Five To Remember: Giants vs. Chiefs

Nick Athan looks at the Chiefs who stood out Sunday in Kansas City's 27-16 loss to the New York Giants.

1. QB Matt Cassel - The good news is that he actually managed to throw for over 100 yards this week, and connected on a pair of touchdowns. That's an improvement for certain, though he was once again shackled by his head coach, who for three quarters called another conservative gameplan. Cassel, given a better set of circumstances, might have been able to make Sunday's game a close one.

2. RB Larry Johnson - Didn't it feel like he had more than 53 yards rushing? He had a couple of nice long runs, including a 15-yard gallop that was vintage LJ, but the line didn't open many holes. At times Johnson looked like a confident back but he still only averaged about three yards per rush. That's not enough for a man making nearly $5 million this year. The best of Johnson might be in the past. It's time for Jamaal Charles, even though he fumbled the opening kickoff, to get more carries. He's also better suited to catch passes in this offense.

3. LB Tamba Hali - His forced fumble against Eli Manning was reminiscent of Derrick Thomas. It was perfect form and execution and Hali is really growing into his role as KC's best pass rusher. It's too bad he has nothing on the opposite side of the defensive line drawing attention. Hali, our cover boy for this month's issue of Warpaint Illustrated The Magazine, has done nothing to indicate that we've jinxed him.

4. CB Brandon Carr - I've been tough on the second-year cornerback, but he had a solid game today. To be fair, with Eli Manning throwing for 292 yards and three scores, the entire secondary wasn't at the top of their game. But they did manage to hold the Giants to 10 second-half points and Carr was far more active in the second half. His strength is playing tight coverage in man-to-man defense. As the season wears on, hopefully the Chiefs roll out more press coverage, which might actually help this defense get better as the season wares on.

5. TE Sean Ryan - Another touchdown isn't going to make anyone forget Tony Gonzalez, but with the addition of Leonard Pope, this tandem is going to have to get it done this season. If Ryan can keep getting open over the middle of the field, he'll make more big plays, like the 43-yard catch in the fourth quarter against the Giants.

Honorable Mention:

LB DeMorrio Williams - With Derrick Johnson absent from Sunday's game, Williams had another solid afternoon. He led the Chiefs with seven tackles and two assists. He was flagged for getting in the face of Giants' running back Ahmad Bradshaw, but I can live with that because it fired up his teammates. He's playing better and better each week and this defense needs him.

S Jarrad Page - He got a raw deal on his hard hit on Giants' receiver Steve Smith over the middle of the field in the second quarter. A bogus penalty extended the drive. He's a hard hitter and that call should have been changed. There was no way it was a penalty. Page separated man from ball like he's supposed to.

S Mike Brown - Though his blown coverage led to the Giants' first touchdown of the day, he had six tackles, three assists and a sack. That's the kind of production the Chiefs thought they'd get out of Brown when they signed him a few months back. He still has game.

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