STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
OLB Brian Orakpo, who has a sack in each of the last four games, needs two more to reach 40 for his career.
RB Alfred Morris needs four yards to become the first Redskin to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons.
WR Pierre Garcon needs 20 receiving yards for the first 1,000-yard season of his six-year career.
QB Robert Griffin III needs 182 yards to top the 3,200 yards for which he passed as a rookie in 2012.
WR Santana Moss needs one TD to tie former Redskin Stephen Davis for 10th place in franchise history with 48.
TE Jordan Reed took limited practice on Thursday. He hasn't played since suffering a concussion on Nov. 17 at Philadelphia.
FS Brandon Meriweather was limited on Thursday after not working on Wednesday because of a bruised chest suffered last Sunday against the New York Giants.
FB Darrel Young was limited again on Thursday after missing the past two games because of a hamstring injury suffered during practice on Nov. 21.
SS Reed Doughty was limited on Thursday after not working on Wednesday because of a concussion suffered last Sunday.
OT Trent Williams took full practice on Thursday after not working on Wednesday because of a bruised foot suffered last Sunday against the New York Giants.
ILB London Fletcher returned to full practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday with a sprained ankle suffered during the final series against the Giants
CB DeAngelo Hall returned to full practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday because of his left hip and back injured against New York.
TE/FB Niles Paul took full practice again on Thursday after missing all of last week with a virus.
DE Stephen Bowen had microfracture surgery on his ailing right knee on Tuesday and is expected to miss six months which would keep him out until minicamp in June.
OL Maurice Hurt will remain on the physically unable to perform list for the resat of the season. Hurt had a knee scoped last spring and never fully recovered.
Although offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has oddly gone away from battering ram running back Alfred Morris at times (especially in the second half of tight games with Denver and the Giants), Washington is leading the league in rushing for a second straight season while ranking just 16th in passing. Given that Kansas City has been weaker against the run than the pass, that would seem to dictate an attack on Sunday that features plenty of Morris (996 yards) as well as quarterback Robert Griffin III (460) taking off with the ball. Pierre Garcon (84 catches) has clearly been Griffin's favorite receiver this year, a situation that has become even more obvious with rookie tight end Jordan Reed (45) sidelined the past two games. Reed's status for Sunday is in question as is the case for Chiefs leading pass-rusher Justin Houston. The latter should be a relief for a Redskins offensive line that allowed 19 sacks the past four games after surrendering just 14 during the first eight contests.
During his 14 seasons in Philadelphia, head coach Andy Reid always preferred to throw the ball rather than keep it on the ground. Even his top backs, Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy, were all dangerous as receivers. The latter remains the case in Kansas City where Jamaal Charles is not only the leading rusher (1,011 yards) but also the leading receiver (55 catches). However, the coach's Chiefs offense has been much better running the ball (11th) than throwing it (23rd). That's good news for the Redskins, who are 13th against the run but just 27th against the pass. What's more, three of Washington's four starters in the secondary, top cornerback DeAngelo Hall and safeties Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty took limited or no work on Wednesday. The Redskins had nine sacks during the past four games, 5.5 of them by outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, who leads the team with 8.5.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Redskins LT Trent Williams vs. Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali Williams won his matchups with star pass rushers Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, DeMarcus Ware and Jared Allen during the first nine weeks. However, Philadelphia's Trent Cole and San Francisco's Aldon Smith beat him the next two games and then he bruised his foot last week. With fellow elite pass rusher Justin Houston ailing, Hali, who had nine sacks in seven games but has none since, needs to get back in gear.
Redskins ILBs Perry Riley and London Fletcher vs. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles Riley and old man Fletcher are the top tacklers for a defense that ranks 13th against the run and hasn't allowed an opposing back including standouts Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and Matt Forte to gain more than 91 yards since Week 2. The dynamic Charles leads the NFL in first downs, is second in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns, third in rushing and fourth in catches by a running back.