5 things to know after Chiefs rout Redskins 45-10
Mike Shanahan helped put an end to Andy Reid’s tenure with the
Philadelphia Eagles a year ago, when the Washington Redskins beat
their NFC East rivals twice in the second half of the season.
Now Reid appears to have done the deed in reverse. His new team,
the Kansas City Chiefs, embarrassed the Redskins 45-10 Sunday, a
manhandling so thorough that it’s hard to see how the already
embattled Shanahan can overcome it.
”I’m a big Shanahan fan,” Reid said. ”He’s got a great
coaching staff, and they got good football players here. I’ll be
the first one to tell you there’s a small margin of winning and
losing in this thing. Sometimes, things just don’t go right for
While some of those points may be debatable, the ”small margin
of winning and losing” was not evident on a snowy field Sunday
afternoon. The Redskins’ problems make the Chiefs’ recent woes
appear trivial. As it is, Kansas City (10-3) is all but assured of
a playoff berth after snapping a three-game losing streak, while
Washington (3-10) has double-digit losses for the third time in
Shanahan’s four seasons in Washington.
Shanahan appears the odd man out in the triangle of coach, owner
and franchise player. Owner Dan Snyder and quarterback Robert
Griffin III aren’t going anywhere, and Shanahan didn’t even bother
to deny an ESPN report that he had been thinking of quitting after
the 2012 season.
”It’s not the right time or place to talk about my relationship
with Dan Snyder, or it’s not the right time and place to talk about
something that happened a year ago,” Shanahan said. ”I’ll get a
chance to talk to Dan at the end of the season, and I’ll give some
viewpoints from me, and I’m sure he’ll give me his thoughts and
what direction we’ll go.”
How did the Chiefs beat the Redskins? The correct answer: ”in
every way possible.” These five just about cover it:
OFFENSE: Jamaal Charles (151 yards, 19 carries) could run where
he wanted because the Redskins couldn’t tackle. Alex Smith
completed 14 of 20 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. The
Chiefs scored on their first four possessions. They were supposed
to be vulnerable without left tackle Branden Albert; instead, they
put up their highest point total of the season.
”I think the snow played a big part in this game,” Charles
said, ”because a lot of guys were slipping and sliding – even me –
so that opened a lot of opportunities for me to get up the field
and find the right hole.”
DEFENSE: The only problem with Charles’ theory is that it didn’t
work for the Redskins. Slipping and sliding players didn’t open
holes for Alfred Morris (31 yards, 12 carries) nor help Griffin (12
for 26, 164 yards, one touchdown, one interception) find open
receivers. The Chiefs have had trouble getting to the quarterback
in recent weeks, but they sacked Griffin five times and backup Kirk
”We can’t keep going out there, not get it right, and come up
here and say, `Hey, we need to get it right,”’ Griffin said. ”I
know it gets old, but at the end of the day, something has to
change and we need to get it right.”
SPECIAL TEAMS: Oh, my. The Chiefs returned both a punt and a
kickoff for touchdowns in the same game for the first time in 11
years. Dexter McCluster took a punt 74 yards for a score and set up
another TD with a 57-yard return. Quintin Demps’ 95-yard kickoff
return resembled a winter stroll, part of a stunning tally of 321
return yards by Kansas City in the first half alone.
Shanahan said the Redskins’ special teams were ”horrendous,”
but it was hardly a surprise. Kansas City entered the game No. 1 in
the NFL in field position, while Washington ranked last.
COACHING: Reid’s ability to turn around the Chiefs so quickly
speaks for itself. Shanahan’s inability to keep his players
motivated speaks just as clearly. Last year wasn’t Reid’s year.
This year isn’t Shanahan’s.
”I didn’t have the players ready to play,” Shanahan said.
PASSION: Of course, players shouldn’t have to rely solely on
coaches for motivation. The Chiefs have playoffs on their minds,
and it showed. The Redskins have nothing to play for, and it
”None of us played good today,” Griffin said. ”I didn’t play
well. We all have to play better. I have to play better.”
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