It’s week 6 of the NFL season and the 2-3 Washington Football Team will be facing a 2-3 Kansas City Chiefs team at home in FedEx Field this Sunday at 1pm. The Chiefs have been a perennial frontrunner for Super Bowl contender since Patrick Mahomes became their starting QB, but they currently have a 2-3 record and are placed last in their division.
No team has a greater split between their offensive and defensive ability right now. According to Football Outsiders DVOA rankings, the Chiefs are currently ranked 1st in offensive DVOA and 32nd in defensive DVOA. Every game for the Chiefs this year has been a shootout, with their defense never surrendering less than 29 points.
I asked Tom Childs of Arrowhead Pride five questions to better understand the state of the Chiefs and what to look for in this game.
1) I don’t think anyone expected the Chiefs to be 2-3 and at the bottom of the AFC West heading into week 6. To what do you attribute the slow start?
Everything that can go wrong on the field, probably is. The defense is a mess, the offense has been turning the ball over. It’s not been very fun to be honest.
That being said, this team could quite easily be 4-1. I think what the Chiefs have shown this season is how small the margin between winning and losing is. They probably should’ve beaten both LA and Baltimore if they weren’t so loose with the football. Instead, here we are 5 games in and they are already well behind the running in the race for the AFC’s number one seed. Put it this way, I am not panicking....yet.
2) How have teams found success in limiting this Chiefs offense and containing Kelce and Hill?
I think opposing teams now realize that this Chiefs offense is heavily reliant on its big three: Hill, Kelce and Mahomes. By paying extra attention to Patrick Mahomes’ favorite targets, it has forced #15 to look elsewhere with the ball, The problem is that no one is stepping up. Mecole Hardman had his best game of the season against the Bills, but even so, it wasn’t anything to write home about - 9 receptions for 76 yards. Demarcus Robinson has always been one of the primary benefactors of Mahomes magic - the pair’s chemistry on broken plays is way more obvious than in the structured offense. Robinson and Hardman’s limitations have hardly gone unnoticed. This was proven when the Chiefs signed Joshua Gordon. The team knows that, for the passing offense to excel, it needs a genuine third receiver. Perhaps they are hoping Gordon will be that guy.
3) Andy Reid was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles before getting fired and being given a second chance in Kansas City. What do you think he learned from that experience, why did he have far more success the second time around, and are there problems that have continued to persist from his Eagles days?
Sometimes relationships can become stagnant and I think that was proven in Philadelphia for Reid. After so many successful seasons in Philly, the team gradually got worse. You guys will probably know more than me being NFC East fans, but it felt like the time was right for him to move on. I’m just pleased that the appetite for football was still there and that the Chiefs managed to get him in the building.
We’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t highlight the big difference between his Eagles’ team and his Chiefs’ team. While Donavan McNabb was a very good quarterback, he was never truly elite. We could make the same statement about Alex Smith too. The real game-changer for Andy Reid was when the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes. With a quarterback that is capable of both the mental and physical aspects of the game, Coach Reid has really been able to show off what an offensive genius he is.
4) What do you think about Chiefs GM Brett Veach? He inherited a roster that already included Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, and Chris Jones; how does the quality of the roster now compare to the one he inherited?
Did you check into Chiefs Twitter before asking this? If you hadn’t, then you have unwillingly stepped into the hot topic in Kansas City right now. Some are very pro-Brett Veach while others are anti-Brett Veach. I would say that I am firmly in the middle. The problem with Veach is that for every good draft pick like Derrick Nnadi or Creed Humphrey for example, there have been multiple bad draft picks like Breeland Speaks. Yes, the draft is kinda a lottery, but at times his selections have had people scratching their heads. It’s the same with free agency. When he hits on a draft pick or a free agency signing, it really hits - but there are never any just good pickups. They’re always great or terrible.
His redeeming qualities come in the form of contracts or cap management. His predecessor, John Dorsey, was simply terrible at that stuff. So bad in fact that he lost his job over it. If only we could make a GM with Brett Veach’s cap management with John Dorsey’s talent evaluation.
5) How would you gameplan to beat the Chiefs on both sides of the ball?
Here is what I would do:
Aggressive on offense - patient on defense.
The Chiefs defense is a mess right now. They can’t stop the run; they can’t stop the pass; they can’t tackle anyone - it’s just plain ugly. When they do have success, opposing coaches are banking on the idea that the defense can’t maintain it over 4 downs, and therefore are being super aggressive. So you have to just go into the game believing that your offense can have its’ way with the Chiefs defense.
On the other side of the ball, patience is the best way to handle this Chiefs offense. Stopping big plays may see some frustration for the Chiefs offense. This is when the Chiefs have been turning the ball over.
Any team that does these two things will stand a good chance of beating this version of the Chiefs.
As of right now, Vegas has the Chiefs as 7 point favorites over Washington. How would you bet?
This poll is closed
The Chiefs win by more than 7 points
The Chiefs win by 7 points or less or it’s a tie
Washington wins outright
As of right now, Vegas has the over/under for this game at 54 points. Which would you bet?
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55 points or more are scored (both sides combined)
54 points or fewer are scored (both sides combined)
Who is most important to the Chiefs success over the last 3 years?
This poll is closed
Other (specify in comments)