Chiefs Schedule Series, Part 4: Big Test For The Defense

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) prepares to throws the ball against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Chiefs won 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) prepares to throws the ball against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Chiefs won 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We have entered the dog days of summer, where most of us wait for football to return. Here, we will continue to look at the Chiefs schedule and dissect each game. After a tough loss on the road, Kansas City looks to rebound at home against the Washington Redskins. Even though the Redskins have lost significant contributors, their offense will still provide a challenge. Will the Chiefs be up to it? Let’s discuss.


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Recent Meetings

December 8th, 2013: Chiefs 45, Redskins 10

The most recent meeting between the two was decisive. The Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 lead early, and continued to pour it on. Jamaal Charles was especially dominant, running for 150 yards on 19 carries. The defense piled on six sacks, and forced Robert Griffin III to throw for under 50 percent completion. Let’s not forget about special teams, which contributed a punt return and a kick return. It was total dominance in every facet.

What Has Changed?

For starters, the Chiefs are missing two big contributors from the 2013 team (Charles and Dwayne Bowe). But, more playmakers have arrived since then. Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce provide much more reliability in the passing game. The Chiefs will miss Charles, but they have plenty of depth at running back. The arrival of Kareem Hunt will also help the running game. Kansas City has also continued to reload on defense, and they will be a good unit again this season.

As for the Redskins, Griffin is no longer the starting quarterback. Kirk Cousins has taken over that role. The passing game has also evolved in Washington. Even though Alfred Morris is no longer the running back, help is in place. The Redskins have also added talent on defense. Jonathan Allen will bring help along the line, and the addition of Josh Norman last season helps fortify the secondary. The Redskins were a playoff team two years ago, and they have the pieces to make a push again.

An Offense Depleted?

Much has been made about the Redskins top flight offense. But, major pieces departed during the offseason. Both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson left for new teams. Jackson and Garcon were major parts of the offense last season, and this leaves a hole. Of course, Kirk Cousins is still the quarterback. Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson are there to pick up the slack. The team also signed Terrelle Pryor away from Cleveland, and he will help along the perimeter. Don’t forget about Jordan Reed as well. Even though big pieces left, Cousins has enough around him to continue playing at a high level. This group will provide a challenge for the Chiefs.

How Do The Chiefs Stop The Redskin Offense?

There continues to be a theme with these game previews. The Chiefs must have a good pass rush this season. When many pocket passers are on the schedule, having a consistent pass rush is extremely important. It will be up to Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Dee Ford to wreak havoc off the edge. If Kirk Cousins has all day, it will be a long day for Kansas City. There are too many weapons at his disposal. Players like tight end Jordan Reed will find plenty of open space if Cousins has enough time.

The defense as a whole will also have to control the middle of the field. Putting guys like Marcus Peters, Eric Berry, and rookie Leon McQuay III in the slot will help in that area. The linebacking core is improving, but the slot options on this Redskin team are dangerous. The unit has to play well as a whole to get the win.

Perks Of A Mulit-dimensional Offense

The Chiefs have a better offensive unit than they did four years ago. Jamaal Charles will be missed, but help is on the way. Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West provide the Chiefs with two dual threat options. But, that isn’t all. Rookie Kareem Hunt will get a chance to earn time, and his downhill style could prove important against a weaker front seven. Hunt could wear the defense down. Let’s not forget about the new weapons at Alex Smith’s disposal. The Redskins are weak in the secondary after Josh Norman. Guys like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill could take advantage while Jeremy Maclin lines up against Norman.

The Prediction

If home field advantage isn’t enough, Kansas City boasts enough on both sides of the ball to make this difficult for Washington. Cousins may not last with the pressure that the Chiefs can provide, and the weapons on offense will prove too much for the Redskin defense to handle. Plus, watch out for a return from Tyreek Hill. He is extremely dangerous on special teams.

Chiefs 31, Redskins 23

Current Projected Record: 2-2

— Jake Schyvinck is a Managing Editor for cover32 and covers the Kansas City Chiefs. He can be followed on Twitter here.

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