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Monday, September 30, 2013
Upon Further Review: Chiefs Week 4

By Adam Teicher

An examination of four hot issues from the Kansas City Chiefs' 31-7 win against the New York Giants:

Sean McGrath
Jacquian Williams seems ready to take on more responsibility in his fourth season.
Using the tight end: Tight end was a bright spot in the passing game as Sean McGrath and Kevin Brock combined for seven catches, 91 yards and touchdown. It’s critical that the Chiefs get help from all of their receivers because they don’t have a superstar for Alex Smith to throw to. The Chiefs were confident heading into training camp that they would get big receiving numbers from their tight ends, but none of their top three players at the position suited up against the Giants. Tony Moeaki is out for the season, and it might be at least one more week before Anthony Fasano (ankle) or Travis Kelce (knee) will be ready to play. The Chiefs grabbed McGrath off waivers from Seattle when the regular season started, and Brock re-signed only two weeks ago after being released by the Chiefs at the end of camp.

A new formula: The Chiefs proved they can win a game without winning the turnover battle. They were even in turnovers against the Giants, with each team committing three. That’s a positive sign as they head to Tennessee for Sunday’s game against the Titans, the only team in the league yet to commit a turnover. The Chiefs had been thriving through their first three games by winning the turnover battle. Heading into the Giants game, they were plus-nine in turnover differential, which was best in the league.

Streak ends: Smith's streak of 160 passes without an interception is over, but he didn’t appear much at fault with either of the two interceptions he threw against the Giants. Dwayne Bowe was running a slant on one interception and then appeared to cut the route short. Smith’s second interception was deflected by Jamaal Charles to a New York defender. Smith’s streak was second only to Denver’s Peyton Manning. Smith’s three touchdown passes were a career high. He is 23-5-1 over the past four seasons as a starter.

Scoring in every phase: The punt return brought back 89 yards by Dexter McCluster was the third touchdown scored this season by either the special teams or the defense. That equals the Chiefs’ total for the past two seasons. Touchdowns from the defense and special teams will continue to be important for the Chiefs, who don’t have a big-play offense. The Chiefs did a nice job sustaining long drives against the Giants, including one for 98 yards and another for 80 yards that resulted in touchdowns. But the big gains, such as a 69-yard touchdown catch by the Giants' Victor Cruz, have largely been the domain of the opponent.