For those of us not as lucky to be attending the game in Washington, in the press box, I've put together five things that I'll be specifically watching during today's 12 PM Central time game.
To get you to click over and get you to read my brilliant
rambling musings, here are a few teasers:
- Tyson Jackson
- Wade Smith at left tackle
- Larry Johnson against a mediocre run defense
- The emerging TE Sean Ryan
- And the overall Chiefs attitude
Check 'em out, after the jump and let us know what's on your mind heading into today's game.
A lot of the focus of the conversation has been on the offense around here. With new players on defense and a new scheme, I know I've been reluctant to into detail about how/why the Chiefs defense is playing like it's playing. Some of the struggles are the new scheme. Some of it is related to the players. And some of the struggles are because we've been playing solid opponents during the first quarter of the season.
Well today I'm going to take time to specifically watch the Chiefs first round pick DE Tyson Jackson. Like everyone has said, his position in the 3-4 defense isn't about getting his name called on TV or stats. It's about applying enough pressure by himself to lock up defenders and allow the linebackers to get penetration and stop running backs.
I'm going to be watching Jackson to see exactly how much attention he commands against an offense that ranks in the lower third of the NFL in the major categories.
Wade Smith at Left Tackle
Wade Smith gets the nod at left tackle after Branden Albert didn't make the trip to
DC Maryland yesterday. Even though Smith hasn't played relatively much since becoming a Chief, I've always thought that he was on NFL rosters because he could played center, tackle and potentially even guard.
We'll see today just how versatile Wade Smith is and if the Chiefs have even bigger problems at o-line depth than we think they do.
TE Sean Ryan
Through Week 5, Ryan has 13 catches for 124 yards receiving. Traditionally, the tight end hasn't played much of a role in the Todd Haley led offense but it seems that Ryan may becoming a go-to guy for Matt Cassel.
Ryan is fourth on the team in receiving yards, trailing Bowe, Bradley and Wade respectively. We've been talking a lot about wide receiver depth around for say, oh, the last six months. Maybe Sean Ryan is another solid piece of the receiving game puzzle for KC?
Larry Johnson v. Redskins Defense
I'm sure you've heard by now that the 2009 Redskins are the only team to face six straight winless teams to open a season. That may be one of the most ridiculous stats I've ever read about in NFL football.
Partly because of the lack of talent they've faced, the Skins' defense ranks 6th in points allowed, 5th in yards allowed, 3rd in passing yards allowed but 22nd in rushing yards allowed. Hmmm. Something isn't right there and I hope LJ can take advantage of it.
The Redskins have given up103, 126, 154, 129 and 86 yards rushing respectively. The only rushing attack worthy of saying they're good is the Giants, who the Redskins played in Week 1.
Does Larry Johnson rush for over 100 yards today?
The Chiefs Attitude
The Redskins are falling apart. This is the first week that a lot of "experts" are picking the Chiefs to win. FedEx field provides no real home field advantage. Hell, it's not even in DC :)
It's tough to say the Chiefs should win this game. The Redskins are bad but so are we.
But if the Chiefs don't come out at least looking like they want to win this game and can win this game, I'm going to be angry. We have decent enough talent to beat the Redskins. It's going to come down to coaching. And we have the advantage there.
Will Todd Haley have the Chiefs fired up enough to get their first win, on the road no less?