=== Chiefs stay undefeated in rout of winless Giants ===
 
 Kansas  City,  MO (Sports Network)  - Alex  Smith threw three touchdown passes
 while  getting plenty  of help  from his  defense and  special teams,  and the
 Kansas  City  Chiefs maintained  their surprising  early-season success with a
 31-7 rout of the wayward New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium.
 
 Smith  shook  off a pair  of interceptions to throw  for 288 yards on 24-of-41
 passing,  while Jamaal Charles accumulated 127 yards from scrimmage and caught
 one  of Smith's touchdown  strikes to help Kansas City (4-0) to its best four-
 game start to a season since 2003.
 
 Dexter  McCluster contributed  a dazzling 89-yard punt return touchdown to the
 win,  while a swarming defense limited the Giants (0-4) to 298 total yards, 11
 first downs and a 1-for-14 success rate on third down.
 
 "On  all three sides of the ball, we're doing a good job of taking care of the
 ball,  scoring  points, taking the ball  away, scoring on special teams," said
 Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who added a touchdown catch late. "Right now
 we're 4-0 and the target is on our back, and we have to keep pushing."
 
 New  York,  now 0-4 for the  first time since the strike-marred 1987 campaign,
 was  dealt  a  second  consecutive  lopsided defeat  after  last  week's  38-0
 manhandling  by Carolina. Victor Cruz provided the Giants' lone bright spot by
 totaling  164 yards on 10 receptions, including a 69-yard touchdown connection
 with Eli Manning.
 
 Manning  finished just  18-of-37  for  217 yards  with  one  touchdown and  an
 interception.
 
 "We  had one  big play to Victor  and a pretty good drive before halftime, but
 besides  that  we were just three-and-out,"  said Manning. "The defense got us
 some  turnovers, and  we weren't able to  do anything with it. We are just not
 playing very well offensively."
 
 Ryan  Succop's  51-yard field  goal just  after the  two-minute warning of the
 first half gave Kansas City a 10-7 edge, and the Chiefs' defense made the lead
 stand up with a dominant display over the final two quarters.
 
 New  York didn't record  a first down following the break until Cruz came down
 with  a  10-yard catch with  under 1  1/2 minutes to  go in the third quarter,
 shortly  after  McCluster extended  the margin  to double  digits with a back-
 breaking return.
 
 The  diminutive  receiver fielded a booming  Steve Weatherford punt at his own
 11-yard  line,  sidestepped the first  couple of  defenders, then found a seam
 down  the middle of  the field and turned on the jets while eluding a few more
 tackle  attempts  to stake Kansas  City to a 17-7  advantage late in the third
 quarter.
 
 "We  needed  that," said Bowe.  "Our punt return team  did a great job holding
 guys  up, and Dex did a great job finding holes. We told him once he hits like
 that nobody can stop him, and he did a great job finding the end zone."
 
 With New York's offense continuing to sputter, the Chiefs salted the game away
 with  a mammoth 14-play, 80-yard drive that consumed more than nine minutes of
 the  fourth-quarter  clock. A 53-yard  field goal by  Succop was taken off the
 board when the Giants were flagged for illegal formation, resulting in a first
 down,  and Kansas City pushed further downfield when Smith hit tight end Kevin
 Brock for a 25-yard gain to the Giants' 20.
 
 The Chiefs eventually got inside the 5-yard line, and Smith found Charles on a
 short  pass from two  yards out to all but put the game out of reach with 5:43
 to go.
 
 A  Manning  fumble on  the ensuing  possession enabled Kansas  City to tack on
 another  late  score, as  Bowe won a  jump ball on  Smith's downfield heave to
 pull down a 34-yard touchdown catch with 3:15 left to play.
 
 "I thought our defense played hard today and I thought for the most part if we
 had some offense to go with it, if only to get them off the field for a while,
 the  finish might have been better," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "Our
 inability to do anything in the second half, there's no excuse for it."
 
 The  Giants' last reasonable scoring opportunity came in the closing stages of
 the  first half, when Manning hit on seven throws in hurry-up mode to set up a
 44-yard  field goal  try for  Josh Brown.  The kick  narrowly went  wide left,
 however, and New York still trailed by three at the break.
 
 After  both teams struggled to move the ball on their initial two possessions,
 the Chiefs got their offense going on their third trip of the day.
 
 Smith  led Kansas  City on an impressive 11-play, 98-yard sequence in which he
 made plays with both his arm and legs. The veteran quarterback scrambled for a
 9-yard gain on 3rd-and-8 to keep the drive alive, then evaded pressure and hit
 Charles up the field for 31 yards to get the Chiefs inside the New York 20. He
 later  capped the series with a 5-yard dart to Sean McGrath in the end zone on
 the third snap of the second quarter.
 
 It  took the  Giants just two plays  and under a minute to pull even, however.
 Cruz  blew  past Dunta  Robinson down  the right side  and hauled in Manning's
 well-thrown deep ball for a 69-yard score that knotted the game at 7-7.
 
 Kansas City had an opportunity to regain the lead when Manning was stripped on
 a  sack  by Tamba Hali and  Robinson recovered at  the New York 35 with around
 five  minutes left  in  the half.  However, Smith  couldn't  handle a  shotgun
 exchange  from  center Rodney Hudson  two plays  later and the Giants' Spencer
 Paysinger  pounced  on the loose  ball for the  Chiefs' first turnover of this
 season.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Giants  defensive  end Jason Pierre-Paul  left with  an apparent injury to his
 right  knee midway  through  the fourth  quarter after  being  blocked low  by
 McGrath  ...  Charles finished with  65 rushing yards  on 18 carries and added
 five  catches for 62  yards ... McGrath set career highs with five catches and
 64  receiving  yards in  addition  to  scoring  his  first NFL  touchdown  ...
 McCluster's  punt-return TD  was  the fourth-longest  in  Chiefs' history  and
 second of his career, having had a 94-yard score against San Diego in the 2010
 opener   ...  Including  a  victory  in  the  2008  NFC  Playoffs  while  with
 Philadelphia,  Chiefs  head coach  Andy Reid has  now won nine  of his last 11
 matchups  with the Giants ... New York had won four straight in the series and
 lost for just the third time in 13 lifetime meetings with Kansas City.
 
 
 09/29 20:03:23 ET

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