Redskins vs. Chiefs: What we learned about Kansas City in Week 4

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Alex Smith /

As the Kansas City Chiefs move to 4-0 after defeating the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, we learned a lot about what this team can do.

After a long fought game against a good Washington Redskins team, the Kansas City Chiefs captured the victory to advance to 4-0 as the only undefeated team in the NFL. Even with the constant injuries that continue to pile up, the Chiefs are still able to find ways to win games.

The Chiefs offensive line took another blow to injury on the first offensive drive when right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif went down with a knee injury. Even with all three starting interior linemen out—with center Mitch Morse still not back from a foot sprain and left guard Parker Ehinger still out from last season’s torn ACL—the offensive line was able to do enough against a strong Redskins pass rush.

Rotating offensive weapons

While Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was under pressure multiple times throughout the game, you still can’t blow off that you have three backups on your offensive line and are doing as well as they are. Smith did an exceptional job escaping some of that pressure from the Redskins and picking up first downs on the ground.

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This was one of my problems especially last week was that Smith was stepping into the pressure instead of escaping it against the Los Angeles Chargers last week, but like we saw in the week two game against the Philidelphia Eagles, he surprised everyone making great runs to keep the offense moving. Smith is one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the league when he commits to it, and we saw that on Monday night after he finished with 7 carries for 56 yards.

We also saw the Chiefs get back to the more aggressive and creative play calling from head coach Andy Reid. We saw the Chiefs step back to 2016 conservative play calling last week against the Chargers, but found our way back to a better offense in week four. We saw more plays happen in those intermediate and deep zones.

Smith ended the night with 27 for 37 completions for 293 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce was a big part of the playcalling against the Redskins with 7 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Keep in mind that he had one catch for one yard last week against the Chargers.

Rookie running back Kareem Hunt showed that even against the number two rushing defense he can still have great success with 21 carries for 101 yards and had 4 catches for 20 yards. Hunt continued to be extremely hard to bring down and make something out of nothing. When most backs would get one or two yards, Hunt will fight and get seven or eight.

All in all, we saw that the offense can continue to rotate which weapons they are going to use to win each week. Tonight that was Hunt and Kelce as both had over 100 yards to end the night. We saw that even with the pressure that Alex Smith CAN do well and make plays.

This was the type of offense that the Chiefs are going to have to continue to play if they want to make a big run in the playoffs.

Tremendous depth

We saw the depth of the team tonight step up for a win in a primetime game against a tough Redskins team. I mentioned the offensive line depth stepping up, but the defense still has multiple injuries where backups have stepped up and played well. Linebacker Frank Zombo, stepping in for Dee Ford, led the team with five tackles and a hit on the quarterback.

Cornerback Terrance Mitchell who is filling in for injured cornerback Steven Nelson continues to get better each week as he ended the night with four tackles and two pass deflections. Even with quarterbacks constantly trying to throw his way while opposite All-Star cornerback Marcus Peters, he continues to get back to his 2016 play closer and closer as the weeks go by.

We knew that even with the injuries on the defense that they could still come up with big plays and keep the team in the game. The offense showed that they can take on tough opponents even with the injuries on the offensive line if they are given good play calls from coach Andy Reid. The biggest thing we learned is that this offense is much more explosive when Smith can escape from pressure and use his legs to pick up first downs.

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That is one of the biggest keys to this Chiefs offense and having success. When Smith is willing to be more mobile and escape the pressure instead of taking a sack every time, it really opens up the rest of this offense. It might be even what kept the Chiefs in this game.

If the Chiefs continue to play as well as they did on Monday night, I have no doubt in my mind they can be a number one or two seed for the playoffs. The defense has shown that even though they are not consistently rushing the passer, they can contain offenses with good weapons. If the Chiefs continue to get their playmakers the ball, it’s going to be a fun season to watch and a high winning percentage as well.