In this week’s Monday Night matchup the Washington Redskins travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. The Redskins and Kirk Cousins, who had 365 yards and 3 TD last week, are looking to continue their good play after a surprise victory last week against Oakland. The Chiefs and rookie sensation Kareem Hunt, who ran for 172 yards and a TD in Week 3, will try to keep their perfect record intact. With the help of Remarkable! let’s look more in depth at this primetime showdown.
Kareem Hunt has dominated teams this season with his breakout play ability, averaging 8.5 Yards per Carry (401 yards/47 carries) (best of 33 Qualified RBs in NFL; League Avg: 4.0). He has also:
- Rushed for 10 or more yards on 12 of his 47 carries (25.5%) this season (best of 33 Qualified RBs in NFL; League Avg: 9.2%)
- Rushed for 20+ yards on 5 of his 47 carries (10.6%) this season (best of 33 Qualified RBs in NFL; League Avg: 2.5%)
- Gained 53 yards after catch in close and late situations this season (most among RBs in NFL)
Another matchup to look out for is TE Travis Kelce who has 1,269 receiving yards since the start of last season (NFL Rank: 1st among TEs). Washington allowed 1,369 receiving yards to TE last season (NFL Rank: most).
Throwing him the ball will be QB Alex Smith, who has changed his reputation from ‘game manager’ to MVP candidate so far this season with a passer rating of 132.7 in 84 Pass Attempts (2nd best of 33 Qualified QBs in NFL; League Avg: 90.4) compared to a career passer rating of 86.2.
Part of this breakthrough for Smith is his improvement throwing the ball downfield. Smith has averaged 9.2 Yards per Attempt (774 yards/84 attempts) so far this season (5th best of 33 Qualified QBs in NFL; League Avg: 7.2), a dramatic increase from a career average of 6.8 YPA.
While the Kansas City offense seems to be reinvented, their defense has been just as crucial to their success, suffocating opponents while allowing a Completion Pct of only 50.0% (61 completions/122 attempts) this season (best in NFL; League Avg: 64.2%). In addition to that tremendous pass coverage, the Chiefs also pressure the Quarterback extremely well — they have pressured opposing QBs on 18.0% of dropbacks this season (3rd best in NFL; League Avg: 13.7%). The combination of tight pass coverage plus heavy pass rush makes this defense a nightmare for opposing offenses.
Kirk Cousins will have his hands full with the defense and it will be more difficult in the Red Zone. Cousins has completed just 46.46% of passes in the red zone since the start of last season which ranks fifth worst among qualified QBs. The Chiefs allowed a completion rate of just 42.99% when defending in the red zone last season (NFL Rank: best of 32).
Chris Thompson stepped up in Rob Kelley’s absence last week, rushing for 38 yards. The excellent part of his game came through the air on six catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. Thompson has averaged 13.2 All Purpose Yards per Touch (384 APY / 29 Touches) this season (best of 43 Qualified RBs in NFL; League avg: 5.2). Thompson is not likely to replicate Kelley’s production, but he’s a valuable back in passing situations.
The Washington defense will have to slow down playmakers Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt Monday night. The Redskins defense has averaged a turnover percentage of 5.6% (9 / 161) this season (best in NFL; League Avg: 2.1%). Hill and Hunt have each fumbled one time this season. The Washington defense has allowed only 183 Rushing Yards this season (4th fewest in NFL).
Can Washington slow down playmakers Hill and Hunt? Will Cousins figure out the Chiefs defense? Tune in tonight to find out!
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photo credits Icon Sportswire