Everyone said the Kansas City Chiefs had win this week. Michael Irvin on the NFL Network pregame show called it a “must win.” Pete Prisco said the Chiefs had to win when I interviewed him earlier this week. Every writer here at your favorite Chiefs site, Arrowhead Addict, said the Chiefs had to win this game after dropping their last three.
The Chiefs answered the call.
In what was perhaps the most definitive victory of any team in the NFL this season, the Chiefs came into FedEx field at Landover, Maryland on a mission. That mission was to prove to the world that even though they’ve lost two games against the Denver Broncos and a game against the San Diego Chargers in the last three weeks, that they weren’t in full free fall mode.
If someone looked just at the box score of this game, they would really have to wonder how this happened. Alex Smith, after putting up increasingly better numbers over the past two games, was 14 for 20 with two touchdowns and only 137 yards of passing. He didn’t throw a pick in the game, which was good, considering he has had thrown a couple over the teams three game skid. Looking at Smith’s numbers, it would be easy to wonder how this happened.
I’ll tell you how it happened. The Chiefs executed nearly as perfectly as they could in all three phases of the game.
I don’t want to hear that “this was another bad team the Chiefs beat.” Are the Redskins the team they were a year ago? No. But using the argument that this was a backup quarterback and a bad team is moot. In the NFL, it’s any given Sunday and winning on the road is about the hardest thing to do. Let’s not even talk about the weather.
The Chiefs started hot, driving down the field before stalling and being forced to kick a field goal. After forcing a Redskins punt, Dexter McCluster had his first huge punt return of the day, setting up the Chiefs with a first and 10 on the Redskins’ 13 yard line. It didn’t take long for Jamaal Charles to find the end zone. That quickly put the Chiefs up 10-0 and they never looked back.
The next Redskins possession ended when Chiefs perennial pro-bowler — according to Andrew Kulha’s Twitter account the most under rated defensive player in the NFL — picked off the golden child of Baylor and returned it deep into Redskins’ territory.
— Andrew Kulha (@AKonSports) December 8, 2013
Three short plays later, Alex Smith hit Dwayne Bowe on a short slant route that turned into the “D-Bowe Show” breaking two tackles and finding himself in the end zone for the third consecutive week. And the blow out was on.
The Chiefs scored on their next possession with an Alex Smith touchdown pass to Jamaal Charles after another huge punt return by McCluster. But the diminuitive punt returner earned his money on the next return when, despite the rain, snow and horrible field conditions that exist in FedEx Field, brought a punt 74 yards back to the house to put the Chiefs up 31 points with ten minutes left in the second quarter.
The problem was, the Chiefs have seen this movie before and it didn’t end as well. But today, the Chiefs wrote their own ending.
This game was needed to make a statement. This team could not be content to sit back and let things happen. They had to come out swinging and make plays. And they did, in every aspect of the game.
Pundits have questioned the offensive production all season.
The Chiefs offense scored 28 points.
The national media has questioned Sutton’s ability to get after the quarterback since the Chiefs pass rush has disappeared after Week 8.
The Chiefs defense sacked the Redskins quarterbacks (RG III and Kirk Cousins) a total of six times.
Finally, there has been talk that even with the Chiefs having special teams coordinator Dave Toub, they haven’t been performing to their standards.
The Chiefs special teams had a kick off and punt return for a touchdowns.
This was a three phase victory, on the road in the most inclement weather possible.
If there was ever a game the Chiefs needed to have, it was this one.
The Chiefs post their first ten win season since the 2010 season when they went 10-6 and won the AFC West before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the team will have to wait one more week before they can claim that playoff berth. The help they needed from either the Minnesota Vikings or the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t come through like many thought — or hoped — it would.
Still, the Chiefs showed that they’re not laying down after three straight losses. It’ll be nice to see a jolly Andy Reid asking that question in the locker room during the post game celebration: “How bout them Chiefs!”