Andy Reid referenced Nelson Mandela, Sporting Kansas City and mangled a metaphor about the Chiefs' recent losing streak. Mike Shanahan looked like a beaten man, one who might be counting down his final days with the Washington Redskins. That was no thin line separating winning and losing when the Chiefs beat the Redskins 45-10 Sunday. It was a chasm.
What it means: The Chiefs got back to playing the kind of game that produced a nine-game winning streak earlier in the season, even if it was against the lowly Redskins. After getting just two sacks in the last five games, the Chiefs dragged down Washington quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins six times. They also scored two special teams touchdowns. The 10-3 Chiefs snapped their three-game losing streak.
Mike Shanahan helped put an end to Andy Reid's tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles a year ago, when the Washington Redskins beat their NFC East rivals twice in the second half of the season.
Their trip to the nation’s capital, despite doses of snow, ice and rain, was an unqualified success. "In the NFL, there are ebbs and flows to every team’s season," defensive end Mike DeVito said. "But you have to be careful with momentum. We had lost three straight games. There was a sense of urgency. We talked about it all week, put a point of emphasis on that.
As they changed clothes and celebrated a resounding 45-10 win over Washington on Sunday, the Chiefs were scrambling to hear scores.
"As far as our style of football, I thought we executed as a team better today maybe than over the first nine games.'' That's saying something considering the Chiefs held opponents to a combined 111 points during their undefeated run. When Quintin Demps returned a second-quarter kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown that put the Chiefs up, 38-7, the few disgruntled Redskins fans remaining pelted Demps and his teammates with snowballs in the end zone.
"I’m not a starter on this team," Paul said. "My role is largely playing on special teams. So I take pride in [how] I played and what I do on special teams. And people can blame and say it’s a coach thing. But it’s not a coaching thing. It’s an effort thing and it’s from each player, each individual. Eleven people out there have to want to make a tackle, have to want to make a play, have to want to make a block. And that’s not happening right now and that’s why we are terrible on special teams."
REID GETS TO 150: With Sunday’s victory, Andy Reid now has 150 wins (140 regular season, 10 postseason). Coach Reid becomes the 21st NFL coach to win 150 games.
2. How did the Chiefs get their pass-rush back? Things are a little different when the Chiefs aren’t facing Peyton Manning, huh? Or heck, even Philip Rivers (with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston hurt)? The Chiefs threw some of the same looks at Robert Griffin III on Sunday that they did at Rivers and Manning; the only difference is they actually got home this time.
Asked after a terrific special teams performance, Chiefs punt returner Dexter McCluster said the Redskins never quit on the field. "As men and as ballplayers they were definitely focused," McCluster said of the Skins. "They wanted to come out here and get a win just like we did."