KANSAS CITY, Mo. – New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning comes off a week where he was sacked seven times by the Carolina Panthers defense.
Manning has been sacked 11 total times through three games, not a good prelude for a winless team going against an undefeated Kansas City Chiefs team anchored by a defense ranked first in the league in the sacks department with 15.
The Chiefs have defensive playmakers and Giants coach Tom Coughlin is aware of the challenge facing his offense and what they need to prepare to stop.
“I used to say it’s the front seven, now I’m going to include the safety, (Eric) Berry, as well,” Coughlin said during Wednesday’s media conference call. “They’ve certainly gotten off to a great start and they’re playing very, very good defense.”
Coughlin was also complimentary of Chiefs defensive Bob Sutton.
“Bob Sutton has done an outstanding job with them,” Coughlin said. “They have many characteristics that he brought forth from his experience with the Jets, different personnel combinations, and he also has very good personnel.”
One of the good personnel Coughlin mentions is third-year linebacker Justin Houston, the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week whose 7 ½ sacks leads the league.
“He’s obviously off to a great start and his game against Philadelphia was just outstanding,” Coughlin said of Houston. “Protection certainly has to be aware of where he is at all times and be in position if need be that you have to help, that’s first and foremost.
“He presents an outstanding defensive player, but in my experience if you get too carried away trying to defend or protect against one, you going to get bit in the tail somewhere else along the line because they do have many outstanding players.”
Ultimately, for the Giants to get back on track at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday is executing their scheme, a point Manning made during his portion of Wednesday’s media conference call.
“The one thing you approach is try to have a great game plan and have a way to get the ball out in a timely fashion,” Manning said. “We have to run our offense, expect our guys to go out there and play hard and compete, and hopefully we can make some plays.”
The Chiefs are currently favored by four points for Sunday’s game.
Bring the noise, Take II
Chiefs offensive tackle Donald Stephenson discussed the Arrowhead Stadium atmosphere two weeks ago prior to Week Two’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Last from Stephenson: “Fans know that they play a big part. If they’re there and yelling, it’s going to be tough for Dallas.”
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) September 12, 2013
And rock, Arrowhead did.
The Chiefs faithful came out in force and coach Andy Reid talked about how the ground shook during his Week Two postgame presser.
Now Stephenson hopes it’s louder on Sunday when the Chiefs host the Giants.
A native of Blue Springs, Mo., Stephenson knows there’s more to Arrowhead Stadium that what was heard in Week Two.
“I know it can get louder than against the Cowboys, everybody knows that,” Stephenson said during Wednesday’s media locker room session. “The new guys here really don’t, but if you grew up around here and been to a few games, you know it can get louder than it was.”
Your move, Chiefs fans.
Chiefs rookie linebacker Nico Johnson has Crimson Tide ties to Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, who was featured on the NFL Network’s “Derrick Thomas: A Football Life” on Tuesday night.
Johnson said during Wednesday’s media locker room session he couldn’t view the broadcast due to a commitment with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club.
However, he said he will definitely watch the documentary and looks forward to it.
“Since I’ve been here, all I’ve been hearing about is Derrick Thomas,” Johnson said. “I was at ‘Bama and they talked about him, but I was so young – I was born in 1990 – so I really didn’t get a chance to watch him. When I watch it, I’m sure it’s going to be something special.
Following in Thomas’ footsteps from Alabama has extra meaning to Johnson, who in 2011 won an award bearing the Hall of Famer’s name.
“I was fortunate enough to win the Derrick Thomas Community Service Award at Alabama,” Johnson said. “I heard how he helped the community, how great of a player he was on the field, how he was a leader, how he did things for others before he did anything for himself. That’s what people remember of him.”
Notes: Tight ends Anthony Fasano (ankle) and Travis Kelce (knee), cornerback Brandon Flowers (knee), safety Kendrick Lewis and guard Jeff Allen (groin) did not practice on Wednesday … “He’s getting better,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Flowers, adding, “Most of the swelling is out of his knee”… Tackle Branden Albert (shoulder) and defensive lineman Mike DeVito (neck) were limited participants in Wednesday’s practice … Fullback Anthony Sherman (knee) and linebacker Frank Zombo (elbow) put in a full practice.