The New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs are going in opposite directions. The Giants have been a team in contention for many years, often making it into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and doing serious damage once arriving there. Kansas City, meanwhile, had the worst record in the NFL last season and had the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
But the Chiefs are now 3-0, with convincing victories in all three of their outings, while the Giants have looked absolutely abysmal in all three of their's. They looked especially inept against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3, being shutout to the tune of 38-0.
Let's take a look at both teams below.
Meet the Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs made two big changes this offseason: they brought in head coach Andy Reid, he of Philadelphia Eagles fame, and traded for quarterback Alex Smith, giving up some hefty draft picks in the process. Smith has only led the Chiefs to the No. 27 passing offense in the NFL, with 206.0 yards per game, but there's much more to it than that.
For instance, he's completed 61.0 percent of his passes, and has thrown four touchdowns. On top of that, he hasn't turned the ball over. The biggest thing for a team trying to turn around their fortunes is the turnover margins. If the offense turns the ball over, then the game is already lost.
But the Chiefs haven't been doing that. They bested the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, 28-2, the Dallas Cowboys narrowly in Week 2, 17-16, and Reid bested his old team, the Eagles, in Week 3, 26-16. They're in an excellent position at this point.
Meet the Giants
Meanwhile, the Giants are an absolute mess. Eli Manning is the opposite of Alex Smith right now. He's technically led the Giants to the No. 6 passing offense in the NFL, with 290.3 yards per game, but like Smith, there's much, much more to it. Manning has completed just 58.8 percent of his passes, and while he has five touchdowns, he leads the league in interceptions with eight.
Eight interceptions over three games works out to Manning being on track for over 40 interceptions this season. Obviously, he won't make it to that number, but it's the best way to illustrate just how bad he's been. He goes out there and hands the game to the other team. Fumbling issues from the running backs aren't helping, either.
Smith isn't going to turn the ball over for the Chiefs. He's not the kind of quarterback who will capitalize on every turnover, but if Manning and the Giants play like they've been playing, Kansas City could be in for a smooth ride.
Local Takes: Chiefs
Matt Conner from Arrowhead Pride notes that the Chiefs can't overlook the Giants, who are not too far removed from the team that won the Super Bowl in 2011:
It's only been two years since this same veteran core were named Super Bowl Champion New York Giants in 2011. Eli Manning is still the quarterback, and he has weapons alongside him like Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. The Chiefs offensive line must also account for impact players like Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuckdespite the early season results. Such experience in both the players and coaching staff make the Giants a likelier candidate to turn things around than other teams mired in frustrations.
Local Takes: Giants
Ed Valentine of Big Blue View notes that Manning and the offense has struggled due in part to poor offensive line play:
Members of the New York Giants' offensive line were clearly embarrassed by their performance Sunday and they should have been. It was an embarrassing effort with seven sacks surrendered, quarterback Eli Manning being hit 17 times overall, the Giants getting zero or negative yardage on 25 of 50 plays and averaging a miniscule 3.0 yards per play overall.
It looked, honestly, like those performances you see in preseason games from the third- and fourth-team offensive linemen who have no chance to make the roster. Jailbreak after jailbreak with players either not knowing who to block, or not able to handle their assignment.
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Filed under headlines we thought we'd never write: Chiefs can't look past the Giants http://t.co/TN0MqVHU9C— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) September 24, 2013
All five of SB Nation's experts picked the Chiefs to win the game at home. It was one of the few games they were unanimous on, which goes to show how bad the Giants have been thus far.
The Chiefs opened as 4-point favorites, but the line moved further in their favor throughout the week, with some books having them marked as 4.5-point favorites, according to OddsShark.
The Chiefs will hit the road to take on the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 6. The Giantsw will return home to host the Philadelphia Eagles on the same day.