Chiefs players know Giants are a desperate, dangerous bunch
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- All week, Chiefs players have heard the mantra from their coaching staff:
Do not take the New York Giants lightly just because they are 0-3.
Consider the message received.
"We know they're dangerous," nose tackle Dontari Poe said.
"We know they're desperate for a win," chimed in linebacker Akeem Jordan.
"We know they're hungry," left tackle Branden Albert added.
All around the Chiefs' locker room, players seemed to sense they will get the very best this Sunday from the Giants, who likely are playing for their season.
And no one knows how tough these Giants can be more than Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who is prepared for a physical affair, the type of rugged cage match he witnessed often when residing in the NFC East and going up against the Tom Coughlin-led Giants.
"That's what they are, tough and physical," Reid said. "And we have to match that."
Something, though, has gone terribly wrong this year with the Giants.
A team that normally prides itself on a strong running game is strangely last in the NFL in rushing, averaging an anemic 44 yards per game -- an almost unheard-of figure for a Coughlin team.
Throw in the fact that Eli Manning has thrown a league-high nine interceptions and has been sacked 11 times, and you get the big picture: The Giants are an offensive mess, at least through three games.
But Chiefs defenders are still plenty wary of Manning.
"They're still the New York Giants and they still got a great quarterback and a great coach," Poe said. "It doesn't matter what their record is. They're going to come out hard.
"Eli Manning is a great quarterback. He can beat you with the deep ball. He can switch up his snap counts and make you jump. He adjusts really well. Forget that they're 0-3. (Manning) can beat you anytime."
Jordan, another refugee from the NFC East, knows too well that when you start believing the Giants are done, they rise from the ashes.
"Oh, yeah. They've been counted out before," Jordan said. "Look, they just know how to win. They are the New York Giants. They've won Super Bowls. They got a quarterback who wins and wins Super Bowls."
So how can the Giants be 0-3?
"I have no idea," Jordan said. "Turnovers have hurt them. But we're not looking past them, that's for sure. It's the NFL. Things change week to week.
"They're an explosive team. They'll snap out of it. We just got to make sure we all do our jobs and it doesn't happen this week."
Albert has no explanation for the Giants' woes, either.
"They're on hard times now," Albert said. "But they'll come in really hungry. We know that. They got guys on that team who've been to Super Bowls. They know how to play. We know they're not going to come here and lay down.
"It's going to be a tough game. We have to bring our 'A' game."
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith also is ready for the Giants' best shot, especially from their prideful defense.
"I mean, this is a defense that won the Super Bowl as well," Smith said. "It's a veteran group. They've been down before. I expect their best. I expect them now, after what happened last week, I think they have too much veteran leadership on their team to not bounce back.
"I'm sure everyone here understands that."
After a week of hearing about it from their coaches, they should by now.
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.