The New York Giants stunned the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime on Sunday, 12-9, to come away with their second win on the season and hand Andy Reid just his third post-bye week loss since 1999. The Giants weren’t just expected to lose, but get blown off the field.
Instead they played a hard game, coming away with the major upset in overtime.
In a game this wild, there had to be some winners as well as losers, so let’s see who they were
Winner - Avery Moss
The Giants’ fifth-round pick has seen his role in the defense grow since second-year player Romeo Okwara was placed on the injured reserve. Moss was something of an unknown when the Giants drafted him out of Youngstown State, but the Giants liked him. As he has gotten more time on the defense, Moss has routinely flashed ability as a pass rusher while remaining fairly stout in run defense.
This game he got a big hit on Alex Smith to disrupt a potential third-down conversion and get the defense off the field.
Loser - dropped balls
I’m not sure how many of Eli Manning’s passes were catchable but dropped, but it was a lot. Both Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman had the ball hit them in the hands multiple times only to see it bounce off.
Manning finished regulation completing 19-of-35 for 205 yards. Those numbers would look a fair bit better if the Giants’ receivers — particularly his running backs — had caught more passes.
Loser - Evan Engram
Engram has been a revelation for the Giants this season, but he was quiet this game. Just one catch for nine yards — though he had a long catch called back on a ticky-tack offensive pass interference call. Targeted six times, he had too many catchable passes slip through his fingers or glance off his hands.
Engram will be back, but he had a rough game this week.
Winner - Giants’ defense
The Giants’ defense actually looked like the Giants defense for four full quarters, plus overtime. The run defense was stout, giving up a total of 91 yards on 23 carries (3.9 ypc) to Kareem Hunt, Charcandrick West, and Akeem Hunt.
The pass defense was similarly good, getting pressure on and hitting Alex Smith, and allowing just 230 yards through the air (5.8 yards per attempt). They also came away with three interceptions, two off of Smith, which doubled his season total.
And despite being desperately thin at the linebacker position, and facing one of the two best tight ends in the NFL in Travis Kelce, the Giants snapped their streak of allowing a touchdown to a tight end. In fact, the Giants kept the league’s fifth ranked scoring offense out of the endzone entirely.
Most importantly, the Giants missed few tackles, playing with pride, passion, and intensity across the board.
Loser - Giants’ draft position
I’d be lying if I said that this wasn’t the most fun I’ve had watching the Giants in almost a year. They finally cracked the playbook open, showing looks and plays I don’t think we’ve ever seen them show before — though at times they did regress to their stagnant tendencies.
However, if there is one loser it might be the Giants’ draft position.
With the Cleveland Browns losing and San Francisco 49ers on a bye week, the Giants still have the third pick in the draft. There is still plenty of football to be played before the order of the first twenty picks is known, but this win could have ramifications come April.
(I would suggest not worrying about it, however. At this point we don’t even know which underclassmen will declare for the draft.)
Winner - Chad Wheeler
The Giants said they were excited about the undrafted rookie tackle from USC, and today he showed all of us why. Getting the first start of his career against Justin Houston is a tough ask for a rookie regardless of draft pedigree. Wheeler rose to the challenge and largely silenced Houston. He gave up one quick pressure (which the ever-mobile Eli Manning was able to avoid), but held up well in pass protection and, at first glance, looked solid in the run game.
It sounds as though Justin Pugh will be out for a while, but it looks like the Giants might have a second promising undrafted free agent lineman besides Brett Jones.
Winner - Roger Lewis Jr.
Lewis only caught three passes for 55 yards, but he came up big for the Giants in their overtime drive. That, of course, was the play of the game for the Giants when the Giants opted to keep the offense on the field on fourth down. Despite being interfered with, he caught a 38 yard pass on his back and came within a finger of scoring a touchdown.