Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
  • Home
National Football League
PRESEASON
12345
REGULAR SEASON
12345
678910
1112131415
1617   
PLAYOFFS
123PBSB

 
      === Reid's Chiefs go for sweep of NFC East, visit 'Skins ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - Andy Reid is still the toast of the town in Kansas City
 despite the fact his Chiefs are mired in a three-game losing streak following
 a sizzling 9-0 start.
 
 The Chiefs now see themselves one game behind the Denver Broncos for the AFC
 West lead and shoot for a sweep of the NFC East Sunday against the struggling
 Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.
 
 Reid certainly has plenty of experience against the Redskins thanks to 14
 years as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and has already beaten his
 former team and both the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Those three wins
 came in succession from Sept. 15-29.
 
 Kansas City's latest setback was Sunday against Peyton Manning and the Broncos
 in a 35-28 setback. The Chiefs had a 21-14 lead at halftime, but two Manning
 touchdown passes in the third quarter was all the difference. Denver actually
 notched 28 straight points until KC running back Jamaal Charles made it a one
 score game on a one-yard TD run with 6:32 to go.
 
 Manning and the Broncos racked up 535 yards of offense and the future Hall of
 Fame quarterback passed for 403 yards with five TD strikes and two
 interceptions. Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker burned the Chiefs' secondary
 for 174 yards and four touchdown receptions, while Demaryius Thomas had 106
 yards on just three receptions.
 
 The Chiefs still impressed with 452 yards of offense, but it wasn't enough to
 stop the current slide.
 
 "I mentioned to the team that this isn't college football. This isn't the end
 of the season. It's not the national championship game that you're playing,
 it's two good football teams playing each other," Reid said. "We came up short
 and now it's important that we get ourselves back and ready to go and finish
 the season like we're capable of doing. I know our guys, coaches and players
 will do that."
 
 Alex Smith tried to go head-to-head with Manning and passed for 293 yards with
 two TD passes and an interception. Smith has thrown seven TD passes to just
 two picks in the last three games, and talked about the possibility of still
 winning the AFC West.
 
 "We just have to continue to fight. I think this team has that kind of
 character," Smith said. "We just have to keep plugging along. There's still
 everything we want in front of us. It was a tough loss (and there's) no time
 to point fingers or do any of that. (We just have) to continue to do what
 we've been doing and get better.
 
 "Not to say that we still can't win the division, there still are a lot of
 games left. Those things are out of our control at this point. We have to
 focus in on what we have to do and that is to win ballgames. There certainly
 are two other ways to get into the playoffs with the wildcard spots. We're
 sitting pretty good with that."
 
 Denver (10-2), Kansas City (9-3) and New England (9-3) have the best records
 in the AFC at this point.
 
 The Chiefs are 4-1 on the road and will play three of their last four games of
 the season away from Arrowhead Stadium.
 
 Washington's 2013 season has been a forgettable one and the Redskins were
 officially eliminated from playoff contention after Sunday's 24-17 loss to the
 New York Giants.
 
 The Redskins were hoping for plenty of success this season after storming back
 to win the NFC East in 2012. However, things took a turn for the worse and now
 they're sporting a lowly 3-9 record.
 
 "It's extremely disappointing," Redskins linebacker London Fletcher said. "We
 had our expectations as to what we thought our season would be coming into the
 year. Now, we're just playing for pride. That doesn't feel good on the first
 day of December."
 
 The Redskins, who won seven in a row after a 3-6 start last season and reached
 the playoffs, have dropped four straight and will complete a stretch of three
 straight games at home versus Kansas City. In the loss to the Giants, Robert
 Griffin III completed 24-of-32 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown, and also
 ran for 88 yards on 12 rushes. Griffin, who had just one incompletion (16-
 of-17) in the first half, posted more rushing yards than Alfred Morris. The
 young running back had 26 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
 
 Washington gave up 10 points in the fourth quarter to squelch a 17-14 lead, as
 Giants running back Andre Brown had a one-yard TD run and Josh Brown connected
 on a 39-yard field goal to close out the scoring.
 
 Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, whose job status could be in jeopardy at
 season's end, was asked on how his approach changes now that his team is out
 of the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.
 
 "No difference. Obviously you're disappointed because your goal is to get to
 the playoffs and we all know if you get to the playoffs you've got an
 opportunity to win and win a Super Bowl, so that's your first goal," Shanahan
 said. "But if you are eliminated you still want to go out and play some good
 football. You'd sure like to win games. Everybody is very competitive, very
 motivated, and people that aren't motivated even though they're out of it
 usually don't last."
 
 The 'Skins' defense appeared motivated until the fourth quarter versus New
 York. Linebacker Brian Orakpo had two sacks for his eighth multi-sack game and
 has at least one full sack in the last four games. Safety Brandon Meriweather
 registered his second interception of the season and cornerback Josh Wilson
 had a sack of Eli Manning.
 
 Washington has struggled in eight lifetime meetings with Kansas City, losing
 the last five matchups and seven of eight overall. The Chiefs recorded a 14-6
 win in the last meeting on Oct. 18, 2009 in Landover. Washington's only win in
 this series was a 27-12 triumph back on Sept. 18, 1983.
 
 Reid is 17-11 lifetime against the Redskins and Shanahan sports an 18-15 mark
 in matchups with the Chiefs.
 
 WHAT TO WATCH FOR
 
 Griffin has been the polar opposite of last season in many ways, and the main
 reason for this year's decline is the knee issue and lack of protection. RG3
 made a miraculous comeback from a devastating knee injury and he may have been
 rushed back too quickly. He has thrown for 3,039 yards with 15 TDs and 11
 interceptions, while passing for 3,200 yards, 20 TDs with five INTs in 2012.
 
 RG3 has been sacked 33 times already, as opposed to 30 times last season. His
 88 rushing yards Sunday were the most since he had 89 against New York last
 Oct. 21. Griffin became the fifth QB in NFL history to post 3,000 passing
 yards in each of his first two seasons.
 
 Opposing players have noticed Griffin's decline this season. Giants defensive
 back Antrel Rolle is one of them.
 
 "A lot of teams have been getting after him a whole lot better this year for
 whatever reason. I don't know if it's he can't escape the way he used to
 escape or his line isn't holding up," Rolle said. "I just know he has been
 getting hit. He's been getting sacked a whole lot more than we're used to
 seeing."
 
 Rolle then said Griffin still has a "cannon for an arm," but isn't as elusive
 as he was during his rookie campaign. Griffin's 88 yards may say otherwise and
 the Chiefs still have to prepare for him and Morris. Morris helped the
 Redskins run for 139 yards and the team leads the NFL: with 1,805 yards on the
 ground with an average of 150.4 per game. Washington has rushed for at least
 100 yards in 11 consecutive games, two shy of matching the team's longest
 streak of the Mike Shanahan era (13).
 
 The Chiefs are 21st in rushing yards allowed (117.2), passing yards allowed
 (249.0) and total yards allowed (366.2). They have totaled 37 sacks on the
 season and are led by Justin Houston's 11 sacks. Houston did not play against
 the Broncos because of an elbow injury, but Reid said his stud OLB is on the
 mend and could make a return this week.
 
 Kansas City's other OLB Tamba Hali shook off a balky ankle to face the Broncos
 and finished with two tackles. Hali wasn't much of a factor against Denver and
 neither was any other player on a defense that allowed 500-plus yards.
 
 Chiefs safety Kendrick Lewis wasn't pleased with Sunday's effort.
 
 "It hurts," Lewis said. "It hurts; it hurts deep. It burns. It's good that
 we're feeling this. We feel it; we just have to come back out next week and
 put together a solid game, as far as everywhere, offense defense and special
 teams."
 
 Fellow safety Quintin Demps agreed.
 
 "We're going to respond well," Demps said. "I know we have nothing but
 fighters, no quitters; we're going to stay together. It's a long season; like
 coach Reid says, it's not the NCAA, it's the NFL. We're going to stay together
 and we're going to play together. We have to go back to the drawing board,
 look at the film , evaluate each other, evaluate ourselves, be critical and
 kind of put it behind us and finish the season strong."
 
 OVERALL ANALYSIS
 
 Don't expect the Chiefs to play down to Washington's level because they're in
 the hunt for a division title and any loss from here is vital. The Chiefs will
 halt their current slide against a downtrodden Redskins unit, and expect
 another scoring outburst in a winning effort.
 
 Kansas City is averaging 33 points in the last two games and is ninth in the
 NFL with 24.8 ppg this season.
 
 Shanahan may have said the Redskins are still playing for pride, but life has
 been drained from a team now on the outside looking in.
 
 
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chiefs 31, Redskins 21
 
 12/06 09:21:49 ET

Part of the Tribune family of products

© 2013 TAMPA MEDIA GROUP, LLC