From FedEx Field
The Washington Redskins are not exactly a football juggernaut when it comes to offense.
In fact, they are just terrible as they showed again on Sunday against the Chiefs. But one of the reasons they looked so bad was the Kansas City defense.
Mixing and matching his nickel defensive schemes, coordinator Clancy Pendergast had three quarterbacks scratching their heads and trying to figure out what was coming next. That would be Washington head coach Jim Zorn, a former NFL quarterback who calls the plays for the Redskins. Zorn’s starter Jason Campbell and his backup Todd Collins who entered the game in the second half.
None of them were able to solve the Chiefs defense. Oh, there were plays here and there that the Redskins hit with, big plays in fact. RB Clinton Portis went 78 yards on a third quarter running play. Collins hooked up with WR Santana Moss on a 42-yard pass play.
The Redskins had 265 yards in total offense, with 120 of those yards coming on two plays. That left 51 plays for 145 yards or 2.8 yards per play.
“We had a good plan for them,” said DE Glenn Dorsey, who played another good game up front. Press box stats had Dorsey taking part in seven total tackles on the afternoon. “They gashed us a couple times, but overall we were able to get off the field.”
That’s one of the things the Chiefs defense did best β kept the Redskins offense on the sidelines. The Chiefs ended up with a time of possession advantage of more than 15 minutes Washington had 13 possessions and seven of those were three plays and out.
The home team offense strung together just one drive all day β an 11-play march at the end of the first half, when the Skins ran out of options and Campbell was forced to throw up a Hail Mary that was intercepted by CB Brandon Flowers.
Collins entered in the second half and hit Moss with the 42-yard play. Otherwise, the former Chiefs backup QB hit just five of his other 13 passes for a total of 33 yards.
But the big key for the Chiefs was other than Portis’ long run, they were able to control the Washington ground game. Portis finished with 109 yards on 15 carries, or one carry for 78 yards and 14 carries for 31 yards.
“We wanted to stop their running game first,” said FS Jon McGraw, who started for Jarrad Page. “Then we wanted to show them different looks, try to get them thinking about what we were doing.”
The Chiefs used two different nickel defenses in this game. First, CB Mike Richardson played his first game in a red and gold uniform and he was the nickel back. On large yardage situations where it seemed there was a chance the Redskins would run, ILBs Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher would come in. On situations where the tendency would be pass that’s when Belcher would come in, but McGraw would move from safety to a linebacker spot and S DaJuan Morgan came in and played.
McGraw, Johnson and Morgan got their most extensive playing time of the season. Based on how the game went down, with the defense not allowing a touchdown, it may be a formula we see again next Sunday against San Diego.
Flowers had the interception, while OLB Mike Vrabel recovered a fumble. McGraw, Vrabel and OLB Tamba Hali had sacks, with Hali getting a safety with his sack late in the game that sealed the Chiefs victory.
“We got after them on the pass rush today,” said Dorsey. “If we can keep doing that, we’ll start popping more balls loose and we’ll get more turnovers.”