Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Washington Redskins
- QuarterbackThe Chiefs have been consistent all year long and they are not about to let an opportunity against an underachieving team that lacks speed and strength slow them down. Alex Smith may not be an All-Pro quarterback, but he is smart and talented. He throws accurate passes and he will take what the defense gives him without turning the ball over.The 2013 season is nothing like the 2012 season for Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. While he has never appeared to be at full strength or full speed this year, RGIII must bear some of the blame himself. He has made poor decisions with the ball, and he doesn’t always stand up for his teammates. That’s not a good combination.
- OffenseThe Chiefs have a unique threat in running back Jamaal Charles because he is a speed back who knows how to finish his runs. The Chiefs need Charles to get the job done on the ground and also serve as a target for Smith in the short-passing game. Dwayne Bowe is not a dependable receiver, but he appears to be turning it on down the stretch. Donnie Avery will catch the ball on third downs.The Redskins know that running back Alfred Morris will take some of the heat off of RGIII because he will lower his shoulder and pound the defense. He will try to take it right to the Chiefs, who have been vulnerable on the ground. Despite all the problems the Redskins have had, wideout Pierre Garcon has had a solid year and he has dependable hands. Jordan Reed is an emerging tight end.
- DefenseThe Chiefs make a lot of big plays on defense, but they are not as strong as they were earlier in the year because elite pass rusher Justin Houston (elbow) may not be able to play. He could not suit up against the Broncos in Week 13. Tamba Hali (ankle) is also a stellar pass rusher, but he was not at full speed vs. Denver. Linebacker Derrick Johnson is the team’s best tackler and he can also pressure the quarterback.The Redskins have had problems on defense since the start of the season and they have not shown any signs of turning things around. The Redskins often have problems keeping up with faster skill-position players, and this is going to have to be addressed in the offseason. Outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are good athletes who can pressure the passer, but the Redskins need more athletes.
- Special TeamsThe Chiefs can be explosive with their special-teams play. Dexter McCluster and Knile Davis have returned punt and kickoff returns, respectively for touchdowns. The Chiefs also do a fine job with their own kick coverage. Ryan Succop is a dependable field goal kicker.If the Redskins have any hope of beating the Chiefs, they would have to play their best game of the year. However, their vulnerability on special teams plays directly into the Chiefs' hands. Kai Forbath is just an ordinary placekicker and is not likely to hit an important kick with the game on the line.
The Redskins just have too many problem areas to compete with a hard-nosed, well-coached team like the Chiefs. As long as the Chiefs don’t commit uncharacteristic turnovers, they should be able to come up with a road win. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor