Posted on October 2, 2017, by Travis Pulver
The only problem the Washington Redskins had with Week Three’s ‘statement’ win over the Oakland Raiders was the need to follow it up with another win. ‘Statement’ wins are great, but when you declare a game to be one, you kind of have to win the next week as well. Otherwise, the big statement becomes nothing more than a forgotten whimper.
Heading into Monday Night Football’s contest with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Redskins had a chance to make a real statement with a win over the last undefeated team in the NFL. While it didn’t happen, there are still a few comments that can be said about the Redskins.
These guys aren’t half bad.
The offense did its part early one by putting ten points on the board before Chiefs gained a yard let alone a first down. Washington’s defense kept the Kansas City offense in check until late in the second quarter when Alex Smith connected with Travis Kelce with a 17-yard touchdown pass to get the Chiefs on the board.
Kansas City got another chance to put points on the board before the end of the half, but rookie kicker Harrison Butker missed his first career field goal attempt (from 46-yards out).
While the Redskins offense had started hot, it quickly tapered off. After the Washington defense lost Josh Norman to a rib injury, the Kansas City offense began to move the ball more.
“That’s the first time that’s ever happened to where I couldn’t get out there,” said Norman (ESPN). “…. I wanted to go out there, but do I more help the team or hurt the team if I can’t really run and breathe hard?”
In the second half, both teams found ways to get the offense moving. After losing Rob Kelley to an injury in the first half, the Redskins relied more on Kirk Cousins. He answered the Chiefs touchdown on the opening drive of the half with one for the Redskins. He nearly put Washington back on top with a touchdown pass to Josh Doctson in the final minute of the game. But Doctson was not able to complete the catch.
They had to settle for a game-tying field goal that left the Chiefs with only 43 seconds to work with. But for a team like the Chiefs who have been great at closing out games this season—no problem. Smith got the Chiefs down to the Washington 25-yard line with eight seconds to play. Butker did the rest.
With the field goal, the Chiefs took the lead, 23-20. But there was still time enough time for a last-ditch effort (four seconds). But the lateral parade resulted in a fumble. Justin Houston returned it 13-yards for a touchdown to make the final 29-20, Chiefs.
Washington gave Kansas City a good fight, but they also made some costly errors that made it easier for the Chiefs to pull out the win in the end. The Redskins lost key players to injuries, but they also kept a few Chiefs drives alive with penalties on defense.
Extending those drives helped Kareem Hunt get going in the second half. In doing so, he helped the Chiefs dominate the time of possession (37:09 to 22:51). When a team can do that, it certainly makes it easier to close out games.
“It’s a testament to this team the way we won,” said tight end Travis Kelce. “We handled adversity very well.”
“It lets everybody in the league know that we finish. It’s a gut check once you get into the fourth quarter. It’s something we pride ourselves in.”
Washington showed a lot of resolve by sticking with the Chiefs up until the end. They will need to figure out how to grow from it as they approach an important stretch of the season. Next up, they have the San Francisco 49ers. But then they have two important division games versus the Eagles and Cowboys.
Kansas City will have a real challenge on their hands next week. They get to face Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football.