The Washington Football Team has a huge matchup looming against a reeling Kansas City Chiefs. KC is coming off of a 38-20 home defeat against the Buffalo Bills and have lost three out of their last four games. The defense has been struggling for all of the same reasons Washington’s defense has to this point; however, their offense has not skipped a beat and has been the team’s backbone five weeks into the season. Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a shootout looming in Landover, Maryland. Here are some key matchups to watch when the Washington Football Team faces off against the Chiefs this Sunday.
Taylor Heinicke vs. Daniel Sorenson
Like Washington Football Team’s safety Landon Collins, the Chiefs have a player of their own in Daniel Sorenson. The 31-year-old safety has had his performance struggles this year in Kansas City, leaving an opportunity for Scott Turner and Heinicke to exploit. It’ll be essential to attack him in many different situations, testing his discipline and communication abilities, giving Washington numerous big-play opportunities. First, of course, Heinicke has to execute and find the open man, which was not easy last week, but if the Chiefs are struggling as bad as Washington is, they will give him plenty of opportunities for big plays.
Daniel Sorensen decides to go to the sideline for a mid-play juice box and it costs the Chiefs. pic.twitter.com/NdFg98QHBo— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) October 11, 2021
Washington’s Redzone Offense vs. Chiefs Redzone Defense
Washington’s offense last week against the New Orleans Saints scored two touchdowns on five red zone trips. While the Saints defense is the number one defense in the red zone, the Chiefs will provide Washington an opportunity to bounce back immediately, as they are the 28th ranked defense in the same category, respectfully. Scoring in the red zone is obviously essential, but teams struggle with this for various reasons. First, the field shortens dramatically - So what type of team are you? Can you run the ball effectively? Is your quarterback capable of extending plays to create voids in the defensive zone? Is your quarterback accurate and identifying the right keys? How does the offensive coordinator adjust to the short field? These are all factors used in the equation of a successful red zone, and Washington cannot afford to fail against a terrible defense when awarded the opportunity. I expect Antonio Gibson to thrive in this area.
Travis Kelce vs. Jamin Davis
Rookie linebacker Jamin Davis played just 13 snaps last week against the Saints. However, the coaches claim that the small number of snaps is primarily due to the “game-plan” and “trying to win,” which is understandable on the surface. So from a coaching perspective, if Jamin Davis is viewed as one of the better coverage linebackers, he’ll have an opportunity to go up against one of the better tight ends in the NFL, both in-line and as a slot option. Personally, this matchup may best be served with safety Kam Curl who is more reliable than anyone else covering in the box. Davis, or Curl for that matter, won’t be shutting down one of the league’s best tight ends, but can he limit him all? We’ll see.
What are the top matchups that you’ll be paying attention to this Sunday?