By their own lofty standards, the Kansas City Chiefs are struggling. After winning the Super Bowl in 2019 and getting their again last season, the Chiefs are a pedestrian 3-4. That ties them with the Denver Broncos for last place in the AFC West.
Head over to SB Nation’s Chiefs website, Arrowhead Pride, and you can sense the panic in the fan base as you scroll through the comment sections.
Do not, though, tell the New York Giants about the Chiefs’ woes. They do not want to hear about them.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is certainly not buying the “struggling Chiefs” narrative.
“I can’t even begin to go down the list of all the different weapons they have. It’s numerous, plus they have the best player in the league [Patrick Mahomes] at the quarterback spot,” Graham said. “It’s hard, it’s going to be hard, and the best offensive minds between (head) Coach (Andy) Reid and Coach [Eric] Bieniemy. It’s going to be a challenge.
“This is the most explosive offense, I think. I don’t know statistically, but if you just go off of SportsCenter in the last four years, they’re the most explosive offense, so it’s going to be a challenge. They’ve got good blockers, they’ve got good receivers. It’s going to be tough.”
Mahomes has thrown nine interceptions in seven games after throwing just 11 combined in 2019 and 2020. Don’t tell Giants head coach Joe Judge, though, that Mahomes is not playing up to his capabilities.
“He looks like one of the best quarterbacks in the world to me,” Judge said. “This guy is – look, to be as athletic as he is, as just naturally instinctive as he is and have that kind of arm strength to make all those throws, there’s a reason this guy gets paid that much money because there’s not a lot of these guys walking the Earth.”
Judge knows Mahomes will take advantage of the tiniest of defensive mistakes.
“This guy’s extremely talented. He’s got a lot of savvy and experience. I think he does a great job of going through the initial reads, finding the right receiver and if something gets shut down, extending the play,” Judge said. “That’s when those guys really go ahead and turn it to a degree – I don’t want to say backyard, like they’re just freelancing, but they’ve got how they handle their scramble situations and they make some explosive plays down the field. If you get out of your responsibility, you get undisciplined, they’re going to find a way to make you pay.”
Don’t tell Judge that because the Chiefs have been slowed by defenses playing two-high coverages that the league has figured Kansas City out.
“I mean, how’d the league catch up to them? Is everyone as fast as Tyreek Hill or [Mecole] Hardman? Can everybody cover the ball as deep as he [Mahomes] can throw that thing?,” Judge said. “I think it’s a foolish narrative for us to buy into if we think this team isn’t as good as they are. This is a damn good team. They’re very explosive, they’re very dangerous.”
Kansas City has turned the ball over. a league-worst 17 times. The Chiefs’ defense is 27th in the NFL in points allowed.
The Giants, though, have problems of their own. They are just 2-5 after an 0-3 start. Andrew Thomas, Jabrill Peppers, Blake Martinez, Nick Gates and Shane Lemieux are all on IR. The availability of Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney snd Sterling Shepard for Monday is unknown.
The Giants have yet to prove that they can compete in games against the league’s best teams, losing by a combined 51 points to the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys.
“Nobody in this building is going to in any way, shape or form underestimate this team. Period,” Judge said. “This is a very good team. We know that. We know how dangerous and explosive they are.”