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Chiefs vs. Giants preview: What is this team?

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AP rundown: Week 11 vs. Giants

Who is your key player for the second half of the season? I say No. 50...

Posted by Arrowhead Pride: For Kansas City Chiefs Fans on Friday, November 17, 2017

Week 6, Monday Night Football, 2006. Tony Kornheiser on the call.

The then-undefeated Chicago Bears stage a miraculous 20-plus-point comeback against the one-win Arizona Cardinals.

Cardinals head coach Dennis Green.

“We are who we thought they were.”

If you’re a fan of the NFL, you know the rant well.

I only bring it up because it’s perfect saying to recall when thinking about the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs at this stage.

What or who in the world is this team? Do we know?

Through five weeks, the Chiefs were like those Bears—undefeated, surefire Super Bowl contenders.

Now, who are they?

I’d argue Sunday offers a fitting barometer.

Here you have the New York Giants: one win through eight games, a new right tackle versus a left outside linebacker who is thought to be one of the best in the league and skill position players you’ve likely never heard of.

What would a championship-caliber team do?

A championship-caliber team would make sure this game isn’t ever a question.

“Record never matters, you’ve just got to go play,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said this week.

If the Chiefs are for real, you should know it early in this one.

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Injuries

The Chiefs will be without four players on Sunday—Allen Bailey, Dee Ford, Tamba Hali and Albert Wilson will all sit due to injury.

This should open up the door to see more work from Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Tanoh Kpassagnon, with Frank Zombo getting the start at right outside linebacker. With Roy Miller’s release, I’m interested in seeing how much the Chiefs rely upon Jarvis Jenkins and new signee Cam Thomas as well.

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Five keys to Chiefs vs. Giants

1) Justin Houston, forever. In our post yesterday, we discussed how Justin Houston could be facing a rookie right tackle. On our Arrowhead Pride Podcast I predicted four sacks for Houston. I stand by it. I don’t think the Giants have a chance in this game, but Houston should be the security blanket for that guarantee. Houston ruins this game for New York.

2) Get Kareem going early. The Chiefs were the best this year when Kareem Hunt got going early in the run game. It opened up things for the entire offense. The Giants allow 132.6 rushing yards a game (No. 30). There should be no reason the Chiefs don’t pound the ball early and set the tone for the offense.

3) Stop Sterling Shepard. In last week’s loss against the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants targeted wide receiver Sterling Shepard 13 times. Eli Manning hit him 11 times for 142 yards. Manning’s other favorite target was tight end Evan Engram, who he threw at nine times.

4) Orleans Darkwa should not have more than 100 yards. If you believe that the run defense woes could be a thing of the past, Darkwa is not the running back that should put up 100 yards on your defense.

5) Travis Kelce should score more than one touchdown. The Giants have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in every game they have played this year. Don’t people in Kansas City like to claim that Kelce could be the best tight end in the league? If so, he should have his fourth game in a row with a touchdown and probably multiple touchdowns against this defense in New York.