A season that began with high expectations and Super Bowl aspirations has quickly gone downhill for the New York Football Giants.
The same offensive and defensive blunders that have plagued them for the first three games of the campaign continued on Sunday in Kansas City. New York hung tough with the surprising Chiefs for three quarters, but a costly decision ultimately proved to be the difference in the Giants’ 31-7 defeat at Arrowhead Stadium, which dropped “Big Blue” to 0-4 for the first time since 1987.
The Giants trailed Kansas City late in the third quarter, 10-7, and appeared to have had a first down play as Eli Manning and Victor Cruz hooked up for a long completion. After officials overturned the call, saying that the pass was incomplete, New York elected to punt on fourth-and-one from their own 30 yard line rather than go for the one-yard conversion.
Not a wise choice.
The Chiefs’ Dexter McCluster returned the punt for an 89-yard backbreaking touchdown that swung the momentum in Kansas City’s direction, along with the game. The Chiefs (4-0) tacked on a pair of late TD’s to send the Giants back East pondering what to make of what has suddenly become a lost season.
“It is disappointing,” Manning said. “Offensively, not being able to do anything, it’s just bad. We had one big play to Victor and a pretty good drive before halftime, but besides that, we were just three-and-out.”
It was another dismal performance for the two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback. Manning was 18 for 37 for 217 yards and the lone TD that came in the first half when he hooked up with Cruz for a 69-yard catch-and-run play. Manning was also sacked three times and intercepted once.
Meanwhile, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith lit up the Giants defense, completing 24- for -41 for 288 yards while tossing for three touchdowns.
Interestingly enough, despite New York’s 0-4 start, they still remain just two games out of the top spot in the weak NFC East Division. Michael Vick and his struggling Philadelphia Eagles come into MetLife Stadium next Sunday, which should make for a very interesting showdown between the two long-time rivals.
“We’ve just got to come together as an offense,” wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said. “It’s still early in the season. We believe we can fix this. I believe we are going to fix this.”
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