NFL Team Report - Kansas City Chiefs - NOTES, QUOTES
The Chiefs will seek a perfect 4-0 record against the NFC East this season when they travel to face the Washington Redskins. The Chiefs beat Dallas 17-16, Philadelphia 26-16 and the New York Giants 31-7. Since the league went to its current scheduling format, the Chiefs have not swept the NFC East in any season. The best they could produce was in 1995 when they went 3-1 against the division.
Ryan Succop and a safety by outside linebacker Tamba Hali; he sacked quarterback Todd Collins in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Washington's scores came on a pair of field goals by Shaun Suisham. The Chiefs had a time of possession edge of 14 minutes, 20 seconds. It was the first victory for new GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley.
-- Alex Smith's legs have been a big part of the offense this season, far more than anyone expected based on his previous eight seasons with San Francisco. Smith has run 64 times for 360 yards, both career-high numbers for him with four games to play. Before this season, Smith never ran more than 52 times or gained more than 179 yards. He is just 27 yards away from having the best running season by a quarterback in Chiefs history; Tyler Thigpen ran for 386 yards in 2008.
-- In his 14 seasons as head coach of the Eagles, Andy Reid's teams went 17-11 against the Redskins. But at FedEx Field his record against Washington is 10-4.
"Its hostile territory there," said Reid. "It's loud and they have a good football team."
Asked what memories he has of the playing there, Reid said: "The fight song; you don't want to hear that too much."
BY THE NUMBERS: .875 - That's the Chiefs' series winning percentage against the Redskins, as they've posted a 7-1 record since the 1970 merger. It's the highest winning percentage that K.C. has versus any NFL team.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You get to look in their eyes and see what it's all about ... I don't see any flinch in these guys at all. There is a certain toughness about them." Coach Andy Reid talking about his team in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
NFL Team Report - Kansas City Chiefs - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
-- OLB Justin Houston did not practice on Wednesday as he continues to rehab the right elbow that he dislocated Nov. 24. Houston missed last Sunday's game against Denver and appears likely to miss this Sunday's game against Washington.
-- LT Branden Albert did not practice Wednesday due to the hyperextended left knee that he suffered last Sunday against the Broncos. Coach Andy Reid said Albert was "making progress" in rehab. His status for this Sunday against Washington was unknown midweek.
-- TE Anthony Fasano has not been cleared to begin physical activity after suffering a concussion in the Denver game last Sunday. Fasano's availability for the upcoming game against Washington is governed at this time by the NFL concussion protocols.
-- RB Jamaal Charles leads the NFL in first downs with 83 through 12 games. Charles has 58 rushing first downs and 25 receiving first downs. That's 14 more than the players right behind him, Chicago RB Matt Forte and Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy.
GAME PLAN: After the last three games in which the Chiefs faced a pair of hot quarterbacks (Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers), this week they face a much different style of quarterback playing the Redskins and Robert Griffin III. While Manning and Rivers are statues in the pocket, Griffin can get out and run. The Chiefs defense will have to not only conjure up a pass rush that has been lacking for the past month, but they'll have to find a way to keep RG3 contained in the pocket.
Defense got the Chiefs to 9-0 and a lack of top defensive play was the lead cause of 0-3. It will take better defense for Andy Reid and his team to turn things back in a positive and winning direction.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
-- Chiefs inside linebacker Derrick Johnson vs. Redskins running back Alfred Morris: The Redskins are the league's best team in the run game, averaging 150.4 yards per game thanks to Morris, who is just four yards away from cracking the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. The Chiefs are No. 21 among NFL defenses against the run and the key to success for the K.C. defense in stopping Morris will be Johnson. The zone blocking scheme favored by Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is something Johnson is very familiar with since the Chiefs defense has seen it for years with the Broncos. Johnson leads the Chiefs with 92 total tackles.
-- Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles vs. Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher - Charles went over 1,000 yards for the season last Sunday and he's back to producing more in the run game than as a receiver. In the last two games he has run for 208 yards on 33 carries, a healthy 6.3-yard average, while catching just six passes for 69 yards. With Alex Smith throwing more passes down the field, it has started to open up the line of scrimmage for Charles. The 38-year-old Fletcher has 110 tackles in his 16th NFL season and if there's one thing the Washington defense has shown it can do its stop the run, allowing 108.8 yards per game to rank No. 14 in the league.