Redskins fans, the game against the Kansas City Chiefs was all we expected it to be. It was hard-hitting and physical. The Redskins fought a good fight and displayed that “never quit” attitude we fans have been begging to see. The first half of the game was totally and completely dominated by both our offensive and defensive lines. The Chiefs had a hard time figuring out what exactly the Redskins were doing. For the first time in a long time, the Redskins started the game on fire, completing passes and running well. This was the fast start we’ve wanted for some years now. Early on, the Redskins found a way to ignore and completely remove the noise from the Kansas City crowd. They were focused and determined to be successful at their tasks.
The final score was 29 to 20, but as usual, the score doesn’t tell the whole story. The Redskins jumped out to an early 10 – 0 lead and it looked as if this game would be a lopsided affair. It felt as if the Redskins had arrived and everything was going their way; but football is a 4-quarter sport. All the work you’ve done in the first half means nothing if you can’t hold on and finish the game. The Redskins possessed the ball for only 22:51 and ran the fewest plays at 50 than all season. We simply lost our “mojo” in the second half of the Monday Night Football matchup. Everything that worked in the first half of the game seemed to be unproductive in the second. The Chiefs rushed for a total of 168 yards combined with a total of 261 passing yards. This, too, is the most the Redskins defense has allowed all season. The Chiefs controlled the 4th quarter scoring 12 points to seal their victory. They finished the game with 72 plays run, 29 first downs, going 8-13 on third downs, 5 of which came courtesy of the Redskins defensive line’s lack of mental discipline at the line of scrimmage. I believe this Redskins team is capable of doing much better moving forward, and they will.
Kirk Cousins threw for 220 yards and personally rushed for 40 yards (only running at key moments of the game when he had no other option). The Redskins finished with a total of 111 rushing yards on 26 rushing attempts, combined as a team – also the lowest of this 2017 season. This was a game of lows for the Redskins and they still had a chance to pull off a victory in the end. Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden shoulders a lot of the blame for this loss, from what I watched in his post-game presser. The Redskins completely went away from running the ball, especially in the second half. This is another example of the coaches out-thinking themselves. The problem was that old MIKE TYSON theory. It was as if the Redskins realized that they were playing the #1 team in the NFL and began to play out of control. I understand the crowd noise at Arrowhead Stadium has to be taken into consideration, but this is something that the Redskins were aware of coming into this matchup. Everyone knows the Kansas City Chiefs have a loud fan base. This was something the team addressed in practice. Sloppy and undisciplined best describe the Redskins play in the second half of the game versus the Chiefs.
The Redskins left this game pretty well banged up, losing some very important starters – CB Josh Norman, RB Robert Kelley and backup CB Quinton Dunbar to name a few. Great thing we’re on our bye week, it should give our injured players a chance to heal and return strong, ready for the 12-game stretch to complete the 2017 regular season. Many people will say that there are no moral victories. I beg to differ. I believe a good performance in a loss or a win can be an opportunity to grow. This game was a complete moral victory to me, especially since the Redskins didn’t win. There were lots of good teaching points to be taken from this game. I believe that the Redskins coaching staff will review tape and see many ways both they and the players can perform better. A few examples are: clock management, play selection, watching the ball on the snap, squaring up and wrapping the ball carrier (my favorite) to better their chances of getting him down.
The Redskins grade as a team this week averaged out to be a C-. The offense’s grade was a C- because they left too many points on the field and couldn’t sustain drives at the end. The defense’s grade was also a C-. They weren’t able to get off the field on 3rd downs, they had costly offsides penalties, unsure tackling and too many missed assignments. No need for stress or worry Redskins fans. This year’s Redskins roster is composed of players who want and strive to do better. They won’t allow any pity parties or suffer a crisis in confidence. These guys are willing and able to do the job they were brought here to do. What more can we fans ask for? So let’s all put this week 4 loss behind us, take the bye week to reboot and come back roaring for these last 12 games. PS: Victory is in finding a way to never repeat the same mistakes while learning and preparing for your next opportunity.
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