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Week 11 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 9, New York Giants 12


What you need to know

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City lost a shocker to the New York Giants, 12-9 in overtime to drop their season record to 6-4. The Chiefs started off the season by winning their first five games, but have since gone 1-4 in their last five games. Losing to the (currently) 2-8 Giants was inexcusable, even in tough, windy conditions at Met Life Stadium. Quarterback Alex Smith was 27-40 for 230 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Kareem Hunt rushed 18 times for 73 yards and caught three passes for four yards. Travis Kelce was once again the Chiefs leader on offense, catching eight passes for 109 yards. He also managed to throw an interception on his lone pass attempt, something he now has in common with Tyreek Hill. Speaking of Hill, he caught seven passes for 68 yards but was unable to generate that one big play for the Chiefs that would have broken the game open for them. The rest of the Chiefs wide receivers combined for nine catches for 49 yards, which is to say that Kansas City is in dire need of another option on the outside, preferably one with prototypical size who can play the role of possession receiver.

New York Giants

Even with the top 3 receivers out of the lineup for the Giants at this point in the season, production is still hard to come by for guys like Engram/Lewis and nothing is guaranteed. Manning does not throw for many yards these days in NYG and the offense still struggles to break 20+ points most weeks. Engram remains a solid tight end play and Shepard also when healthy but nobody else can be trusted to reliably produce. Manning tends to spread the ball evenly as he did in this game.

Darkwa had a nice day on the ground, finally getting into the endzone albeit due a defensive penalty that set the Giants up at the 1 of Kansas City. Regardless, the line blocked well for Darkwa and they have shown an ability to punch some holes sporadically this season against decent run defenses. Darkwa remains a low #2 back for fantasy owners, not getting much exta value in PPR leagues as he isn't a big factor in the passing game.

Kansas City Chiefs

QB Alex Smith, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 40 - 230 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 27 - 0
Alex Smith completed 27 of 40 passes for 230 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing five times for 27 yards. Smith does not have the strongest arm, he depends mostly on his accuracy, timing and intelligence, so he had a rather difficult time navigating the swirling winds at Giants stadium. It wasnít that he was having trouble completing passes, it was just that his normal throwing range was diminished even further. This meant that a majority of his targets came in the short passing game, and the intermediate passes that generate big plays for the Chiefs receivers after the catch were non-existent. The one throw Smith was able to complete down the field came on a straight go route to Tyreek Hill who ran right past his defender up the left sideline. Smith threw a very nice ball that was slightly behind Hill, however Hill was able to go up and make the tough catch. The Chiefs offense can go only as far as Alex Smith can take them, but for that to happen he needs to be able to distribute the ball accurately to his receivers in space and let them gain yards after the catch. It seems the rest of the league has begun to realize this and have started playing bump and run coverage on Tyreek Hill on the outside, and double teaming Travis Kelce in the middle of the field. Kelce had a big day, but the Giants defense did a great job of containing the rest of the offense and that ultimately kept the Chiefs to only nine points on the afternoon.

RB Kareem Hunt, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 73 - 0, Rec: 3 - 4 - 0 (4 targets)
Kareem Hunt rushed 18 times for 73 yards, while also catching three passes for four yards. His stats against the Giants are a far cry from the numbers he was putting up in the first half of the season, where he was equally dangerous in both the running and the passing game. Has he hit the rookie wall, or do opposing teams just have enough tape on him now and understand how to limit his effectiveness? It is a good question, and one that is not necessarily easy to answer, because the Chiefs have lightened his workload over the last five games, but not enough to the point where you would expect his average yards per game to drop from 155 to 86.6. The one thing missing over the last five games has been Huntís ability to generate big plays, as his two longest gains from scrimmage were 34 and 37 yards over that span. In his first five games, he had four plays of 53+ yards, with three of them going for touchdowns (53, 69 and 78). Of Huntís 21 touches, 13 of them went for three yards or less, and that is credit to the Giants defensive front who stopped him from reaching the second level where Hunt is most dangerous. Hunt didnít play poorly, it was more of a case of giving what the defense took him and nothing more. If Alex Smith is the driver of the Chiefs offense, Hunt is most certainly the engine.

WR Tyreek Hill, 64 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 16 - 0, Rec: 7 - 68 - 0 (7 targets)
Tyreek Hill caught seven passes on seven targets for 68 yards against the Giants. He added a 16 yard run to his total yardage where the Chiefs ran him on a reverse/end around. Hill was targeted six times on screens, drag and comeback routes, but did see one deep target from Alex Smith that showed off how far he has come as a receiver. Hill ran a straight go-route, beating his defender right off the line of scrimmage and getting behind him easily. Alex Smith threw an accurate deep ball, but it was slightly behind Hill and it forced him to adjust to the ball as it was coming down. He made a very nice catch with his defender all over his back, catching the ball out in front of him and holding on even as he was hit hard on the way down. While Hill may have been a jack of all trades type receiver last season, it is clear that he has worked on his craft this year and has become an excellent receiver, who is also capable of doing many other things (running, punt and kick returns) for the Chiefs offense. While he does see high percentage targets, the fact that he has caught 47 of 66 targets while averaging 14.6 yards per catch is impressive, especially compared to last seasonís numbers (61 of 83 targets for 9.7 yards per catch). With their lack of talent at wide receiver, Hill is essentially their entire wide receiver core (Travis Kelce is a tight end). Even in games where it was nearly impossible for him to make plays down the field, Hill was still able to find a way to impact the game by converting five first downs on seven targets.

TE Travis Kelce, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rec: 8 - 109 - 0 (14 targets)
Travis Kelce caught eight passes for 109 yards on 14 targets, however there was a blemish on his stat line for the night. First off, Kelce managed to throw an interception on his only passing attempt of the day, which normally would not have been that big of a deal, but the interception came in the 4th quarter while the Chiefs were given good field position and had a chance to take the lead. The next Chiefs possession also ended with an Alex Smith interception deep in their own territory which allowed the Giants to take the lead. The other downside to an otherwise stellar afternoon for Kelce, was the fact that he did not score a touchdown against a Giants team that had given up touchdowns to tight ends in every game this season. With that out of the way, Kelce was fantastic throughout the game, accounting for roughly 25% of the Chiefs total yardage. The Giants linebackers have been torched game after game and Kelce put on a route-running clinic. He moves like a big receiver, but is nearly impossible to take down when heís one on one with a defender and always seems to be catching the ball while also moving up-field and gaining yards after the catch. This marked the fifth time in the last seven games that Kelce has either 100+ receiving yards and a touchdown, and he has become the most dependable fantasy tight end in the league.


New York Giants

QB Eli Manning, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 35 - 205 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0
Eli Manning had a lot of incomplete passes on Sunday and failed to score a touchdown. His role was more of a game manager and to do just enough to win the game, as it was a low scoring game overall and they were able to maintain a lead for most of this game. Manning had a nice corner route to Rudolph, placing the ball away from the defender but allowing his receiver to catch it in bounds for a big first down. He showed a willingness to run, picking up 8 yards on a scramble before sliding just in time. Manning almost hit King in the corner of the endzone but pass interference was called on the defense to set the Giants up at the 1. Manning had a lot of dropped balls as his receivers struggled to secure some passes. He felt a lot of pressure in the pocket and ended up firing several passes at the feet of a receiver to end the play. Manning had to throw a lot of checkdown passes also as he did not get a lot of time to survey down the field. Of course, he is without his top 3 receivers which cannot be understated so high production is simply unreasonable to expect. On the final drive to secure the win in overtime, Manning came alive and picked up many first downs across the middle via slants. He missed Engram on the sideline deep but came back to the same spot on the very next play. Manning slightly underthrew Lewis deep along the sideline but he somehow managed to keep the ball off the ground and secure it. The Giants played it safe and kicked the field goal on the subsequent set of downs.

RB Orleans Darkwa, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 74 - 1, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (4 targets)
Orleans Darkwa had a solid day rushing on the ground against the Chiefs, even managing to get into the endzone which does not happen too often for the back. It was a boom or bust day somewhat for Darkwa as a lot of his runs went for first downs or were stuffed near the line of scrimmage. When Darkwa was afforded time to survey the gaps, he exploded through any gaps in the Chiefs front 7. Darkwa ripped off several nice runs, pushing defenders back and picking up every available yard after contact. He had a few dropped passes and catching the ball has never been his forte as a player. The Giants were set up nicely at the 1 after a penalty and Darkwa easily punched his way over the goal line to secure his touchdown. He showed consistent effort on all his runs, excellent vision when breaking into the secondary and complemented the play of his offensive line well.

WR Tavarres King, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 48 - 0 (5 targets)
Tavarres King was a little more involved in the Giants passing attack on Sunday and made some nice plays. King was the target of a fade pass in the back of the endzone which he was not able to secure but did manage to draw a defensive pass interference penalty to help set up a touchdown. King caught a curl route over the middle and almost hauled in a deep pass along the sideline but just couldn't quite keep his feet in bounds. King was somewhat fortunate with a call on a deep out pattern, the ball was knocked loose but he was ruled down by contact. His final catch was a successful slant over the middle from Manning, catching it perfectly in stride. King has improved as a receiver, getting his hands on shorter routes and not just a deep threat/someone they give end around reverse plays to occasionally. The opportunity he has due to the injuries the Giants sustained at receiver should not be forgotten but he has played well.

WR Travis Rudolph, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (6 targets)
Travis Rudolph doesn't have any real fantasy value as a back up tight end in this offense but he made some nice catches on Sunday. He made a terrific adjustment on a corner route along the sideline, turning his body in time to secure it in bounds. He caught a few other short passes on checkdowns from Manning when he faced pressure. Rudolph is clearly a back up tight end in this offense. Fantasy owners should not be picking him up as Engram will simply dominate the Giants targets going forward for this season.

WR Roger Lewis, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 55 - 0 (4 targets)
Roger Lewis jr. rarely touched the ball in this game until the end. He got his hands on a slant pattern inside for a first down and was open in the endzone in the corner but Manning missed him with a bad ball that went out of bounds. He picked up another first down via a slant but he saved the best for last on a diving catch in overtime to secure the win. Lewis was fouled on the ground as he successfully scooped an underthrown pass from Manning with his arm, truly an amazing and one of a kind play. He got up after and ran into the endzone but was ruled down by contact after he secured the pass. Lewis is a very hit/miss receiver that cannot be trusted going forward.

TE Evan Engram, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (6 targets)
Evan Engram managed only one catch in a surprising turn of affairs without Sterling Shepard being out of this game. Engram couldn't get involved in the passing game on Sunday and Manning looked elsewhere for a lot of his plays. The Giants had success running the ball and were not effective at pass blocking so throwing down the field was not possible for most of this game. They also maintained a lead over the Chiefs for most of this game which lead to a more conservative game. Engram caught a short out for 9 yards in the first quarter but came invisible after. He was the target of a trick play halfback pass from Vereen but the pass was both underthrown and off target which lead to an interception. He dropped a screen pass and also drew offensive pass interference on a deep corner route catch which further contributed to his quiet day. He got his hands on/near two more balls in the second half but failed to secure them before they hit the ground. Likely a blip on the radar for Engram, he remains a focal point of this offense.