Kansas City Chiefs

2 Kansas City Dreams and 1 WFT Nightmare

Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff (USA TODAY Sports)

The Kansas City Chiefs officially have their backs against the wall. A 2-3 record through five games leaves them looking at the AFC playoff picture from the outside-in. Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers lead K.C. by two games in the AFC West.

The Chiefs need a victory, and Washington should represent the start of a winning streak. So far, turnovers and a Charmin-soft defense have held Kansas City back from its full potential. Likewise, this Washington team has been struggling all season long and is the only team to give up more points than the Chiefs’ defense.

Let’s take a look at two Chiefs’ dreams and one Washington nightmare in Week 4.

The Chiefs offense has zero turnovers

After five games, this Chiefs team has a minus-seven turnover differential largely lampooned by 11 turnovers by the offense (six interceptions and five fumbles). These turnovers have largely kept their opponents in games and doomed Kansas City in losses to Los Angeles and the Baltimore Ravens.

There can no longer be a “hope for just one turnover” mentality. This offense has to turn it around against Washington and finally play clean, mistake-free football. The best way to keep this offense effective and their defense off the field is not to give the ball back to the other team as often as they have through five weeks.

This Washington defense has given up the second-most passing touchdowns this season (14) and has only been able to manufacture two takeaways in the passing game this year, establishing them as one of the most porous pass defenses in the NFL.

The Chiefs have the potential to walk all over this defense, especially given Washington’s defensive reputation. A turnover-free game is paramount for Kansas City to have the kind of outing they should have against one of the worst defenses in the league.

Kansas City’s defense finally shows up

The Chiefs’ defense ranks fourth in rushing and passing yards allowed through five weeks. They have been giving up points and yards in bunches and cannot stop anybody.

They are giving up 7.1 yards per play, the worst per play average for any defense in NFL history.  This defense has turned every single opponent they have played so far into the “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams, who averaged 6.45 yards per play.

However, there is room to turn this defense around, should the offense do what they can to keep them off the field. By limiting turnovers, this defense can stay off the field and ride an explosive offense. Of course, it’s not ideal to hope the offense plays perfectly for the defense to do its job. But it’s necessary for the Chiefs this year.

Given how poorly Washington’s defense has played in the passing game, the Chiefs are in good shape if they can get a lead and the defense can keep. Washington’s offense ranks 26th in yards through the air and 17th on the ground.

Washington pass rush gets home and the Chiefs let them keep it close

While Washington has a below-average defense in terms of passing and rushing, with defensive yardage allowed ranks of 27th and 17th, respectively, they have one of the most talented front sevens in the NFL.

With Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat, this Washington front cannot be taken lightly. If this defense can get home without having to blitz Mahomes, it will force this Chiefs offense to be patient and sustain long drives, something they haven’t been able to do through five weeks.

If Washington’s pass rush gets home and their skilled front four can clog rushing lanes, this game could end up much closer than it should be. Given the state of Kansas City’s defense, if this offense feels rushed and isn’t able to convert, it could create real issues.

Washington can muddy things up quickly, and with Joe Thuney fracturing his hand, it may be difficult for this offense to get off the ground on Sunday.

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