WASHINGTON REDSKINS (2-1)
at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3-0)
Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
Kickoff: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Line: Kansas City -7.0, Total: 49.5
The Redskins will be looking to make a statement with a road victory over the undefeated Chiefs on Monday.
The Redskins picked up a huge win last Sunday night, defeating the Raiders 27-10 as 3.5-point home underdogs. Washington was remarkable on the defensive side of the ball, allowing a total of 128 yards against an Oakland offense that had been having no trouble moving the football to that point. The Redskins will now try to defeat an even better team on Monday Night Football, but they are going to have their work cut out for them. The Chiefs have been the best team in football this season, as they are now 3-0 both SU and ATS. One of those victories came against the Patriots, when the Chiefs were eight-point road dogs. This is a confident group right now, but there is some hope for Washington here. The Redskins are 43-24 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992 and are also facing a Chiefs team that is 1-14 ATS after gaining six or more yards per play in three straight games since 1992. Favoring Kansas City, however, is the fact that the team is 8-1 ATS after gaining 6.5 or more yards per play in its previous game over the past three seasons.
The Redskins are coming off of a big win last week and QB Kirk Cousins (784 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT) truly played one of the best games of his career in that one. Cousins threw for 365 yards with three touchdowns and no picks, but he can’t afford to turn around and go back to playing careless football here. Cousins is very mistake-prone, but this team is at its best when he is not forcing the action. The 29-year-old is facing a very tough Chiefs defense, but he can still find some success if he makes the right reads here. One thing he’ll want to make sure he does is find RB Chris Thompson (119 yards, 2 TD) in the open field. Thompson has been ridiculous as a receiver this season, hauling in 13 receptions for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He simply knows what to do when he has a sliver of open space, which is something that can help Cousins when none of his wideouts are open. Cousins does, however, need WR Terrelle Pryor (10 rec, 116 yards) to start playing well. Pryor was a big offseason acquisition for Washington, but he has done nothing thus far. The expectation is that he will soon be more familiar with the offense, but that needs to happen fast. It’d be big if he could play well here.
The Chiefs have been the best team in football this season and a lot of that has to do with the play of QB Alex Smith (774 yards, 7 TD, 0 INT). Smith has taken a lot of heat in his career because he hasn’t taken as many shots down the field as people would hope, but he is sure getting the job done now. Smith is throwing for just over 258.0 yards per game through three games this season and his 77.4% completion percentage is absolutely ridiculous. If he can keep this up then the sky is the limit for Kansas City. It also helps that the Chiefs just might have the best running back in football right now in Kareem Hunt (401 yards, 4 TD). Hunt had a great career at Toledo, but nobody expected this from him. Hunt has rushed for an average of 133.7 yards per game in his first three games as a pro, and he has also added nine receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield. It took an injury to Spencer Ware for Hunt to take this job, but it should be his for a long time. He can do it all for the Chiefs and should be able to have a big game against Washington here. Defensively, the Chiefs will do whatever they can to confuse Cousins. They know he is a guy that can throw multiple picks on any given night, so they’ll pressure him and throw as many different looks at him as possible.