KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs defensive tackle Bennie Logan’s experience with the New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning teach him never to take anything for granted, even against a struggling football team.
“As of this year, you can’t go into look at their record because they’re 1-8, and they are not a 1-8 team,” Logan said. “Their offense is playing really good. They move the ball and do some things on the offensive, you really have to be disciplined.”
New York awarded San Francisco its first win of the season last week in 31-21. Two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Rams buried the Giants 51-23. The Chiefs come off the bye week — and don’t forget head coach Andy Reid’s 16-2 career record after the bye — preparing to visit the sleeping Giants. It appears a classic mismatch, but don’t tell that to Reid.
“We know they’re a good football team,” Reid said. “We’ve had a chance to see their schemes, study their schemes.”
Injuries decimated the Giants’ season early, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. With wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall out for the season, Manning has turned to second-year receiver Sterling Shephard and rookie tight end Evan Engram. The first-round draft pick from Mississippi has 40 catches for 443 yards and five touchdowns.
“They don’t have Brandon Marshall and all those key guys and all that, but they still have a rookie tight end that he can line up on the line of scrimmage or wherever else,” Logan said. “You can flex him out and everything.”
The Giants have struggled on both sides of the ball, but particularly on defense. They rank 31st in the in the league allowing 400.3 yards per game. The 26.4 points they allow per game ranks 28th.
They have allowed a league-worst nine touchdown passes to tight ends this season. That foreshadows a big day for All-Pro Travis Kelce, but he’s still wary of facing off against safety Landon Collins and the Giants’ defense.
“They’ve got high-caliber playmakers for sure, there’s no doubt about it,” Kelce said. “Everybody knowing that, it’s kind of been a big thing in the media, I’m sure they’ll have something for me and something for us as an offense.”
The long relationship between Reid and New York defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also adds to the competitive drama. Spagnuolo spent eight seasons with Reid in Philadelphia before his first stint as defensive coordinator for the Giants.
Reid said facing his former assistants creates special challenges.
“You wish you didn’t have to play them but you do,” Reid said. “It’s great competition because they have an idea of what you’re all about, you have an idea what they’re all about.”
The biggest threat for the Chiefs Sunday lies with the passing defense against the veteran Manning. The Chiefs rank 28th against the pass and will again play witstont pass rushers Dee Ford and Tamba Hali.
Logan knows Manning well enough from his previous battles to fear the threat of the former Super Bowl MVP.
“He’s still been getting the ball to his receivers and tight ends and running backs,” Manning said. “Like I said, you can’t look at their record, you just have to go out there and play. Throw their record out the window and just play football.”
Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.