Andy Reid's Kansas City Chiefs became the NFL's first 4-0 team Sunday, throttling an overmatched New York Giants team to the tune of 31-7.
Although Alex Smith tossed his first two interceptions of the season, Reid's club stuck to its formula of a ball-control passing game, a pressuring defense and Jamaal Charles playing keep-away in the fourth quarter.
Keeping pace with Reggie Bush as unlikely tailback MVP candidates behind Peyton Manning, Charles totaled 127 yards on 23 touches. For the third consecutive game, Charles effectively salted the game away with an unstoppable clock-killing, fourth-quarter drive.
While nursing a 17-7 lead to start the final frame, Charles touched the ball nine times for 58 yards and the game-clinching touchdown on a 14-play drive that bled nearly 10 minutes off the clock.
Reid's latest chess piece is the team's leading rusher and receiver through a quarter of the season.
Charles is on pace for 1,156 yards on 280 carries to go with 92 receptions for 852 yards and 16 total touchdowns as the NFL's premier closer.
Here's what else we learned:
- The Giants have scored seven points in their last eight quarters while starting 0-4 for the first time since the 1987 "scab" season. Eli Manning's 77 turnovers since 2010 are the most in the NFL over that span. The offensive line can't block, and Victor Cruz is the only reliable weapon in the passing game. Just like last season, Hakeem Nicks simply isn't winning one-on-one matchups.
- Tom Coughlin continues to cut off his nose to spite his face in the Giants' backfield. David Wilson is running tentatively with no opportunity to get in a groove in a committee attack. The current version of Brandon Jacobs is one of the slowest NFL running backs we've ever seen. The Giants will discover what they have in Wilson at some point this season. In the meantime, the season has slipped away.
- If there's a weak link on the Chiefs' defense, it's Dunta Robinson, who was toasted for a 69-yard Victor Cruz touchdown. Robinson doesn't run as well as he once did.
- If there's a weak link on the Chiefs' offense (beyond Alex Smith's unwillingness to test defenses outside the numbers and down the field), it's No. 1 overall draft pick Eric Fisher at right tackle.