After a Week 3 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers that can only be described as tough, the Kansas City Chiefs are heading back home to take on the Washington Redskins at Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs fans will be glad to know that the Redskins do not have a terrifying pass rush. Most of Kansas City’s problems in the last two weeks stemmed from pressure getting to quarterback Alex Smith. A lesser pass rush doesn’t necessarily make Washington an easy out. If head coach Andy Reid focuses on the Redskin’s pressure points, however, it should be a comfortable victory for the Chiefs.
The Redskins are suffering from the loss of speedster DeSean Jackson from their wide-out corps. Their top trio of wide receivers are Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and Terrelle Pryor, Sr. In effect, however, their best pass-catcher is tight end Jordan Reed. Crowder, Doctson, and Pryor all have talent but they all also have to refine their skillsets as NFL wide receivers. The Chiefs should challenge the Redskins to throw to their wide-outs by playing man coverage and rushing aggressively. This also means that if Kansas City gets a lead it will be difficult for the Redskins to come back.
Washington’s defensive line has some rookie potential (DE Jonathan Allen) and some veteran experience (Ziggy Hood), but no real dominant presence. This is somewhat deliberate, since the 3-4 front that the Redskins run prioritize playmaking by linebackers instead of linemen. However, with nobody in the unit that will really disrupt the Chiefs, the Redskins’ defensive line is a pressure point.
As I said above, Washington’s defensive scheme is predicated on defensive linemen taking blocks and linebackers making plays. This doesn’t work, though, if the linebackers aren’t making plays. Strong-side outside linebacker Preston Smith has three sacks on the season. Inside linebacker Mason Foster has an interception, and veteran Ryan Kerrigan has 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception of his own. That being said, one sack apiece by Kerrigan and Smith won’t ruin the Chiefs’ game. Also, don’t expect Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to throw an interception unless pressured.
Washington has the 5th-best run defense in the league, allowing only 187 yards through their first three games. However, Kansas City has the league’s leading rushing offense. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt and second-year speedster Tyreek Hill are scary for any defense. If Andy Reid leans on them, the Chiefs should grind out even the Redskins.
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins isn’t a bad football player by any means. However, he is wildly inconsistent. Playing the Chargers in Week 2, he put up only 179 yards passing as compared to 365 against the Oakland Raiders last week. If the Chiefs bring just a little pass rush on Monday night, Cousins should be a manageable threat.