Hello again friends, and welcome to ExtremeSkins' Week 4 coverage as the Washington Redskins travel to take on the last undefeated team in football, the Kansas City Chiefs. I am your good luck charm, murf, and I am joined by TK.
As you no doubt are aware, the 2017 Redskins are undefeated (2-0) in games I cover and winless (0-1) when I am not in attendance. While that should be comforting to 'Skins fans, this week's matchup will put my winning streak to the test because the Redskins have never emerged victorious in Kansas City (they're 0-4 lifetime when playing at Arrowhead Stadium).
While Washington's defense turned in an amazingly impressive performance in last week's resounding win over Oakland, limiting the Raiders to just 128 yards of total offense, they'll face a much stiffer test this week against a Chiefs squad that has little trouble moving the chains or putting points on the board.
Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, fresh off of his AFC offensive player of the month for September, might just be the best back in football these days. With Cardinals running back David Johnson currently injured, Kansas City's rookie has risen to the top of the NFL pecking order while guiding his team to a 3-0 start with monster numbers across the board -- 47 rushes for 401 yards and four touchdowns to go with 137 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
If, miraculously, the Redskins are able to limit Hunt's production, the Chiefs will likely turn to tight end Travis Kelce. That's because no team has allowed more yardage to opposing tight ends during the 2017 season than the Redskins. Oh, and let's not forget speedy receiver Tyreek Hill, who also poses a huge threat for the burgundy and gold.
On Sunday Night Football, the Redskins were able to consistently get pressure in Oakland's backfield without having to send extra defenders. If the front four can get to vanilla quarterback Alex Smith, that'll once again go a long way towards helping the back seven limit explosive plays.
That's why I'll be focusing plenty of attention on rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (logged his first NFL sack Week 3) and second-year tackle Matt Ioannidis (who had five pressures and a half sack versus the Raiders). If those two youngsters can help linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith disrupt Kansas City's offense, then the Redskins just might have a chance to win back-to-back primetime games.
On the other side of the ball, the Redskins have to be hoping for a little diversity in their offense. That's because receiver Terrelle Pryor has been on the field for 80 percent of the offense's snaps so far this season and is tied with running back/future Hall of Famer Chris Thompson for the team lead in targets, with 19. Sadly, for as much as head coach Jay Gruden and quarterback Kirk Cousins seems intent on building the passing attack around Pryor, he has yet to produce a single breakout moment so far this season.
With tight end Jordan Reed (shoulder), as well as running backs Rob Kelley (ribs) and Samaje Perine (hand) all recovering from injuries, this week would be a perfect time for Pryor to step up and put this offense on his back. To do so, however, he needs to do a better job of catching the balls thrown his way. Between last season in Cleveland and his first three weeks in Washington, Pryor has caught, on average, 55 percent of the passes thrown his way. Simply put -- that's not good enough for someone as big and fast as Pryor.
Thompson cannot continue to post Tecmo Bowl caliber numbers on a weekly basis, so getting guys like Pryor to make the most out of his opportunities is vital. The Chiefs' secondary isn't anything special -- especially after losing safety Eric Berry to injury. If Pryor can't be more productive than his 38 yards per game average, then it might be a tough day for Cousins and the rest of the Redskins passing game.