Washington Redskins @ Kansas City Chiefs: Kelce's Kansas to stay unbeaten

Travis Kelce can expose Washington's weakness against tight ends
Travis Kelce can expose Washington's weakness against tight ends

Kansas host Washington for Monday Night Football with the Chiefs defending a perfect record. Can they stay unbeaten? Neil Harvey thinks so...

"Kansas have brushed aside three strong teams in the Patriots, Eagles and Chargers without much help yet from their highly talented defense. Yet to register an interception, and with only two fumbles forced, the Chiefs' D is going to show itself soon and in spectacular fashion. Washington beware!"

Washington Redskins @ Kansas City Chiefs
Start Time - Tuesday October 3rd, 01:30 BST
TV Coverage - Live on Sky Sports

Amazingly, these teams have only met nine times in the history of the NFL. Equally surprising is that Washington won just one of those games. It might appear to some therefore that Kansas have the drop on the Redskins.

But as Yosemite Sam would say - "Whoa there. And when I say whoa, I mean whoa!" For the last time these two met was more than four years ago. And that's a lifetime in football. So essentially these two sides are complete strangers, being introduced for the first time.


Chiefs look strong

Kansas look like genuine Super Bowl contenders this year. They've started 3-0, which included a big comeback win over New England. Now that's not that impressive to me, as I think the Patriots' defense is a liability this season. But they're the reigning champs none the less.

So what's changed at Arrowhead? Well Tyreek Hill is faster than a greased pig and now has a prominent role in the Chiefs' offense. He can run the ball, he can catch the ball, and given time and space he's unstoppable. And Kansas have also signed perhaps the rookie of the season in Kareem Hunt. A shifty running back who can also catch, Hunt's already averaging more than a hundred yards and a touchdown per game. He could well be the new LeSean McCoy. So getting two such talented offensive weapons has been a game-changer for the Chiefs. It's even making quarterback Alex Smith look better than he actually is.


Tough on the run


The Kansas armoury will be put fully to the test though this week by a Redskins defense that's been really mean against the run, allowing just 62 rushing yards per game. Kareem Hunt's worst effort to date was 81 yards against Philly. His quote for this game is only 77.5 but I think that's a number still worth opposing.

The Redskins will have game tape on Hunt now and his surprise factor will be disappearing. Washington limited LeGarrette Blount to 46 yards and Todd Gurley to 88. Gurley is the spearhead of his team, whereas Hunt is just one of several weapons. Sell his 77 yards and do so with confidence.


Won in the air


So we could see Alex Smith having to do the bulk of the work for the first time this season. He'll look for Hill, and also tight end Travis Kelce. Now Kelce had a stinker last week - just one receiving yard - because he simply wasn't needed as the Chiefs cantered to victory. But he's still essentially the team's number two receiver. So expect a big correction here in a game that should be much closer. I expect Kelce to bag his second TD of the season and put up some good numbers against a Redskins secondary that was exposed by another tight end, Zach Ertz, who bagged 93 yards in Philadelphia's 30-17 win.


Lack of weapons


For Washington, Kirk Cousins has Jordan Reed at tight end to aim for. But for me the Redskins lack quality out wide. Jamison Crowder averaged 50 yards last season and will have his work cut out against the formidable Kansas D. Meanwhile burly first-choice running back Rob Kelley is likely to be out injured. That leaves just Chris Thompson as a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. He'll need to have a stellar game and should see plenty of the ball.

But just think about this - Kansas have brushed aside three strong teams in the Patriots, Eagles and Chargers without much help yet from their highly talented defense. Yet to register an interception, and with only two fumbles forced, the Chiefs' D is going to show itself soon and in spectacular fashion. Washington beware!


Game Picks


Points could be hard to come by in the first half as both teams struggle to establish the run. But Kansas can still win this with room to spare eventually. I like Kelce for a big game. Thompson looks the pick to perform best for Washington.


Recommended Bets
4pts Kansas to win by 1-13 pts @ [EVENS]
3pts 2nd Half to be highest scoring half @ [10/11]
3pts Travis Kelce receiving yards Over 60.5 @ [5/6]
1pt Travis Kelce to score 1st touchdown @ 11.010/1
2pts Kansas D/Special Team to score anytime TD @ [3/1]
3pts Kareem Hunt rushing yards Under 77.5 @ 1.9620/21
2pts Chris Thompson rushing + receiving yards Over 74.5 @ [5/6]

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