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Instant analysis: The Redskins just ran out of steam and couldn't upset the mighty Chiefs

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Instant analysis: The Redskins just ran out of steam and couldn't upset the mighty Chiefs

Here are my observations from during the Redskins’ very close loss to the Chiefs Monday n ight.

First quarter

— The Redskins started their opening drive going heavy jumbo with Vernon Davis as an inline tight end, Jeremy Sprinkle on the wing, and Niles Paul lined up a a fullback. The gashed the ball up the field for a while until Kirk Cousins went play action and launched a 44-yard TD pass to Terrelle Pryor. The drive quieted the excited Arrowhead Stadium crowd. A KC three and out on their subsequent possession followed by a 33-yard punt to around midfield made the fans a bit more nervous.

— How are these Redskins different from last year’s edition? They found themselves with second and 14 after Rob Kelley was tackled for a loss on the first play of the drive. A seven-yard Thompson run and a 10-yard pass from Cousins to Pryor easily converted the first. Last year, that’s almost a guaranteed punt. They had to settle for a field goal but a drive that last year likely would have been over before it started gets three points.

—The Redskins outgained the Chiefs 120-36 in the first quarter.

Second quarter

—The Chiefs were moving but a third-down Matt Ioannidis sack pushed them out of field goal range. Ponder saying those words in 2016.

—The Chiefs had the ball third and six at the Washington 44. Jonathan Allen lined up as an inside linebacker, creating confusion in the Chiefs protection call. They burned a timeout and on the subsequent snap Allen pressure forced a completion that was well short of the line to gain.

— On third and eight at KC 40, Preston Smith made a dumb mistake. He jumped offside, making it a much easier third and three. Kansas City converted and kept the drive alive. Those are going to happen from time to time but that one was particularly ill timed. The Chiefs ended up scoring on a 17-yard pass from Smith to Kelce on the first play after the two-minute warning.

—The second quarter belonged to the Chiefs. The outgained Washington 164-59 and evened up a time of possession advantage that had been lopsided in the Redskins’ favor.

—Washington lost Rob Kelley in the first quarter with an ankle injury. They ran for 60 yards.

—Cousins completed 9 of 16 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 100.8.

—Kareem Hunt, who came into the game averaging over 130 yards per game, was held to 24 yards on five carries.

—At halftime, the Redskins were perfectly balanced offensively with 16 runs and 16 passes.

Third quarter

— Kareem Hunt has his best gain of the day when Bashaud Breeland committed a horse collar tackle after they had him pinned back for a loss. On the next play Junior Galette hit Smith late, tacking on more yardage to a 20-yard pass from Smith to Kelce. With Josh Norman out of the game, the Redskins could not afford to give Kansas City chunks of yardage like that.

— The Redskins had held on a third and goal at the one, but Smith was offside again. Smith scooted into the end zone on the next play. Killer penalties for the Redskins.

—Just when it looked like the Redskins were ready to fold, Cousins hit a streaking Vernon Davis down the seam. Davis wove down the field for 69 yards down to the six. Two plays later the Redskins regained the lead on a nice catch by Ryan Grant.

— The problem with the Redskins’ quick-strike drive is that it put the defense back on the field again. Washington got a sack on the first play but then Smith and Hunt started to gash the Redskins’ defense. The defense finally got a stop at the seven and a short Butker field goal tied the game up with one second left in the third quarter.

—I have to think that most Redskins fans would have taken tied going into the fourth quarter here without hesitation.

Fourth quarter

— The Redskins moved quickly into Chiefs territory on a 20-yard pass from Cousins to Josh Doctson. But Perine fumbled a toss when he has some running room. The ball went out of bounds for a loss of five and Washington ended up punting.

— Again, after a short Redskins possession, the defense goes back on the field. And the Chiefs start moving the ball. Terrell McClain blunted the momentum with a sack for a loss of 10. But Hunt got most of it back on the next play. A third-down pass bounced off of a helmet and it was up for grabs. The Chiefs grabbed it and booted a field goal to cap a 14-play drive that consumed 8:10.

— The Redskins got the ball with just under five minutes left and got a final drive going. A play action pass to Pryor picked up 15. Then Cousins ran for 10, 15, and eight yards to get to the 22. On third and two, Cousins’ went to Doctson in the end zone and he couldn’t quite come down with the pass (or you could say dropped it). Dustin Hopkins’ 40-yard field goal tied the game with 47 seconds left.

— The Chiefs started from their own 25 against a better rested Redskins defense. But Smith scrambled and found Albert Wilson for 37 yards to the Washington 34. A few plays later, Butker booted it though from 43 yards out to give the Chiefs the win.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

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In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

The Redskins spent modestly in 2018 free agency, and plenty of fans thought the team should have shelled out much bigger bucks. Talking with sources around the Ashburn facility, a prevaling notion became clear that the Washington brass believed they had a strong team in 2017, but they lost their chance to compete because of injuries. 

Well, the secret is out. Doug Williams said as much on Tuesday. 

"Coming out of Richmond last year, I liked this football team. I think we’ve got a tough football team, a smart football team. Some things you can’t control," Williams said Tuesday in a pre-draft media session. "We were very competitive up to a certain point, and when you have the injuries that we have, at a certain point, that competitive edge, you lose it because your best players are not playing."

Williams' words were true, and telling. 

First the true part:

  • In Washington's first five games of 2017, the team went 3-2. The Redskins only lost to eventual the Super Bowl champs Philadelphia and AFC West champs Kansas City. Washington only gave up more than 100 yards rushing once in those first five games, before rookie Jonathan Allen got hurt and the defense began to look much different. After Week 5, the Redskins only held one team under 100 yards rushing and finished the year dead last in rush defense.

Now the telling part:

  • The Redskins signed free agent WR Paul Richardson, and kept free agent LB Zach Brown. Beyond that, the team added inexpensive veterans in OLB Pernell McPhee and CB Orlando Scandrick. No splash moves, and recurring speculation that Washington was not offering top dollar to free agents. Bruce Allen acknowledged as much during NFL League Meetings when he explained that his team identified exactly how much they would offer free agents, their own and otherwise, and wouldn't go beyond that dollar figure. 

That means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is about this weekend's NFL Draft.

That also means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is not about Johnathan Hankins or any other free agent. 

"We’re going to deal with the draft now, and the second wave of free agents, if it’s somebody out there we feel like can help the Redskins,that’s what we’re going to do," Williams said. 

Throughout the offseason, Redskins fans wanted more action from their front office. It didn't happen, and Williams' basically explained why on Tuesday. The brass likes their team, and by default, expects better health and luck in 2018. 

When Williams talks about drafting the best player available, it's not just the typical NFL front office tripe. Right or wrong, the Redskins believe they have a team ready to compete in 2018, and any rookies that come in will only supplement that position.

"At the end of the day, I like this football team we’ve got. Like, last year when I walked out of camp, I thought we had a pretty good football team and I still feel the same way today," Williams said.

"At the end of the day, you get the best football player, and if that best football player is the guy that you want to plug and play, that’s all right. But if that’s the best football player that’s going to help your team overall, I think that’s the route you have to go."

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Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

The Redskins aren’t in the quarterback business, so it’s highly unlikely that they will look to trade up in the first round of the draft on Thursday. But their phones will be open for business to move down. 

Speaking at the team’s pre-draft press conference, Doug Williams didn’t rule out trading up from the team’s first-round spot at 13thoverall but he doesn’t think it’s likely. 

“The chances of trading up might be a little slimmer than trading down,” he said. 

Williams said that the phones in the room will be ringing and that they will listen to any offers. But usually the team that wants to move up initiates the call and because the Redskins are set at one particular position they probably won’t pick up the phone. 

“If we were in the quarterback business, which is what this league is about, if we were in the heavy quarterback business we’d talk about moving up,” he said. “At this time, we can sit back and see what comes up if we stay at 13.”

The Redskins are set at quarterback after they traded their third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller for veteran Alex Smith to replace the departed Kirk Cousins. Williams thinks that the Redskins already got good value from the pick. 

“When I think about Alex Smith, I say we got the best third-round pick in the draft,” he said. “I don't care what nobody says. You can't get a better third-round pick.”

Because they think they got a good player, albeit an older one, with that pick, the Redskins are not necessarily looking to make a deal to move back and recoup that pick on draft day. 

Williams emphasized that in order to move back, you have to have a team that wants to trade up. Often that is easier said than done. 

“They don’t just call you to ask you, they have to get a player that they want,” said Williams. “At that particular time, they’re afraid that somebody else might pick him. They might call you to ask you if you want to move back . . . If we move back, that’s because somebody called us to see if we want to move back.”

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.