Kansas City Chiefs
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Chiefs seek consistency after bye
Nine games into the season and the true identity of the Kansas City Chiefs remains elusive even to head coach Andy Reid, who hopes to see a more consistent brand of football during the second half of the season, starting with this weekend's visit to the New York Giants.
"We see things that we need to get better at," Reid said. "We see the things that we're good at and we see the things that we're not good at. You're always trying to get better in these different areas. That's really where your energy goes."
The Chiefs red-hot offensive start in the team's 5-0 start masked an inconsistent defense that slowly revealed its true colors while losing three of four games heading into the bye week. One week, the team's run defense would falter, yielding 194 yards on the ground in Week 6 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four days later, the secondary yielded 417 passing yards to the Oakland Raiders. The defense surrendered a season-best 88 yards rushing in that game.
"If you put everything into the run then it's going to be too full," Reid said. "You've got the run, you've got the pass game - you've got to do both. That's what we're attempting to do, be better at all positions and all phases."
The end result of the inconsistency, however, shows a defense ranking 29th against the run with 131.1 yards allowed per game while ranking 28th against the pass, giving up 259.2 yards per game. Kansas City's defense shows the ability of taking away one facet of the game, but never both at the same time.
That trend continued heading into the bye week. The Chiefs limited Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott to 93 yards rushing on 27 carries, which Reid takes as a positive sign in the right direction. But Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott tallied 249 yards passing along with 27 yards on scrambling and contributing three total touchdowns.
"The consistency is what we need on both sides of the ball and special teams," Reid said. "We've got to make sure that we're doing a better job at that in those areas."
The Giants might serve as just the elixir the Chiefs' defense needs. Head coach Bob McAdoo's squad owns just one win in nine tries on the season, and he said he delivered a brutally honest message to his team this week.
"We had a meeting, showed some clips and were honest and open and moved on," McAdoo said.
The Giants rank in the bottom quarter of the league in many offensive categories. They average just 16.7 points per game, tied for 28th in the league, and average 89.8 yards rushing, which ranks 25th.
Reid said he's taking nothing for granted, however, especially with his own struggling defense coming off back-to-back road losses.
"We've got things that we need to take care of, clean up as coaches and players," Reid said. "So that's what we're going to do. We're studying them and at the same time we've got to make sure we look in the mirror first and take care of our business. And that's where you start."
SERIES HISTORY: 14th regular-season meeting. Giants lead series, 10-3. The Giants have owned the Chiefs at home, winning all six games between the clubs and winning five them by at least double-digit margins. The Chiefs won the last meeting between the two teams, a 31-7 romp at Arrowhead Stadium during head coach Andy Reid's first season in Kansas City. Reid holds a 16-13 as a head coach against the Giants, including wins in eight of his last 10 games against New York.