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What Went Wrong / Right Vs. The Chiefs

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on December 9, 2013 – 12:36 pm

The Chiefs played a complete game in Washington Sunday, downing the Redskins, 45-10. Kansas City was effective at the goal line, smothering on defense and, most of all, punishing on special teams.

Let’s take a deeper look at what went wrong for the Redskins in three phases and what went right on the team’s lone touchdown.

Highlight: Logan Paulsen uses one hand to complete a 7-yard touchdown catch to put the Redskins on the board in the second quarter.

What went right: A shimmy. The Redskins line up in a shotgun set and sent a trips formation, three receivers bunched together, to the right side. On the left side, Paulsen lines up as tight end , and Roy Helu Jr. motions from the backfield to a receiver position, sending the Chiefs scrambling to adjust. Kansas City sends four pass rushers, and the rest of the defenders occupy zones. Paulsen runs a seam route straight up the field. Safety Quintin Demps locks in on the tight end, and Paulsen takes a quick step outside to fake a corner route before turning back inside. The subtle move holds the safety and creates space for Paulsen. Robert Griffin III throws the ball where only Paulsen can reach it, and the tight end finishes the play by batting the ball back to himself with his left hand, then gathering it with both hands and stopping his momentum in time to get both feet securely in bounds.


Low point: Jamaal Charles scores Kansas City’s first touchdown of the day on a 2-yard run.

What went wrong: Charles wins the isolation play. The Redskins bring eight men down in the box, preparing for a running play. The Chiefs set up in the shotgun and motion the H-back to the right side of the formation. Left guard Jeff Allen does a nice job of moving center Rodney Hudson over on the double team. Hudson eliminates one linebacker from the play. H-back Sean McGrath runs behind the line to block across the formation, creating misdirection that leads a couple Redskins in the wrong direction.  The scheme creates a hole for Jamaal Charles and matches the runner up one on one with cornerback E.J. Biggers. Charles lowers his shoulder and wins the matchup to score the touchdown.


Low point: Derrick Johnson intercepts Robert Griffin III.

What went wrong: An effective zone defense. The Chiefs rush four defenders biased to their left. On the right side of the defense, Tamba Hali, typically a pass rusher, sets up a zone in the flat. Inside linebacker Akeem Jordan follows Roy Helu Jr. in man coverage, while Derrick Johnson is responsible for a zone in the middle of the field.  Johnson takes one chop step and starts moving to his right, reading the quarterback. Robert Griffin III sees Pierre Garcon establish inside position on cornerback Sean Smith, so he makes the quick throw. Johnson is in position to make the play. On similar plays, you often hear quarterbacks talk about not seeing the middle linebacker. Given the Chiefs were wearing white jerseys in heavy snow, it’s increasingly likely Griffin III simply didn’t see Johnson. Credit the quarterback with not giving up on the play, bringing Johnson down and preventing a touchdown.


Low point: Dexter McCluster returns a punt 74 yards for a touchdown.

What went wrong: The Chiefs blocked everyone. Sav Rocca gets off a 58-yard punt before Kansas City can deflect the football. The coverage unit races downfield, and Kansas City gets five men blocked before McCluster reaches the wedge. The returner gets a crease to the right side, so he avoids any Redskins who have responsibility for lanes up the middle. Safety Marcus Cooper and defensive tackle Jaye Howard pick up two more key blocks. Linebacker James-Michael Jones blocks Rocca as the last line of defense, and McCluster reaches the end zone.


Low point: Quintin Demps returns a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.

What went wrong: Demps fields Kai Forbath’s kickoff at the 5-yard line. The Chiefs put blocks on six Redskins as Demps reaches the wedge. Demps explodes through the first line of defense, then outruns Forbath. Running back Knile Davis, a third of the original wedge, catches up to Demps downfield and provides another block. Demps has the patience to let Davis’ block develop, so he is already slowing down and able to cut back and change directions to beat two Redskins in the final 10 yards.


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2 Responses to “What Went Wrong / Right Vs. The Chiefs”

  1. By peter derry on Dec 11, 2013 | Reply

    been a fan since 1971 there have been some tough years as a skins fan and a lot of great years. i will always be a skins fan. last years great finish really gave me a boost. but its hard too understand how things could go so far the other way this year,i dont remember feeling this bad about the team since ive followed them. a really disappointing season.

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