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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Chiefs

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Chiefs

KANSAS CITY—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 2, 13 days before the Washington Redskins play the 49ers at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 CSN; Redskins vs Chiefs 8:30 ESPN  

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 22
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 28
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 34

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Chiefs  

—The term “statement game” gets overused but I think that it fits tonight. Certainly, there are many who remain skeptical about the Redskins following their rout of the Raiders. And given the team’s inconsistent past, a healthy degree of skepticism is warranted. But should they pull off the upset tonight they would have to be considered as one of the teams to be reckoned with in the NFL.

—Chris Thompson may need to be an equalizer tonight. Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt has touchdown runs of longer than 50 yards in each of his first three games. While the hope is that the Washington defense will be able to contain Hunt, the next best way to handle a long touchdown scored by the other team is to get one of your own. Thompson has a 61-yard touchdown run and a 74-yard gain on a screen pass on his ledger this year. He may be needed to provide a reply.

The Redskins’ injury problems are well known but the Chiefs will have a couple of starters out, one on each side of the ball. Center Mitch Morse and outside linebacker Dee Ford will not play tonight. Left tackle Eric Fisher is questionable as he deals with a back problem. The Kansas City offensive line was shaky in pass protection to begin with as Alex Smith has been sacked 12 times this season. The Redskins will look to exploit their protection issues.

—Related to that, this game may come down to whether or not the Redskins defense can make Smith realize that he is Alex Smith. The career 62 percent passer is completing 77 percent of his passes. He has averaged 10 interceptions per 16 games in his 12-year career and he has yet to throw one in 2017. Smith’s career passer rating is a mediocre 86.2. This year it’s an unreal 132.7. By stopping the run and getting pressure on him, the Redskins defense hopes to bring out more of the 2005-2016 Smith and less of what we’ve seen this year.

—On the #RedskinsTalk podcast this week I predicted a Redskins loss. That was taped on Thursday and I’m beginning to swing the other way. The Washington defense will be the difference. They won’t shut the Chiefs down like they did the Raiders last week but they will control them enough to let the Washington offense get some work done against a questionable KC defense. Get ready to be up late and, in contrast to the usual Monday night scenario, celebrate.

Redskins 28, Chiefs 24

Predictons record: 1-2

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

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Need to Know: Five key moments from Redskins vs. Chargers

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five key moments from Redskins vs. Chargers

CARSON, CA—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, December 11, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden conference call 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 13
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 20
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 136

Five key plays from Redskins vs. Chargers

Here are the five key plays in the Redskins’ loss to the Chargers:

Philip Rivers 20-yard pass to Hunter Henry on third and nine—It was a 3-0 game and the Chargers were backed up at their own nine. But the tight end Henry got separation from safety Deshazor Everett and Rivers’ pass was on the money. Instead of having to punt from deep in their own territory the Chargers were in business. They didn’t face another third down while completing the 10-play drive for a touchdown.

Kirk Cousins pass intercepted by Kyle Emanuel—It was 10-0 after that TD drive and Cousins wanted to get it back in a hurry. He tried to hit Vernon Davis on a deep out pattern but Cousins said that it was a play that was just installed and he wasn’t really comfortable with it. In any case, the ball was long and after a defensive back tipped it, Emanuel picked it off and returned it to the Washington 29. The Chargers scored a field goal to make it 13-0.

Cousins TD pass to Davis—This gave the Redskins momentum in the game for 11 seconds. The drive itself was impressive, highlighted by a fourth and two completion to Niles Paul. On third and 11 at the 23, Cousins bought time by rolling to his right and he found Davis just in the end zone to make the score 13-6.

Rivers TD bomb to Tyrell Williams—The lift the Redskins got from the score was very short-lived. On the first play after the kickoff, Rivers launched a bomb to Williams, who had beaten Josh Norman (although it’s entirely possible that Norman thought he had some deep and/or inside help). Williams hauled in the pass and easily scored to snatch the momentum back from the Redskins.

Cousins’ fourth-down pass for Davis incomplete—Attempting to respond to the Chargers’ quick-strike TD, the Redskins drove into Chargers territory. They faced fourth and four at the LA 37. The call was to go for it and after seeing that a couple of safer options were covered, Cousins arched one to Davis about 20 yards downfield. Davis had a step on his defender but the pass was a shade too long and it was incomplete. The Chargers drove to a field goal to make it 23-6. The competitive phase of the game essentially was over.

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

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Instead of effort and preparation, Redskins get blah, blah, blah

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Instead of effort and preparation, Redskins get blah, blah, blah

CARSON, Ca.  -- Blah. Blah. Blah. 

What's the best way to describe the Redskins effort in a blowout loss in Los Angeles?

Blah, blah, blah. 

At least that's the way Washington safety D.J. Swearinger described the team's practice effort in the sessions leading up to the Chargers game. And if the Redskins practice efforts lacked getting ready for the trip to L.A., it certainly showed on the field.

Unlike the blowout loss 10 days ago in Dallas, the Redskins never even competed against the Chargers. 

In the first quarter alone, the Chargers gained 10 first downs. The Redskins had one. 

RELATED: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS LOSS TO CHARGERS

No part of the Redskins roster performed well. Kirk Cousins had his worst game of the year, passing for just 151 yards. 

The defense gave up more than 250 yards of offense in the first half. Read that again: 250 yards of offense surrendered in the first half!

The game was so out of hand that Los Angeles sat down their starting quarterback Philip Rivers with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Rivers had 319 yards passing and barely played in the fourth quarter!

If the stats seem overwhelmingly bad for the Redskins, it's because they were. After the game Washington head coach Jay Gruden said it felt like he had regressed as a head coach to let his team come out and put forth this kind of effort. 

Couple that with Swearinger's comments. 

After getting toasted in Dallas, most assumed the Redskins would show up in L.A.

They didn't.

What happens next?

It's hard to know. At points this season, the Redskins played with pride and passion.

RELATED: REDSKINS ONLY HAD ELEVEN SECONDS OF MOMENTUM VS. CHARGERS

In their first game without playoff hopes on Sunday, the Redskins played with neither. 

After the contest, Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams said the team had to find a way to again play with pride, especially as three games remain. 

Unless things change, the Redskins won't win another game. That will cause tremendous stress on the players, and the coaching staff. 

The Redskins have sustained an astounding amount of injuries this year. It's a big factor in the undoing of their season, especially as things limp toward the finish. Inexperienced players dot the lineup card all over the field.

Still, effort and preparation can come from experienced or inexperienced players. And it didn't on Sunday in Los Angeles. 

Without it, the final three games will be nothing but more blah, blah, blah.