try to examine the mountain of things that have led the Giants to this pitiful place. It’s going to take a while, though I will try to be as concise as possible, so settle in for a painful ride.
Justin Pugh has not practiced this week due to a back injury and almost certainly won’t play Sunday for the New York Giants when they host the Kansas City Chiefs. Bobby Hart, who said in September that “I know I’m the best right tackle in the league,” has been awful in his opportunities. Could that mean undrafted rookie free agent Chad Wheeler will get his opportunity this weekend?
On Thursday, Wheeler certainly sounded like a guy who expected to be in the lineup against Kansas City.
“I can’t wait. It’s gonna be great,” he said on Thursday while surrounded by a half-dozen or so reporters, likely the biggest media crowd he has seen all season.
Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali should enter Sunday’s game very hungry against an offensive line that allows a sack on 6.2 percent of all passing plays.
Quarterback Eli Manning does not get much help on the outside after ankle injuries laid waste to his original top three weapons, and now he turns to the likes of Roger Lewis Jr, Tavarres King and Travis Rudolph. The three have a combined 36 NFL games played and are a big reason why New York is averaging just 16 points a game.
“I’m honored to have this opportunity,” Smith said. “This is a great Kansas City tradition, and my family and I couldn’t be more excited to help light up the Plaza with the Kansas City community and kick off the start of the holiday season.”
We've got to make sure that we're doing a better job in (both) those areas. If you put everything into the run, then it's going to be too full. You've got the run, you've got the pass game - you've got to do both.
"So that's what we're attempting to do," he said, "be better at all positions and all phases."
That sounds a whole lot like lip service, but Reid isn't straying far from the truth. The Chiefs need to more closely resemble the group that helped them to a 5-0 start, allowing 365.7 yards during their wins, than the bunch that allowed an average of 439.7 yards during their three losses.
Kansas City has scored 253 points so far this season and is on pace for 449 on the year, which would rank as the fourth-most in franchise history and the most since 2004.
"It was a whirlwind," Spiller says now. "But every time, they were in constant communication with me and my agent. I know people on the outside were looking at it like it was crazy with the cuts and the signings, but they didn't know the background of it. I have a great appreciation for the Chiefs organization and how they've handled everything this season. They gave me an explanation every time they made a move."
“I’ve been living there since I was what, 10 years old, 11 years old. I grew up in Nebraska, they don’t have a pro team, so I’m a die-hard Husker fan for college football, and then I bleed red and yellow for the Chiefs, that’s for sure,” Sock said in in a video after he got the gifts. “I have a good buddy on the team, actually, Travis Kelce, so I try to go to games when I can.”
But the fickle nature of his availability has become unpredictable once again. Hali was not expected to practice Thursday after missing practice Wednesday with swelling in one of his ailing knees. On Wednesday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid classified Hali’s practice absence as a mixture of a setback and a scheduled day off.
So what do the Chiefs expect out of Hali, the man who ranks second on the franchise’s all-time sack list?
Over the past three games, Darkwa has totaled 176 rushing yards, a number that exceeds his output in 2016 (111 rushing yards) and 2015 (153 rushing yards) despite there still being seven games left in the year. That he has more rushing yards this year (415 yards) than his first three years in the league combined when he had a grand total of 287 yards shows a player not only developing and maturing but also making the most of his reps.
Joel Thorman: “This could absolutely be one of those games where the Chiefs win, move to 7-3 and the fans are feeling almost like they did after the Broncos game, and there’s not going to be any game this season that can really slow that down because even if you run the table, 7-0, you were supposed to beat all these teams—you were the Vegas favorite in all these games.”
The first visit on his list was apparently the Chicago Bears, who actually employ a former Chief at kicker already in Connor Barth. The Bears hosted Santos on Thursday, per NFL reporter Brad Biggs.
Defensive end Allen Bailey (knee), linebackers Dee Ford (back) and Tamba Hali (knee) and wide receiver Albert Wilson (hamstring) didn’t work out on Thursday.
“We’ve been really good at 2 to 6 yards,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “From 7 to 10, not good enough.”
“We’ve had opportunities but it’s always been like one or two guys that we don’t finish getting them blocked that prevents us from getting a big one,” Toub said. “I think we’re close but we’re just not there yet. We just have to do a better job blocking.”