What We Learned

Presented By

2021 NFL season, Week 8: What we learned from Chiefs' win over Giants on Monday night

Kansas City Chiefs
2021 · 4-4-0
New York Giants
2021 · 3-5-0


  1. The Chiefs' offense remains glitched. Kansas City continued to struggle with turnovers Monday night, committing two, with the first coming two plays after an unnecessarily complicated bit of trickery resulted in a throwaway by Patrick Mahomes. The quarterback's first interception came via a bullet fired into traffic, which deflected off Jerick McKinnon's helmet up into the air for the taking. The second arrived when Travis Kelce caught a pass, turned to run and had the ball knocked from his grasp. New York capitalized with a touchdown drive that followed, entrenching us in a slog of a Monday night affair with no freedom from the grind in sight. Andy Reid's offense can't seem to detach itself from the cute approach, and Mahomes appears incapable of turning down deep shots every third play or so. It's as if the Chiefs are so set in their once-lucrative ways, they can't figure out how to do less and accept they won't rip off massive gains as often. There was one bright moment: Kansas City temporarily committed to the run, handing it to Derrick Gore six times and watching him score his first career touchdown. Otherwise, it was more of the same disjointed, occasionally successful but never rhythmic offense we've seen from the Chiefs for weeks. They’re simply nothing more than an average team right now -- starting with Mahomes -- and they won't get away with this type of performance against the Packers next week.
  2. Fans of sloppy football got their fill Monday night. The Chiefs committed 12 penalties, racking up 103 penalty yards, and the Giants tried their hardest to outdo them. Giants fullback Elijhaa Penny converted what appeared to be a key third down, then drew a completely avoidable taunting flag. Oshane Ximines wiped out an interception by jumping offsides. Tae Crowder gave the Chiefs 15 extra yards by pulling down a Chiefs blocker by the helmet, drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty. That's just three of the many unnecessary mistakes made by the Giants. Add in New York's passive finish to the first half in which it didn't attempt to get into field goal range and Joe Judge's decision to burn all three of his timeouts before the final minutes of the game, and you have an ugly game that one team won because the other simply isn't very good at this sport we call football. They can't all be diamonds.
  3. Daniel Sorensen's No. 49 might as well be a big, painted target. The safety found himself targeted as the nearest defender three times on the night, giving up 61 yards, a touchdown and a perfect passer rating for Daniel Jones. One of the three catches allowed was made by John Ross, who fought through Sorensen's pass interference to make an unlikely grab -- so unlikely, Next Gen Stats gave the attempt a 28.7% completion probability. The reception added 5.01 points to the Giants' expected points added for the game and +2.6% to their win probability. The other notable target involving Sorensen resulted in Evan Engram's first touchdown catch of the season. Kansas City's defense isn't good, but Sorensen might be its weakest link. His presence is an invitation for opposing passers to throw in his direction, and Jones took advantage Monday night.
  4. The Giants had some flashes, but they're still far from a legitimate threat. As evidenced by the aforementioned penalties, the Giants can't quite get out of their own way at this stage of the season. Jones looked fairly solid overall (other than his early interception and a completion that nearly went for another), completing 22 of 32 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Devontae Booker did a decent job as a rusher and pass catcher. But when the Giants found themselves in a close game late, they proved they're not yet contenders. The Jones-Darius Slayton connection is as broken as they come right now, which didn’t help in key moments. New York allowed Kansas City to pick up 55 yards in less than four minutes, handing the Chiefs a free 10 yards via penalties in the process, then failed to muster much of anything with the game on the line. Jones' two sacks taken captured exactly where the Giants stand at this point, which isn't in a great spot -- especially without Saquon Barkley available.
  5. Some much-needed defensive life sealed this one for the Chiefs. Thanks to some creative play-calling and timely movement by Jones, the quarterback was only pressured nine times all night. Three of those pressures resulted in sacks, including two in the Giants’ final three plays of the game. It was far from a stellar performance from Kansas City, but it rose to the occasion when needed most. First, it was Chris Jones, who was there to meet a frantic Jones to sack him on second down. Then on fourth down, Frank Clark channeled his best performance, twisting around Jarran Reed and blowing past left guard Matt Skura to take down Jones and ice the game. The Chiefs need more of this type of pass rush if they want to continue to do enough defensively to give their offense some much-needed time to work out its many kinks.

Next Gen stat of the game: Patrick Mahomes completed just 1 of 11 passes outside the tackle box, posting a 9.1 completion percentage on such attempts, the lowest in a game in his career.

NFL Research: Patrick Mahomes has thrown an interception in seven straight games. It is the longest streak in his high school, college or NFL career.

Related Content