Giants Chiefs Preview: Four Keys to 4-0

Photo: Howard Smith USA Today Sports

If the Kansas City Chiefs are going to end the first quarter of their 2013 season with a perfect 4-0 record, they better play their best game to date against the wounded and angry New York Giants. So who must stand out today at Arrowhead, how about these four men?

1. WR Donnie Avery - If you're passing out awards for the best Chiefs MVP in September, offensively speaking, Avery has been a standout. He's leading the team in receptions but more importantly, he's become mister third down.

With all Pro Wide Receiver, Dwayne Bowe, still searching for that breakout game, Avery has picked up the slack and then some. In fact, he's become so reliable, he's starting to climb the ranks of fantasy players all over the country.

Now he'll need a heavy dose of reality against the Giants because they have a very active secondary. Even more so, they've done a brilliant job of stopping opponents' top receiver in each of their three maddening losses.

So that means today, Avery might see more double teams. But that should open the door for Dwyane Bowe to step up his game against the Giants. Either way what we've learned thus far in 2013 is that the Chiefs indeed have a solid and capable second receiver on the field.

2. LB Justin Houston - So why would I put the two-time AFC Defensive player on this list? Let me tell you why. In amassing 7.5 sacks on the season, Houston is quickly becoming the games best pass rusher. He's also one amazing all around linebacker who can pretty much do it all on the gridiron.

However, after tearing it up against Jacksonville and Philadelphia win weeks one and three, he was generally ineffective at home two weeks ago against the Dallas Cowboys. I don't want to see a pattern of one game on and one game off for Houston.

Granted the Cowboys did do a solid job double-teaming Houston but against the Giants today that should be something he needs to overcome.

You can talk all you want about Houston breaking the NFL sack record. In fact, he might just do it. But for me, he must be a dominating force even when opposing offenses are chipping away at him preventing him from mauling their quarterback.

In other words, bring it every Sunday.

3. RT Eric Fisher - Much has been made of his so-so 2013 rookie season. As expected, on occasion he looks like a top-flight #1 pick. On the flip side, he's also resembles a rookie that hasn't quite made the jump from small college player to the grand ship knows as the NFL.

But it's not time to panic. By midseason, or certainly after the Bye week when the schedule puts on it's AFC West game face, I believe Fisher will step up his game. He has too way much heart and talent to fail. Add that with the tutelage of veteran left tackle, Brandon Albert; who has been showing the young lion what it takes to play offensive line at this level, he's ceiling for 2013 is still very high.

Today against the Giants he has to lock down the right side more often than not. New York is hell bent on forcing Chiefs quarterback, Alex Smith, into his first interception of the season. And if that pressure is going to come, it'll be on Fisher's side where the Giants might double up pass rushers.
4. RB/KR Knile Davis - I'm not sure what it is about this game that remotely compels me to mention the Chiefs backup running back and kick return specialist. But something in my crawl is convinced that Davis is going to make a big play today.

I was impressed with his understudy role against the Eagles last week and in the preseason he was the Chiefs best return man. Why the special teams coaching staff remains confident in Dexter McCluster, when the power of Davis can overrun any special teams unit in the NFL, remains one of the Chiefs biggest mysteries through three games.

However, that might change today. If Davis is given a chance in either role against the Giants, this could be what we journalists often refer to as a breakout performance.

Will the Chiefs avoid today's trap game?

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