Manning, before leaving in the fourth
quarter with what was described as a bruised heel, threw for 292 yards
and three touchdown passes and the New York Giants (4-0) remained
unbeaten Sunday with a 27-16 victory over the winless and hapless
Kansas City Chiefs.
Don't be fooled by the final score.
From the first quarter, when Jamaal Charles fumbled the opening kickoff
and Manning converted it into a quick TD, this battle between occupants
of opposite ends of the NFL hierarchy never seemed in doubt. After
going 0-for-11 in third-down conversions the week before against
Philadelphia, the Chiefs were 2-for-15.
Matt Cassel threw two short touchdown
passes in the final minutes for Kansas City, making the final score
look much closer than the game actually was. The Chiefs (0-4) have lost
their first four games for the first time since 1980.
Steve Smith, who has caught at least
one scoring pass in three straight games for the Giants, totaled 134
yards on 11 catches, including scoring receptions of 3 and 25 yards.
Manning was 20 for 34 before giving
way to David Carr midway through the fourth period. He seemed to be
limping very slightly moments before throwing a quick out to Hakeem
Nicks, which this year's first-round draft pick turned into a 54-yard
scoring play for a 27-3 lead with about 11 minutes left.
A 15-yard unnecessary roughness
penalty on safety Jarrad Page for a hit on Smith helped put the Giants
in position for their second TD, Manning's 25-yard pass to Smith.
Lawrence Tynes, a former Chief, kicked field goals of 25 and 40 yards for New York, which is 4-0 for the second year in a row.
Bryan Kehl, who recovered Charles'
fumble of the opening kickoff, was again in the right spot when the
Chiefs tried an onside kick to open the second half. He pounced on the
ball and a few minutes later, Tynes' 40-yarder put the Giants on top
20-3 with 10:22 left in the third quarter.
The Chiefs kept it close in the
first quarter with the help of two Giants turnovers. Tamba Hali sacked
Manning and knocked the ball loose and Kansas City recovered on the New
York 36. Six plays later, Ryan Succop kicked a 33-yard field goal.
But that was the end of Kansas
City's scoring until Cassel's 1-yard scoring pass to Sean Ryan late in
the fourth quarter. With 4:54 left, Cassel tossed a 2-yard TD pass to
Brandon Jacobs had 92 yards on 21 carries for the Giants, who rolled up 429 yards while holding the Chiefs to 193.
Nicks finished the Giants' scoring
with a beauty of a catch-and-run. He took Manning's pass in the left
flat and went streaking down the field. Cornerback Maurice Leggett
caught up with him about 5 yards from the end zone, but Nicks put a
move on him that left Leggett grasping at air while Nicks went sailing
in for the score.
But that turned out to be Manning's
final play and the Chiefs made it seem close with the two late scores.
The first was set up by Charles' 53-yard return of the kickoff
following Nicks' TD.
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