Kansas City Chiefs vs Washington Redskins: 5 players to watch

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: Tight end Travis Kelce
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: Tight end Travis Kelce /
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CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Justin Houston
CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Justin Houston /

Justin Houston

Sigh… I really would have liked to give you some more under the radar guys on this list, but much like Kareem Hunt on offense, Justin Houston is the clear-cut player to watch when the Chiefs are on defense. While Houston is always a player to watch for the Chiefs, much like Travis Kelce, there are special circumstances that make Houston all the more important in this specific game.

Dee Ford has already been ruled out for tonight. That means that there likely won’t be consistent pressure coming off the edge opposite of Houston. While Bob Sutton may decide to dial up some pressure with a few blitzes, the Chiefs often like to just rush three or four guys and drop the rest into coverage. If they are going to have success with that plan in this game they are going to need Houston to have one of his dominant games and make Cousins uncomfortable in the pocket.

To make matters worse, Houston will not be able to solely focus on rushing the passer. The Redskins have actually been one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL through three games. They have three different backs with over 100 yards rushing already in Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, and Rob Kelley. That means that Houston will have to continue to set his edge to make sure the Redskins don’t run the ball at him. Houston has been fantastic at it so far this season, but will Ford’s injury have him overly worried about providing pressure? We will have to see.

No other player on defense can impact this game more than Justin Houston, and the Chiefs need another impressive performance from their biggest star on that side of the ball.

Finally, the Washington player that scares me the most.