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