Close – but no cigar. Our regular Redskins writer Christian Burt goes Skin Deep and 3 & out with a narrow loss at the rowdy Arrowhead Stadium to the much fancied Kansas City Chiefs…
Washington nearly scalp the Chiefs perfect record
Oh how I’d love to click my heels three Superbowl ring times and head back to Kansas and to Josh Doctson having another chance to safely secure that perfect Kirk Cousins throw into the Redzone. Alas, despite the tornado start by Washington in the First Quarter (on both sides on the ball), they just couldn’t quite hang tough with the Chiefs in their no place like home noisy Arrowhead stadium.
Essentially Doctson missed all of last season through injury, so this is really a rookie year for the First Round Draft pick of 2016. He certainly is a big end zone target and with more injury free games over the coming seasons, it’s these adverse moments plus the practice field, that can shape a young receiver. So, no black mark for Josh, it could’ve been a great moment but he’ll have more of those to come I’m sure.
Back to Cousins: he had a really good game for the second week in a row. On the sixth play of the very first drive, he hit a heck of a 44 yard TD pass to Terrelle Pryor Sr. – made even more impressive as it beat Elite Cornerback Marcus Peters. This was the exact start that Washington needed, with the defense immediately pressurising Alex Smith & Co. to a three and out and Ryan Kerrigan recording another sack on his 100th appearance in burgundy & gold.
By the end of a dominant first quarter (11 minutes of the clock) the Redskins added to their TD with a field goal and led 10-0.
Drop = Leggy Defence = injuries = mistakes
Key moments are vital on the road aren’t they? And a Pryor Sr “less than clutch” drop on 3rd and short saw Redskins Twitter go into full “we miss Pierre Garcon” mode. No doubt our former #88 would have caught that and it would prove crucial, as that drop meant little respite for a tired second quarter Skins defense.
The inevitable happened as Smith took the Chiefs 70 plus yards and a Travis Kelce TD for 10-7. Kelce is undoubtedly elite – but at times it’s like the fella has read the Book of How to Be a Gronk. I’m putting him in my naughty ledger along with that other Gas Face recipient Odell Beckham Jr.
Prior to the TD, key CB star Josh Norman sustained a rib injury and didn’t return to the field. A huge blow and the backfield took the brunt of being banged up – rookie Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett and Quinton Dunbar also exited the field at various times as did Kendall Fuller, Trent Williams, Zach Brown and probably half a dozen more (or at least it seemed that way).
Robert Kelley exited early too and the running back baton is proving slippery for rookie Samaje Perine right now: lowlighted with an inability to handle a toss pass that landed harmlessly out of bounds but also shortly led to an inevitable punt. Washington has a top guy in Chris Thompson, but #25 isn’t built for down the middle situations and was kept in check by Kansas City.
Ebb and Flow, but Skins go 2-2
Leading up to the Doctson opportunity, scores changed hands including another sweet 69 yard throw from Kirk to the elixir of eternal life drinker Vernon Davis that set up a 3 yard TD for the ever improving Ryan Grant.
With the Washington backfield having less cover than a fresher’s midriff in Cardiff City Centre, Alex Smith took Kansas into FG winning territory. And despite his initial 1st Quarter whiffy attempt, Harrison Butker kept his head to nail the kick with four seconds to go.
Some hot potato football desperation resulted in a bonus TD to Justin Houston. Game over and 5am UK time – sadness!
A Game Ball for…
Cousins wasn’t sacked once, with the Redskins OL looking much improved from Weeks 1&2.Brandon Scherff was immense and #75 gets the Game Ball.
End of the First Quarter of 2017
And so how are the Redskins shaping up after the first four? 2-2 is maybe about fair and we’ve yet to see the likes of receiving threats Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder explode this season. Cutting out basic mistakes – Preston Smith and Bashaud Breeland were particularly bad for penalties vs. Kansas – is a must.
Week 5 is a much needed bye week for the many walking wounded, before a very winnable FedEx match up vs San Francisco.