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Week 4 Redskins vs Chiefs Preview: Huge opportunity awaits Washington on national stage

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Week 4 Redskins vs Chiefs Preview: Huge opportunity awaits Washington on national stage

After a dominant win against the Raiders last Sunday night, the Redskins vaulted into the conversation about being a possible playoff team.

If Washington can pull off a third straight win, this time on Monday night in Kansas City, the team would be considered a serious contender. 

Think about it: Oakland came into FedEx Field last week with the top scoring offense in the NFL. The Redskins defense held the Raiders to just 10 points, those gifted thanks to prime field position off turnovers. Kirk Cousins and the Burgundy and Gold offense piled up more than 400 yards and looked effective through the air or on the ground. 

The wild part?

The Redskins accomplished the beatdown on Oakland while missing three starters to injuries. Running back Rob Kelley missed the game with a rib injury, which is a blow to the team but not insurmountable. Starting inside linebacker Mason Foster sat out with a shoulder injury. In Week 2, Foster sealed the win in Los Angeles with a late interception. And don't forget star tight end Jordan Reed didn't play against the Raiders either. Historically, the Redskins play much better with Reed on the field, and Cousins performs his best.

That the QB still rolled up 365 passing yards with three touchdowns, without Reed, is quite impressive

Knowing that three important players missed the game, it's entirely possible the Redskins can actually play better in Kansas City than they did in Week 3.

Think about that. 

RELATED: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVP AWARDS

REDSKINS VS. CHIEFS STORYLINES

  1. Strength vs Strength — Undefeated through three games, the Chiefs come into Monday night's contest with the top rushing attack in the league. Behind rookie RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City is piling up more than 162 yards per game on the ground. The Redskins, however, have been stout against the run. They rank second in the NFL at rush yards allowed, giving up just 62 per game. Rookie DL Jonathan Allen has been a huge part of the Washington run defense, and the team will need a lot from him and speedy linebacker Zach Brown. If Foster can return would be another boost for the 'Skins defense, as he is a sure tackler. 
     
  2. Speed kills — Beyond Hunt, the Chiefs possess a ton of game breaking speed. Wideout Tyreek Hill has been clocked at more than 21 miles-per-hour on the field, via NFL Next Gen Stats, and is dangerous witht he ball both off jet sweeps as a rusher or catching passes downfield from QB Alex Smith. Kansas City is a home run hitting team, and big plays hurt the Redskins both in a season opening loss to the Eagles and their first win over the Rams. Washington head coach Jay Gruden knows his team must keep the KC offense in front of them, "We have got to make sure we are keeping our leverages and not giving up the big play. These guys have scored a touchdown of 50-plus yards in nine games in a row. They are a big play team and if we can limit the big plays and try to make them methodically move the ball down the field, I think we can have some success."
     
  3. Familiar face — Andy Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 seasons, and over that time, found a lot of success against the Redskins. Reid holds an 18-11 career record against Washington, and of course, was the Eagles coach in 2010 for the infamous "Monday Night Massacre" where Philly rolled to a 59-28 win at FedEx Field. Much time has passed since that game. When Reid last saw the Redskins in 2013, it was another thumping. This time as coach of the Chiefs, Kansas City embarassed the Redskins 45-10, again at FedEx Field, a the ugly end to the Mike Shanahan era in D.C. collapsed down the stretch of the season. 


RELATED: WEEK 3 NFL POWER RANKINGS

REDSKINS VS. CHIEFS NEWS & NOTES

  • The Redskins rank top in the league in yard differential, as the Washington offense is gaining more than 100 yards per game than the defense is giving up. 
     
  • With a touchdown on Monday, Chris Thompson would be the first Redskins RB with a TD in four straight games since Alfred Morris in 2017. 
     
  • Monday night will mark the 100th straight start for left tackle Trent Williams. 
     
  • The Redskins have not won on Monday night since 2014, when Colt McCoy guided the team to win in Dallas. They've lost three straight Monday night contests by a combined score of 83-47.


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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 14, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 10
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 133

State of the Redskins

Top storylines

Jobs on the line? It’s been the conventional wisdom that the jobs of Jay Gruden and his staff are safe, barring a complete collapse at the end of the year. Well, after two ugly losses we are 40 percent of the way to a complete collapse. The Redskins don’t even have to look good down the stretch, they just need to win two of the final three and be competitive in the other. Gruden might be able to survive a couple more games like the Cowboys and Chargers debacles but if that happens I wouldn’t want to be him on January 1, the day after the season ends.

Shutdowns started—Jordan Reed going on injured reserve could be the first of a few moves to end the seasons of players who won’t be healthy in time to play in more than one or two games. It lets the player dive into rehab and it lets the team sign and get a look at a player who can stay on the roster through the offseason and compete for a roster spot in 2018. There could be more coming up until Week 17.

Playing out the string—Last week, when the Redskins were technically alive for the playoffs they apparently couldn’t muster enough motivation to prepare properly. It will be interesting to see how they react this week with their playoff odds reduced to zero.

Last three games

Sunday vs. Cardinals (6-7)—The Cardinals have fallen even further than the Redskins. Two years ago, they were on their way to a first-round bye and an appearance in the NFC title game. This season they are 6-7 after suffering from a raft of injuries, including losing their starting QB and All-Pro running back David Johnson. Can two teams with nothing to play for put on an entertaining show?

Christmas Eve vs. Broncos (4-9)—And in comes another team that has fallen even further and harder. The Broncos were lifting the Super Bowl Trophy two years ago. Now, the defense that spearheaded that run is still solid but without a reliable quarterback, they are having issues. At this point, your guess at if it will be Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, or Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback is as good as mine.

New Year’s Eve @ Giants (2-11)—Will this game be bye-bye to Eli? Changes are coming to New York and Manning, sometimes a Redskins nemesis and sometimes a player who gift-wrapped wins for Washington, could be on the way out. The Redskins could be playing to avoid the kind of upheaval that has already begun in the Big Apple.

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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Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source

Redskins outside linebacker Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency to find a team that will give him plenty of snaps, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Galette's contract will expire once the 2017 regular season ends, and while the 29-year-old pass rush specialist appreciates the Redskins organization and fans, he wants to play. 

After suffering season-ending Achilles injuries in 2015 and 2016, Galette has stayed healthy throughout the 2017 season. 

Still, he hasn't been on the field much.

Ryan Kerrigan leads the Redskins with 358 snaps in pass rush situations, and Preston Smith ranks second with 297, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Galette has played only 197 snaps this season in pass rush situations. 

For comparison, rookie Jonathan Allen logged 112 snaps in pass rush situations. Allen played in just five games before heading to the injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury. Galette has played in all 13 Redskins games this year, and hasn't appeared on the injury report once. 

Compounding the issue, Galette has been effective when on the field. 

Pro Football Focus rated him the third best defender on the Redskins this season, behind only Kerrigan and cornerback Kendall Fuller. 

As Rich Tandler noted, there will be a market for Galette. All NFL teams need pass rushers, and it appears Galette still has plenty left after his two-year layoff. Remember, in 2013 and 2014 Galette had 22 sacks for the New Orleans Saints.  This season, he has two sacks. 

The Redskins deserve credit for sticking with Galette after two lost seasons, though Galette deserves credit too for working back from not one but two Achilles injuries. 

Washington's coaches and front office speak highly of Galette, and there haven't been off field issues. For whatever reason, the playing time just hasn't been there. 

Looks like that will change next year. 

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