September 29, 2013

Halftime report: Chiefs 10, Giants 7

The Star’s Terez Paylor offers his first-half observations from Arrowhead, where the Chiefs hold a 10-7 lead.

It’s halftime at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs lead the Giants 10-7.

Here are three quick observations:

1. Quarterback Alex Smith has again been steady, as he powered the Chiefs’ lone touchdown march by making smart, accurate passes and using his legs to escape to trouble on the 11-play, 98-yard drive in the second quarter. Smith finished the half 14 of 23 for 152 yards and also rushed four times for 26 yards, and his lone touchdown came on a 5-yard strike to tight end Sean McGrath, who has shown reliable hands during a half in which he finished with four catches for 44 yards. The touchdown catch was the first of McGrath’s NFL career.

2. The Chiefs’ pass rush remains strong, as Tamba Hali and company harassed Giants quarterback Eli Manning for the better part of the half. However, the Chiefs clearly miss cornerback Brandon Flowers, who is inactive due to a knee injury. The Giants’ lone score came on a 69-yard strike from Manning to receiver Victor Cruz, who beat Dunta Robinson on a straight go route with no help over the top. After the play, the Chiefs turned to backup Marcus Cooper on the outside, while Robinson slid back to his nickel corner role.

3. Punter Dustin Colquitt was shaken up on a punt in the first quarter that was nearly blocked. He left for the locker room and returned to the game, but didn’t seem like his normal self after his injury to his right leg. The Chiefs came perilously close to allowing the second blocked punt of the season, but if Colquitt misses any games due to the injury, it will be even significantly more costly. Expect thepunt coverage unit to attract more scrutiny from here on out.

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