In an NFL season where it seems that anyone really can beat anyone (OK, not the Browns), the Kansas City Chiefs stand alone in front of the pack.
The Atlanta Falcons’ loss to the Buffalo Bills at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday left Andy Reid’s Chiefs as the only unbeaten team left in the league, at 3-0. With the New England Patriots, who the Chiefs beat in Foxborough on the opening night of the 2017 season back on September 8, struggling at 2-2 the Chiefs have possibly the best chance they will ever get under Reid to take the top seed in the AFC and secure home advantage through the playoffs. Perhaps the Pittsburgh Steelers, who knocked the Chiefs out of the Divisional Round last season during an ice storm at Arrowhead, now offer the stiffest opposition in the AFC.
Once derided in the mold of their quarterback Alex Smith as good but too safe to actually win a Super Bowl, the Chiefs have benefited from several good drafts. In his second year in the league, Tyreek Hill remains probably the NFL’s most dynamic receiver-runner-returner hybrid. Travis Kelce is one of the league’s best tight ends, while the Redskins may have to stack the box to deal with the threat of rookie sensation Kareem Hunt. Hunt is averaging 8.5 yards per carry, numbers that demand respect and could open up room in the passing game for Smith, Kelce and Hill.
The Chiefs will definitely be without outside linebacker and premier pass-rusher Dee Ford and center Mich Morse. Ford and offensive tackle Eric Fisher both have back injuries, according to the Kansas City Star, though Fisher could play on Monday.
The Redskins, currently at 2-1, can take advantage of the NFC East’s logjam after the Cowboys lost at home to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. The Giants are already out of contention at 0-4 but the Redskins need a win to keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles. The NFC East looks almost as tricky to work out as the NFC North, such is the lack of a dominant, consistent team.
The Redskins have concerns on offense before Monday night’s game at Arrowhead. The latest injury report lists wide receiver Jamison Crowder as questionable with a hamstring problem. Tight end Jordan Reed was limited in practice on Saturday with what the Redskins describe as a “Rib/sternum” injury. Rob Kelley has a rib injury and is also questionable but Jay Gruden can lean on Chris Thompson to provide the Redskins’ running game. Thompson is averaging 8.5 yards per carry after three games.
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