‘Monday Night Football’ score, takeaways: Smith vaults Kansas City past Washington


The Alex Smith-led
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
are right here to avoid wasting the 2017 NFL season. In a season missing good groups — the
New England Patriots
‘ protection stinks, the
Seattle Seahawks
‘ offensive line is a disaster, the
Inexperienced Bay Packers
all the time want their quarterback to carry out like a god, the
Atlanta Falcons
have been taking part in all the way down to their degree of competitors, and many others. — the Chiefs have been the lone exception. On the quarter mark of the season, they’re the perfect crew in soccer, evidenced by their NFL-best Four-Zero report.

They received to Four-Zero by beating the
Washington Redskins
, 29-20, on Monday night time, which got here after wins in opposition to the Patriots (in Foxborough), the
Philadelphia Eagles
(at dwelling), and the
Los Angeles Chargers
(in Los Angeles). That is not the simplest slate of video games to open up a season. It is a schedule that solely a well-coached, proficient crew may’ve survived unscathed. And that is precisely what the Chiefs did.

At Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night time, the Chiefs have been hardly good. Lacking three offensive linemen, they didn’t open up holes for
Kareem Hunt
or present stable go safety for Smith, who appeared jumpy within the pocket at occasions. These weren’t the primetime Chiefs we noticed in Week 1, after they torched the Patriots. These have been the Chiefs of earlier seasons — a crew that depends on top-notch defensive play and simply sufficient offense to get the job finished. But it surely labored.

In the meantime, give credit score to the Redskins — now 2-2 — for going right into a hostile setting in opposition to the league’s finest crew and virtually leaving with a win regardless of coping with numerous accidents on the defensive facet of the ball. Washington is legit. The offense won’t be as explosive because it was a 12 months in the past — that is what occurs whenever you half methods with
DeSean Jackson
and
Pierre Garcon
 in a single offseason– however its protection ought to preserve them aggressive within the NFC East. Credit score defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and, in fact, defensive position coach Jim Tomsula.

Bear in mind him?

After all, you do.

The start of the sport belonged to the Redskins. On the opening drive, 
Kirk Cousins
hit
Terrelle Pryor
for a 44-yard landing in opposition to
Marcus Peters
. After forcing a fast punt, the Redskins scored once more, this time on a 19-yard subject objective by
Dustin Hopkins
. Why the Redskins, whose offensive line was manhandling the Chiefs’ front-seven within the early going, did not attempt to put the Chiefs in a 14-Zero gap from the 1-yard line as a substitute (after they already transformed a fourth-and-1 earlier on the drive) is past me.

After which the scoring stopped. The groups exchanged punts till the Chiefs’ last drive of the primary half. That is when the Chiefs lastly put all of the items collectively, grooving on a seven-play, 73-yard drive that discovered its method into the top zone courtesy of a 17-yard landing go to
Travis Kelce
. The Chiefs even had an opportunity to tie the sport after getting a cease, however rookie kicker
Harrison Butker
missed a 46-yard subject objective simply earlier than halftime.

It did not matter. The Chiefs received their lead early within the second half. After an (avoidable) offsides penalty was referred to as on the Redskins on third-and-goal, which prolonged the Chiefs’ drive, Smith ran in a zone-read to provide the Chiefs a 14-10 lead.

The apparently ageless 
Vernon Davis
dug the Redskins out of the outlet. The 33-year-old tight finish beat the Chiefs deep for a 69-yard reception that arrange a brief landing go from Cousins to
Ryan Grant
, giving the Redskins their three-point lead proper again. Abruptly, the sport opened up. The Chiefs shortly erased the lead, kicking a tying subject objective simply earlier than the top of the quarter. The sport entered the fourth quarter at 17-17.

The Chiefs ended up taking the lead on a Kareem Hunt-dominated drive that was aided by one other dumb Redskins penalty — palms to the face on third down — when Butker hit his second subject objective with Four:51 remaining within the sport. Cousins did his finest to rally the Redskins on a game-winning drive, however his potential (and ideal) game-winning go to
Josh Doctson
fell incomplete when the ball was jarred free by the bottom. Let’s test in on Jay Gruden:

Washington settled for a tying subject objective. The one downside? They left an excessive amount of time for the surgical Smith, who used the remaining 47 seconds to get the Chiefs into subject objective vary, the place Butker drilled the game-winning subject objective with 4 seconds left. The Chiefs added a meaningless fumble-recovery landing on the sport’s last play to stretch the ultimate margin to 9 factors.

Properly, it wasn’t meaningless to everyone. 

Learn on for 9 takeaways from the sport.

1.
Alex Smith
: Really good

Getting into Week Four, Smith ranked first in completion share (77.Four), fourth in yards per try (9.21), tied for second in passing touchdowns (7), tied for first in interceptions (Zero), and first in passer ranking (132.7). On Monday night time, it by no means actually felt like he was taking part in stellar. However check out his stat line. It was good! 

He went 27 of 37 for 293 yards, one landing, zero picks, and a 104.9 passer ranking. He added 56 yards and a landing on the bottom. 

And he overcame the Chiefs’ makeshift offensive line, which struggled in go safety.

Most impressively, he led a game-winning drive with lower than a minute remaining within the sport. With the rating tied, his 37 yard completion on the run to
Albert Wilson
proved to be the distinction within the sport. Alex Smith is not simply good in 2017. He is additionally apparently clutch. In some way, he is immediately morphed into
Tom Brady
.

OK, in order that final half could be an exaggeration. However the factor is, Smith won’t even should be among the best quarterbacks in soccer for this Chiefs crew to go deep within the postseason. Of their previous playoff failures, they’ve typically didn’t get previous higher foes as a result of Smith hasn’t been adequate to raise them above superior competitors. This 12 months, although, as beforehand famous, there are not any nice groups — at the least thus far. The Chiefs, with Hunt being their huge offseason addition, could be the perfect crew in soccer exterior of the quarterback place. And if that is the case, then Smith’s fashion of play may work in January. 

If he can preserve taking part in like he has by the primary 4 weeks, nicely, look out. The Chiefs might be particular.

2. Travis Kelce: Greater than adequate

When the Chiefs determined to chop
Jeremy Maclin
in the summertime, the transfer was met with shock, specifically as a result of the Chiefs did not have one other succesful receiver. Have been the Chiefs actually betting on
Tyreek Hill
transitioning from particular playmaker to dependable go catcher? What was their plan?

Travis Kelce was their plan. The tight finish is the Chiefs’ finest receiver. On Monday night time, he caught seven passes for 111 yards and a landing.

Kelce’s celebration? Elite, per standard.

Kelce additionally picked up a primary down on a direct snap that concerned a play pretend as a result of Andy Reid’s playbook is superior.

three. Do not blame Kirk Cousins

The loss is not on Kirk Cousins, who performed nicely sufficient to win. Cousins accomplished 14 of his 24 passes for 220 yards, two touchdowns, no picks, and a 116.7 passer ranking. The Chiefs saved placing the Redskins into deficits within the second half and Cousins saved responding.

He did that by discovering Davis for an enormous acquire:

And he did it by utilizing his legs on the Redskins’ game-tying drive within the fourth quarter. That drive would’ve been a game-winning drive if Doctson had been in a position to maintain onto this completely positioned go within the last minute.

Cousins deserved higher.

Four. The place is
Chris Thompson
?

Jay Gruden made a few questionable selections in the course of the sport — like his refusal to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and calling timeout on their last collection, which gave the Chiefs extra time for his or her game-winning drive. One choice that should not be forgotten? His refusal to provide Chris Thompson, the Redskins’ finest again, the ball.

Thompson was coming off back-to-back video games of at the least 100 yards from scrimmage. But he solely totaled six carries and one reception on Monday night time. The Redskins want to understand that Thompson — not
Samaje Perine
or
Rob Kelley
— is their finest working again. They should notice it quickly.

5. Kareem Hunt comes alive within the fourth quarter

For a lot of the sport, the Redskins bottled up Hunt — by his requirements, at the least. Lastly, although, Hunt broke free within the fourth quarter.

He completed with 101 yards on 21 carries and 20 receiving yards on 4 receptions. And so, his historic begin to his profession continued. 

6. 
Josh Norman
goes down

The Chiefs lastly received on the board with a landing go to Kelce. It was a pleasant go from Smith and a pleasant contest seize by Kelce. What you would possibly’ve missed is the truth that Josh Norman wasn’t on the sphere. Norman seemingly would’ve been overlaying Kelce on that particular play, however he was on the sideline getting his ribs checked. And the Chiefs capitalized on his absence.

Norman did not return. At halftime, Jay Gruden informed ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters that Norman could miss a few weeks. That is an enormous loss for a protection that is buzzing. The entire Chiefs’ factors got here with out Norman on the sphere.

7. Terrelle Pryor lastly does one thing

It has been a tough begin to Pryor’s cease in Washington. Within the first three video games of the season, the ex-Browns receiver totaled 10 receptions, 116 yards, and 0 touchdowns. However on the Redskins’ opening drive on Monday night time, be busted his landing drought.

Impressively, he did it by beating Marcus Peters deep downfield for a 44-yard landing, which is the longest touchdown catch of his career, in keeping with NFL Analysis.

Yeah, that push off most likely ought to’ve been flagged, but when the officers do not name it, it would not actually matter. Simply ask
Golden Tate
.

Anyway, Pryor compiled simply the perfect sport of his Redskins profession, hauling in three passes for 70 yards and a landing. 

eight. A nasty night time for Marcus Peters

Peters did not simply hand over a landing to Pryor. He was additionally burned by Ryan Grant for a landing.

In keeping with Professional Soccer Focus’ Nathan Jahnke, Monday night time was the primary time Peters gave up two touchdowns in a sport since his debut.

Even the league’s finest gamers get beat generally.

9. What’s subsequent?

The Chiefs will journey to Houston to tackle the 2-2
Houston Texans
, who’re immediately explosive with
Deshaun Watson
underneath heart, on “Sunday Evening Soccer.” After that, they will face the
Pittsburgh Steelers
at dwelling, the
Oakland Raiders
(who could be with out
Derek Carr
) in Oakland, the
Denver Broncos
at dwelling, and
Dallas Cowboys
in Dallas earlier than their Week 10 bye. So, it will not be a straightforward highway to an unbeaten season.

In the meantime, the Redskins get an early bye subsequent week. After, they will host the
San Francisco 49ers
earlier than their schedule takes a troublesome flip. Looming on the schedule are dates with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Seahawks.



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