Dec 6, 2013, 4:20 PM EST
Here are five keys to Sunday’s Redskins-Chiefs game plus a prediction:
1. Do the Chiefs have anything to play for? They are a game behind the Broncos for the AFC West lead but Denver holds the tiebreaker with two head-to-head wins and the Broncos don’t have a team with a winning record left on their schedule. The Chiefs don’t really have to fear losing the fifth seed as they are three games ahead of the Ravens and Dolphins for that spot. It’s not rest your starters time by any means but you have to wonder how much motivation the Chiefs will have.
2. Although they don’t get much attention in fantasy leagues due to the nature of the KC offense, Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery make a pretty good wide receiver tandem. Both of them are capable of making a spectacular catch, especially Bowe. As noted earlier this week, Alex Smith throws to Jamaal Charles a lot (team-leading 55 receptions) and also like to go to former running back and slot receiver Dexter McCluster (42). But it seems like when teams start to focus on those two, Bowe (45 rec/533 yards/4 TD) or Avery (34/524/2) will come up with a key catch.
3. The interior of the Redskins’ offensive line will have its hands full with nose tackle Dontari Poe. At 6-feet-3, 346 pounds he is more of the traditional big load type of NT rather than the more athletic ones that are becoming the trend. The second-year player out of Memphis has 4.5 sacks, 37 tackles and has knocked down four passes.
4. The Chiefs’ leading interceptor is Quintin Demps, who plays free safety but has started just four games and plays a little more than half of their snaps. According to the guys a Pro Football Focus Demps has been thrown at just 19 times this season. Getting four picks in that few targets is a pretty good percentage. Robert Griffin III should make sure he knows when he’s in the game and tread carefully when going in his direction.
5. This one has the potential to get ugly early. The Chiefs have outscored their opposition by 53 points in the first half (156-103). Meanwhile, the Redskins are very slow starters. They have been outscored by a league-high 51 points in the first quarter (88-37) and a total of 69 points in the first half. If they can’t get off to a fast start, it could be a long, cold, rainy/icy afternoon at FedEx Field.
I think that the Redskins will hang with the Chiefs for most of the game but I don’t think they get it done.
Chiefs 20, Redskins 14
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