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Redskins vs Chiefs Primer

The Washington Redskins travel to Arrowhead Stadium, which is one of the loudest & most electric NFL venues in the NFL. They’ll face off against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. This will be the second week in a row that the Redskins play on Prime Time, after putting a beating on the Oakland Raiders last game. This matchup poses a very different set of challenges and so does Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid. As many Skins fans know Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2012 and always gave the Redskins offense & defense headaches. Reid always utilized smaller, but quick offensive playmakers and tonight’s game will be no different. The emergence of Chiefs rookie RB Kareem Hunt has added a dimension that Reid hasn’t had in his offense, since he coached the Eagles. Although Hunt is a rookie, he sure plays like a veteran. I had high praise for this kid during my draft analysis and I’m not surprised he’s having early success. If that wasn’t enough the Chiefs boast on of those most dynamic tight ends in football in Travis Kelce. The former Cincinnati Bearcat has the speed, size (6’5 260lbs) and route running skill set to give a defense headaches. Add in do everything WR/RB Tyreek Hill and his team has the speed to take the top off of any NFL defense. The Chiefs are actually in the top 3 in the NFL with offensive plays 50 yards or greater. This KC team does have weaknesses though, starting with the loss of All Pro Eric Berry. Since Berry went down with a season ending injury, Daniel Sorensen has taken over at strong safety and has done a decent job. Sorensen only has 4 years experience and only a few games as a starter, so facing a creative offense could limit his effectiveness. The Chiefs have few weaknesses on defense, but stopping the run is their glaring weakness. The Chiefs currently rank 26th in the league in total defense, so this could be a game that The Hogs 2.0 can shine. The stat can be deceiving though because when opposing offense pass mid field this year, the Chiefs have forced teams to field goals or punts. So they are vulnerable for a few flash plays a game. I’ll go over some individual matchups to look for in tonight’s game as well as what I believe the Skins need to do in order to go into the BYE week at 3-1.

KEY PLAYER MATCHUPS Safety Montae Nicholson vs QB Alex Smith

Although Nicholson is only a rookie, he plays the safety position like a man on a mission. I’ve seen a few reports that Swearinger will play with a strained hamstring injury, so that prompts me to list this as my #1 matchup of the night. I expect to see the defensive Captain play a lot closer to the line tonight because backpedaling in center field isn’t ideal, when dealing with a nagging hamstring strain. So I believe Coach Gray will use Nicholson’s recovery speed and length to man the outfield. DJ will bark his orders and put Nicholson in a position to excel. Alex Smith is most dangerous when he gets out of the pocket and hits his speedy receivers/running backs on check downs. Nicholson used his eyes well last week and will need a repeat performance to bottle up Smith and Co. This will be an opportunity for the Skins safeties to be aggressive, but they must be cautious due to the Chiefs gimmick offense. As I mentioned Alex Smith is dangerous when he gets out in open space or throws on the run. So it will be up to the safeties tonight to get everybody in position and stop the Chiefs trickery. Kirk Cousins vs KC’s Pass Rush

Last week Cousins faced one of the best pass rushers in the league against Raiders DE Mack. This week he faces the best in the NFL OLB Justin Houston. Luckily for the Skins OLB Dee Ford will be inactive, so chipping/double teaming Houston is a must. What Houston offers that separates him from his Pro Bowl peers, is that he can actually drop into coverage. With All Pro Chiefs Safety Eric Berry on IR, Kirk has to take some shots deep tonight. Houston is a player that can hurt an offense in so many ways, so Gruden will need to be creative with his play calling to get the W. Chiefs CB Marcus Peters will also need to be accounted for, but Cousins can avoid his side of the field if absolutely necessary. This isn’t a luxury they can do with Houston. What they should do is run at him early and often, even if it’s only minimal run gains. This will be the best way to exhaust the Chiefs defense, which doesn’t boast a lot of depth at Outside linebacker. Reports are the Redkins will activate all 4 tight ends tonight for the first time this season. So I’m expecting to see them establish a solid run game, in order to set up the playacyton passes to test this Chiefs secondary. Redskins Defense vs Chiefs Speed

The game will be won or lost in the trenches tonight. Defensive Line Coach Jim Tomsula will have his group ready tonight against a weakened Chiefs line. Starting LT Eric Fisher is reported to be a game time secession with a back injury tonight. Preston Smith has been on fire this year avaeragkng a 1 sack a game this far. Add in Kerrigan, Galette and Anderson and the Redskin linebackers should feast tonight if the play their gaps sound. The defensive line isn’t glamours and the are led by rookie DE John Allen, but they are true trench warriors and don’t play for stats. Last week the unheralded Skins D-Line pushed around the highly touted Raiders O-Line. The Redskins are a touchdown underdog to tonight, but if last week was any indication the Skins will have opportunities on defame to cause turnovers and get to the quarterback. The key will be bottling up the Chiefs expolive speed. This is were ILB Zach Brown comes into play. Brown has changed the way this linebacking Corp approaches the game. The Redskins defense is finally built on speed, but the the hustle to the ball is why is what separates them from the rest of the league. So in the end I see Norman & Breeland taking care of Kelce & Hill, with Fuller and the rest of the “No Fly Zone” taking care of Hunt and the other Chiefs pass catchers.




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