The Washington Redskins look to stop Kansas City's impressive early season run in the second nationally televised game of the season, a Monday Night Football meeting.
The Kansas City Chiefs already defeated one NFC East team this season, and but the Washington Redskins will look to get the best of their AFC West foe. The Redskins will once again hit the road to play at Arrowhead Stadium in a Monday Night matchup.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN with an 8:30 p.m. EST kickoff.
Kansas City will have 13-year veteran Alex Smith under center for his fifth season as a Chief. In the Chiefs' impressive 2017 debut against New England, Smith threw for 368 passing yards with an 80 percent completion rate. He combined that with four touchdown passes, leading the Chief's offense to a 42-27 upset win over the defending Super Bowl champions.
Smith's numbers, however, were not the biggest surprise of the night. Rookie Kareem Hunt started at tailback after Spencer Ware injured himself during the offseason. Hunt fumbled his first snap of the game, but quickly turned things around, gaining 148 yards and a score.
Meanwhile, Washington has seen an impressive surge in the run game as well. During the Redskins' 27-20 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2, running back Chris Thompson recorded 77 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Thompson was not Washington's leading rusher, as Rob Kelley ran for 78 yards and started for most of the game. Kelley, however, went down with a rib cartilage injury.
If Kelley is unable to return for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, it will be up to Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine to lead the rushing attack.
Three weeks into the season, the Chiefs and Redskins already have a shared opponent. In Week 2, Kansas City thwarted Philadelphia's attempt to top the NFC East. In that game, the Chiefs' offense again found a rhythm early. Smith threw for 251 yards and a touchdown and Hunt found 81 yards on the ground along with two touchdowns.
In the passing attack, Kansas City did not rely on its speedy receivers, but instead turned to tight end Travis Kelce. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound playmaker hauled in eight catches for 103 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown where Kelce hurdled a defender and came crashing into the end zone.
Washington's tallest defensive starters, linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, will have quite the chore covering Kelce, especially if head coach Andy Reid decides to send him deep down the field.
The difference in the game could come down to Kansas City's secondary. In Week 2, the Chiefs allowed 333 yards through the air. This should prove promising for Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, who looked on point against the Rams, throwing for 179 yards and avoided an interception while tossing a game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. That, combined with an improved offensive line, should mean that Washington attacks the Chiefs' secondary early and often.
The last time Washington and Kansas City met was in 2013. The Redskins lost the home game 45-10. Washington has had poor luck against the Chiefs, dropping the last six contests. The Redskins have not won a game since 1983, and the Chiefs lead the all-time series 8-1.