An incredibly difficult closing stretch to the 2017 NFL season begins for the New York Giants in Week 11 when the host the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of the AFC West last season with a 12-4 record.
Let’s learn more about the Chiefs as we continue our team-by-team look at the Giants’ 2017 opponents.
AFC West: 1st
Playoffs: Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in divisional round, 18-16
Offense: 13th in points scored, 20th in yards gained
Defense: 7th in points allowed, 24th in yards allowed
RB C.J. Spiller, DT Bennie Logan, TE Gavin Escobar
RB Jamaal Charles, DT Dontari Poe, WR Jeremy Maclin
2017 NFL Draft
- Round 1 (No. 10) — Patrick Mahomes, QB
- Round 2 (No. 59) — Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE
- Round 3 (No. 86) — Kareem Hunt, RB
- Round 4 (No. 139) — Jehu Chesson, WR
- Round 5 (No. 183) — Ukeme Eligwe, LB
- Round 6 (No. 218) — Leon McQuay III, S
Three Questions About The Chiefs
Ed: What is your favorite thing that the Chiefs accomplished this offseason?
Joel: The Chiefs signed Eric Berry to a contract extension. That was the most important thing they did this offseason which came in the form of a $78 million extension prior to free agency. Berry is the heart and soul of the team. He is the emotional leader and, oh by the way, he's pretty good at football, too. The Chiefs would be a different team without him. Given everything else that's gone down this offseason, keeping Berry was important. In the long-term, my favorite thing from this offseason is probably the drafting of Patrick Mahomes but he is expected to sit this year so I'll stick with Berry's extension.
Ed: What is the one thing they did not accomplish, or that happened to them, that has you the most concerned?
Joel: Where do I begin? The Chiefs fired their GM, John Dorsey, without any real explanation why. They fired or did not retain several front office employees. Again, no explanation there. Additionally, they cut Jeremy Maclin surprisingly in June. Did I mention Jamaal Charles is playing for the Broncos now? It's been a long offseason in Kansas City.
Ed: Are you optimistic that this will be a good season for the Chiefs or pessimistic that a down year might be coming? How would you define a good/bad season?
Joel: A good season for the Chiefs would be getting to at least the Divisional round of the playoffs. They've been there the past two years. A great season would be moving beyond that. Some Chiefs fans would say anything other than an AFC Championship game would be a failure and I could see that argument. With everything that's gone down this off-season, I'm probably a little more pessimistic than I thought I would be for a team that won 12 games last year and has been to the playoffs three of the past four years.
Biggest Storyline Heading Into Training Camp
GM John Dorsey was fired a week after the Chiefs surprisingly cut Jeremy Maclin. The new GM will come in but the shock of it all has left a cloud over what had become one of the most stable franchises in the league. — Arrowhead Pride
Under-The-Radar Storyline Heading Into Training Camp
Can Alex Smith save his job? It’s not talked about much but what happens if Alex Smith takes the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game? It would be hard to cut the guy who just took you further in the playoffs than any Chiefs QB since Joe Montana. It may be small but there’s a chance Smith can stave off Patrick Mahomes even if just for another year with a great season. — Arrowhead Pride
Notable injuries heading into training camp: The return of Derrick Johnson from an Achilles injury is an important injury to watch, although all signs are positive heading into training camp. TE Travis Kelce also had offseason shoulder surgery. — Arrowhead Pride
The Chiefs are not the New England Patriots, but they are a team you have to believe no one looks forward to playing against.
Solid defense with All-Pros Marcus Peters (cornerback) and Eric Berry (safety) in the secondary. Dee Ford (10 sacks in 2016) leads the pass rush and linebacker Justin Houston (22 sacks in 2014) is trying to make his way back after dealing with a knee injury that limited him the past two seasons. Kansas City led the league with 33 takeaways in 2016.
Efficient offense. Alex Smith threw only eight interceptions in 2016 and the Chiefs led the league in giveaway/takeaway ratio at +16.
Outstanding, explosive special teams. The speedy Tyreek Hill was named All-Pro after averaging 15.2 yards with two TDs on 39 punt returns and 27.4 yards with one touchdown on 14 kickoff returns. Punter Dustin Colquitt went to his second Pro Bowl.
It is fair to wonder what the Chiefs will do at wide receiver after surprisingly moving on from Maclin, and to wonder how long it will be before Mahomes, the team’s first-round pick, will be the quarterback — though that shouldn’t be this season.
What we know for sure, though, is that playing Kansas City isn’t going to be a picnic.