The Kansas City Chiefs head in to week four of the NFL season as one of only two teams left without a blemish to their record. Kansas City is coming off of a 14 point win, their second double digit victory on the road already this year. This week, the Chiefs welcome the 2-1 Washington Redskins to Arrowhead for a Monday night showdown. Here are the week four Kansas City Chiefs keys to victory.
Week Four Kansas City Chiefs Keys to Victory
1) Protect the Passer
The Washington Redskins like to blitz the quarterback. In fact, the Redskins will send five or more rushers after the quarterback on 31.5% of their snaps. While this number is high, the number of sacks the team has only amassed eight sacks, which ties them for 12th in the league. Ryan Kerrigan is the Redskins best pass rusher and will keep the tackles working all day long.
Kansas City had some issues last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, giving up five sacks on the day. While the Chiefs were able to still edge out a victory, the offensive line will have to do a better job of protecting Alex Smith this week in order for the veteran to find some holes against the Redskins defense.
2) Control the Ground Game
This is a given. In order to be successful in this league, running the ball is fundamental. While it will be necessary this weekend, it will not be as easy. So far this season, the Chiefs have faced teams ranked 26, 31 and six against the run, propelling Kansas City up to the number one rushing team in the league. This weekend, the Redskins will bring the number two ranked rushing defense in to Arrowhead in a battle of strength versus strength.
Not only are the Redskins good at stopping the run, they are pretty good at running the ball on the other side of the ball. Washington brings the sixth ranked rushing offense in to Arrowhead to face a Chiefs defense that has given up chunks on the ground this year. The Chiefs will have to be ready to stop the Redskins dynamic ground game in order to walk away with a 4-0 record on Monday night.
3) Stop the Penalties
While it is easy to ignore when the team is winning games, the Chiefs are leading the league in penalties. The Chiefs have 33 penalty flags thrown against them – the most in the league – and a whopping 301 yards tallied against the team in penalty yards. The 301 yard mark is 43 yards more than the next highest team, or almost a half of a football field. In relation, Kansas City only has 146 beneficiary yards in penalties against opponents, resulting in a net of -155 yards of field position – the next lowest is -77 yards.
While some of these penalties are going to happen due to the physical nature of play from the cornerbacks, most of these should be correctable. It is up to the coaching staff to get the players in line and stop making bone headed plays. How nice would it be to go through a game and not have a penalty on a punt or kickoff return?
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