1. The Kansas City defense has been the toast of the league for much of the season, but entering Week 14, they have fallen out of the top 20 in total defense. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are both nursing injuries and could play against Washington, but it doesn't appear that either would be playing at 100%. Teams have been rather unafraid to blitz Robert Griffin III this season, and rightly so. Attacking our offensive line is eerily similar to running through a paper banner at the outset of a game. Unlike Rick Moranis' "Little Giants", NFL players have little problem breaking through the fabric. If Hali and Houston are unable to perform up to the standard we have seen them at this season, Griffin could find himself with time to operate.
2. On offense, the Kansas City Chiefs have suffered the kinds of injuries along the offensive line that everyone assumes the Redskins have suffered (nope...those are our starters). When left tackle Branden Albert was carted off the field with what looked like a very unpleasant knee injury, the Chiefs were forced to shuffle the deck. Top draft pick Eric Fisher was pressed into action, which is alarming because one would have expected that such a prized prospect would already be playing at a high level. What's worse than his slow start is the somewhat public lack of confidence in his ability to take over the left tackle job. If the Chiefs suffer a significant decline in offensive line play, Alex Smith will find it very difficult to sustain drives. This is a big deal for a team that is currently seventh in the league in time of possession.
3. If the Chiefs are unable to keep their offense on the field for their usual time of possession advantage, look for the league's eighth-best team in time of possession to step up. That's right...the Redskins are right behind Kansas City in this stat. Not only that, the Redskins come into this game as the top--TOP--ranked rushing offense in the league. Assuming the Redskins lean on this strength, the Chiefs will be forced to play mistake-free ball to stay in this game. Which leads to...
4. All the pressure is on the Kansas City Chiefs. After a 9-0 start, they have lost three straight games, and are in a bit of a free fall. No longer the top dog in the AFC, the Chiefs need to get back on track soon if they have any hopes of hitting the playoffs in stride. How can this team not be on edge? The expectations for a team that wins its first nine games don't disappear after three losses. You have to believe that they EXPECT to win against a struggling Washington squad. If they find themselves trailing at some point in this game, you could see the pressure really start to affect these guys.
5. This last one is a real enigma. Chris Thorman, one of the head guys over at Arrowhead Pride, has been sporting a rather amazing moustache (apparently mustache is also correct) for a while. I actually don't know if it is currently being rocked or not. My last confirmed sighting of it was this summer. I think this works against the Chiefs either way. If he still has this moustache, I am ready to call it too big of a distraction for this team to overcome. If he is no longer rocking it, than he is a quitter and it would all of a sudden become symbolic of the Chiefs' season.