Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid doesn’t want to hear about records.
Reid, whose teams are 16-2 in games following a week off, is dialed in to making sure his team, which prior to the bye lost three out of four games, has cleaned up the little things that were part of that mini skid by the time it takes the MetLife Stadium field Sunday for its meeting with the New York Giants (1-8).
“Listen, I tell the guys that every week: You got to focus on getting better as a team,” Reid said when asked what his message has been to his players this week. “We got a lot of room to improve. We’re not good enough right now, so we got to keep working, so that’s where it always starts. That’s the one great thing about football — you always have something you can get better at.”
In their last four games, the Chiefs have struggled to convert on third down, going 17 of 49, have seen their net yards on offense dip below 300 in two of those games and have allowed an average of 420.7 yards.
While Reid wouldn’t shed too much clarity into how he and his staff were addressing the little things that have marred the Chiefs’ won-lost record, he did emphasize that the Giants, who are having their worst season in decades and have yet to win at home this year, won’t be the pushover the oddsmakers might think.
“Record never matters; you just go play,” said Reid, who is 16-13 against the Giants dating to his days as Philadelphia Eagles coach. “They have good talent and good coaching on that team.”
The Giants have the league’s 31st-ranked defense, a unit that has allowed opponents an average of 400.3 yards per game and has also yielded an average of 26.4 points.
“They play hard and I have a lot of respect for their defensive coordinator (Steve Spagnuolo),” Reid said. “I think he does a great job and they’ve got good players. We’re going to prepare ourselves to play a good football team and it’s important we get into the flow of things.”
The Giants, meanwhile are trying to get into a flow themselves after two embarrassing and deflating games in which they were outscored 82-38 by the Rams at home and the 49ers last week.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m determined to find a way to get it fixed,” coach Ben McAdoo said this week.
“No one expected our record to be what it is at this point and us to be playing the type of football that we’re playing at this point. But we are, and we are what our record says we are, and the film reflects it. We need to find a way to improve.”
To initiate that improvement, the second-year coach showed the team a select number of plays from last week’s loss to the 49ers that McAdoo and the coaching staff viewed as either poor effort or a lack of finishing.
“We were brutally honest with each other,” McAdoo said of that film review. “We’ll see how the players respond, but we also talked about the great opportunity in front of us.”
Many of the players said the message came through loud and clear.
“We needed to get snapped at a little bit; we do need to get fired up a little bit,” offensive lineman D.J. Fluker said. “If you get guys fired up, pissed off about the things they did, it will make them want to play better.”
Cornerback Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie said the meeting was long overdue.
“I think it would put guys in a different attention span, put us on alert,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “Ain’t nobody want to have a play up there where you got to come back in the locker room and everybody is looking at you like you’re that guy.”
While McAdoo, who once claimed to have his finger on the pulse of the team, waits to see how well his message was received, he hopes his players realize what’s in front of them.
“Seven more weeks — I think it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “A lot of doubt out there, so, we have a chance to flip the script these last seven weeks.”