Wow. That’s pretty much all I can say to sum up the slate of games we were treated to in the NFL over the fourth week. Whether it was the San Diego Chargers losing another close one… to the Oakland Raiders quarterback going out of the game with a significant back injury, with the silver and black subsequently dropping a game for the second week in a row, this time to the Denver Broncos… it was a crazy weekend across the NFL.
Here is what that really means for the Kansas City Chiefs:
First and foremost, they absolutely cannot take their foot off the gas pedal. The Chiefs own this division right now, and thanks to the Buffalo Bills — who are surprisingly good despite a slew of moves in the offseason that suggested they might be rebuilding — K.C. is the only undefeated team left in the NFL. So, the Chiefs can’t afford a misstep tonight against the Washington Redskins.
In order for the Chiefs to keep that offense rolling, the best quarterback in the league has to keep playing the lights out football that he has though the first three weeks. By the way, that is not homer hyperbole, Smith has the best QBR in the NFL of all starting quarterbacks. Smith’s seven touchdowns to zero interceptions ratio is impressive, but perhaps more impressive is the fact that he leads in the league in yards per attempt with 9.2. Yes, you read that right. The guy many had written off as a noodle-arm, check down Charlie, game manager leads the league in yards per attempt.
Another offensive must for the Chiefs tonight under the bright lights of the ESPN moniker is Kareem Hunt continuing his dominance. As well as having the best quarterback in the NFL, the Chiefs also boast the best running back, and the league’s leading rusher in Hunt. Even though Hunt only has three professional games under his belt, he is one of the most talked about players in the NFL. This is probably due to his 401 running yards in those three games. Don’t look now, but that is good for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt. The next best running back in the NFL is the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley who, despite having played one more game than Hunt, is still behind the Chiefs’ back by 50 yards. And his yards per attempt is half of what Hunt’s is. It is quite amazing what the young running back, who fumbled his first professional carry, has been able to do.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs must make Kirk Cousins uncomfortable. This became more difficult this week with the word that pass-rusher Dee Ford will not be available for this game due to a back injury sustained last week during the game against the Chargers. The backup roles will be handled by journeyman Frank Zombo who has proved effective in certain roles, but has never been a starting-caliber linebacker. The Chiefs also have Tanoh Kpassagnon, the rookie from Villanova who has the raw ability and physical characteristics to be a quarterback destroyer in this league. It would probably be too much to hope that he has a breakout game against the Redskins, and makes Cousins regret every setting down at Kansas City International Airport.
On the special teams side of things, the Chiefs have a new kicker, if you haven’t heard. After Cairo Santos was injured last week in a play which resulted in a rouging the kicker call, the Chiefs placed diminutive special-teamer on injured reserve before parting ways with him permanently last week. Many fans across the Chiefs’ Kingdom were shocked at this move, but it shouldn’t have been all that surprising. This was Santos’ final year on his deal. When the Chiefs put him on I.R. it effectively ended his season, and if they believe that Harrison Butker (@buttkicker87), the rookie, seventh-round pick from the Carolina Panthers who was stashed on their practice squad, can be as good or better than Santos, they made the right move. But, that is the question that everyone is asking. Researching Butker’s time at Georgia Tech, he seemed to be very accurate at longer ranges and close-in, but struggled in mid-range kicks. If the Chiefs want to continue their dominance, they must have a consistent kicking game.
While I think it is too early in the season for a “trap game,” I think tonight could be a challenge for the Chiefs. The Redskins played very well against the Raiders, handing them their first loss of the season. To look past them would be a huge mistake. But, let’s be honest here. It’s Primetime football at Arrowhead stadium. It’s been quite sometime since the Chiefs have lost at home, under the lights of Primetime in the regular season.
What do you think are the key points for tonight’s game? Sound off in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and as always, Go Chiefs!!!
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