Chiefs vs. Giants: Six to Watch

Saturday night's 24-14 loss to the Houston Texans didn't go as the Chiefs had hoped. The defense fell victim to the dreaded bootleg and the offense sputtered when the back-ups came into the game. Tonight, Kansas City travels to New York to face the Giants and nobody really knows what to expect in this nationally televised game.

Last December, the Chiefs went on the road and were embarrassed by the Giants. Tiki Barber ran through the Kansas City defense as if it wasn't even on the field. His 249-yard performance was the lowlight of the 2005 season for Kansas City. The Chiefs left New York with a bitter taste in their mouths.

But it's only a preseason game this time around. This game is meaningless outside of making sure that the defense plays better and the offense sustains a couple of time-consuming drives.

The Giants blitzed quite a bit against the Ravens last week, and that's likely to happen again against the Chiefs. That could be a challenge for the Chiefs because the Giants will play defensive end Michael Strahan. He sat out last weekend's opener along with Barber and tight end Jeremy Shockey.

The Chiefs need to make up for last week's poor performance by coming out with passion against New York. It's a short week of preparation but that might be a good thing for the Chiefs.

Here are the six players to watch Thursday night.

1. QB Damon Huard - The backup quarterback returned to practice on Monday and he's expected to get several snaps. Right now Huard, ready or not, is the only true option to behind Trent Green. His foot injury appears to be healed and he needs to get as many snaps as he can get over the next three weeks. With Casey Printers struggling last weekend, the pressure is on Huard to show he can run the offense if Green gets hurt.

2. DT Ryan Sims - With the first set of cuts just around the corner, the former first-round draft pick is in a fight to make the 53-man roster. He's looked great in camp, but he was manhandled at times against Houston, and it came against the Texans' backups. That's not a good sign. I've been a huge Sims supporter, but something is not clicking and he needs to turn it on soon.

3. T Kyle Turley - With Wednesday's announcement that Willie Roaf is still retired, Turley needs to show for a second consecutive week that he can get the job done at left tackle. He might not face a better defensive end this season than Osi Umenyiora, so the short time they'll be on the field battling one another should be fun to watch.

4. Boomer Grigsby - I was very impressed with the way Boomer played middle linebacker last weekend. He made tackles on defense and special teams. He's bulked up and seems to be a natural fit in the middle of the cover two. In college, he was a force because he was allowed to move around the field and play the ball. In this system, he's doing that, and he appears to be a lock as the backup to Kawika Mitchell.

5.RB Quentin Griffin - Griffin did an excellent job of bouncing outside on a few runs last week, and his short-yardage touchdown behind a weak offensive line was impressive. He might be a long shot to make this team, but the longer Michael Bennett stays out of action, the more reps he'll get. I think he's better than Dee Brown. He has more experience, and that above anything else should be the deciding factor in keeping him on the roster over Brown.

6. LB Kendrell Bell - Last year's Giants game was a nightmare for Bell. Tonight, I'd like to see him shoot the gap and nail Tiki Barber behind the line of scrimmage. Now that he's healthy and playing with some confidence, this could be a big game for him. He needs to make the most of his time on the field and get involved in attacking the line of scrimmage.

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