2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chiefs salivating at thought of Giants' miscues

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-25 15:41

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The hungry Kansas City Chiefs defense must be salivating at the thought of Eli Manning and the turnover-prone New York Giants coming to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

The Chiefs (3-0) lead the league with a plus-9 turnover differential, a big reason why they're undefeated. The Giants, meanwhile, are a league-worst minus-9, a major reason they've yet to win a game.

``I've told the team this: points and turnovers are the two most important things that you have as a football team,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ``You don't want to turn the football over - you have to get used to that stat. If you turn the ball over, you're losing football games.''

Indeed, several studies have shown a strong correlation between turnover differential and wins. Some of them press the bounds of advanced mathematics to the limits. But the results boiled down are simple: Teams that turn the ball over, and fail to force turnovers generally lose.

The Chiefs and Giants are both following that trend.

Alex Smith has yet to throw an interception since arriving in Kansas City in an offseason trade. In fact, he's thrown only 20 picks since the 2010 season, the fewest of any quarterback with at least 1,000 pass attempts. Tom Brady has thrown the second most with 26 interceptions.

Then there are the running backs and wide receivers, which have yet to fumble. Smith is the only player to put the ball on the ground and the Chiefs managed to hop on it.

That means with another perfect afternoon against the Giants, the Chiefs will have gone four straight games without a turnover for the first time since the end of the 1997 season and the start of '98 - two years in which Kansas City went a combined 20-12.

``It's something that's daily here, the importance of ball security. No question,'' Smith said. ``It's something we take a lot of pride in. When you look around, the statistics are overwhelming, your chances to win the ballgame when you win the turnover battle.''

It's not just been that the Chiefs are generating turnovers, either. Often, they're leading to instant points.

Tamba Hali stepped in front of Blaine Gabbert's pass in the season opener in Jacksonville and could have moonwalked into the end zone. Eric Berry gave the Chiefs their second pick-six last Thursday night in Philadelphia when he caught a deflected pass and ran untouched for the score.

The Chiefs have 30 points off takeaways this season, second to Chicago, and a fairly significant number considering they've scored 71 points overall.

``Turnovers are a big part of every game you play,'' Chiefs defensive back Marcus Cooper said. ``It's a way to give the offense more opportunities to get points on the board. It's a big deal.''

No need to tell that to the guys that were in Kansas City last season.

The Chiefs were last in the league with a minus-24 turnover margin. Their revolving door of quarterbacks threw 20 interceptions and they fumbled an astonishing 26 times.

``If your takeaway ratio is high, then normally you're winning,'' Reid said. ``That's why those are two important stat points, takeaways and giveaways.''

Giants coach Tom Coughlin is well aware of it. His team has turned it over a league-high 13 times, and is tied with Pittsburgh for the worst differential in the league.

Some of the turnovers have come late in games, when the winless Giants have been frantically trying to rally. They've lost four fumbles, and Manning has already thrown eight interceptions, which leaves him more than halfway toward the 15 he had last season.

Coughlin said the ``first and foremost principle we believe in is ball security,'' and that has been true for much of his tenure in New York. But it hasn't been the case this season, and he knows that will have to change if the Giants have a chance Sunday.

``We haven't done a very good job of it,'' he acknowledged. ``We know how to teach ball security. When a player is careless or doesn't give himself the opportunity to be successful by following a few simple procedures, then usually at some point in time these things hurt you, and we've been hurt by it a few times this fall.''

Notes: Chiefs LG Jeff Allen (groin strain), FS Kendrick Lewis (sprained ankle), CB Brandon Flowers (knee inflammation), and TEs Travis Kelce (bruised knee) and Anthony Fasano (sprained ankle) did not practice Wednesday.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group