Prediction, clashes for two teams seeking to right their sinking ships
The Kansas City Chiefs vs. Washington football team the game is very different now than it was in the 2021 NFL season preview. We thought the Chiefs would be one of the dominant forces in the AFC. Conversely, Washington had one of the most talented defenses in football.
Instead, between elite attack and atrocious defense, the leaders have competing forces fighting for supremacy. Washington’s defense is somehow almost as bad, although it only played one top 10 offense in terms of effectiveness. So, what disappointment comes out the winner on Sunday?
It was supposed to be one of the major clashes of the season. It was one of the battles we circled on our calendar before the year. Now it’s a battle between the best offense in the league and almost the worst defense.
Patrick Mahomes against Washington’s defense
Patrick Mahomes will always inherently be an advantage over the defense he faces. Despite his scattered performance against Buffalo in the rain, he still ranks second in EPA / play and keeps the Chiefs’ offense rolling.
Meanwhile, Washington collapsed on the third down, placing 31st to cause fourth downs in these situations. Although they have Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat, and Chase Young, they are 27th in sack rate, which is the same ranking as their INT rate.
If Washington linebackers and goaltenders can’t improve their game, Travis Kelce and company will devour them mid-Sunday afternoon. And Mahomes will be the one to separate them.
Weapons of the chiefs against the defensive backs of Washington
This is another decidedly lopsided clash, at least based on their performance so far. It will always be difficult to face a team with possession of the NFL’s most dynamic receiver and most talented tight end.
Unfortunately for the defenses, Mecole Hardman eventually became a consistent receiving weapon. He currently holds the cleanest capture rate of Kansas City’s top three. A lower aDOT helps, but it was still effective.
Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III play good football, and Kamren Curl looks like a good deal for the football team as a seventh round selection from 2020. Bobby McCain, Landon Collins and linebackers kill this football team , slightly intentional pun.
Chiefs offensive line against Washington’s top seven
Finally, we have something awesome to tell! It’s the only clash between the chefs and the soccer team that has aroused the interest of the true soccer nerd. Overall, Washington’s defensive front disappointed relative to expectations, but it was not “bad”.
Despite the lack of production of bags, they affect the quarters. Allen, Young, and Daron Payne all have 18 taps in total, and Sweat has 16 – all ranked in the league’s top 40. To put that in perspective, if we average out each team with four defensive linemen, that makes 128 defensive linemen. This means that each of Washington’s top four rushers rank in the 69th percentile of rushers in the league.
OL leaders rely on rookies, and it works
Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ offensive line is behaving admirably, even as their playmaking quarterback snakes into the pocket trying to make plays. Mahomes gets under pressure sometimes, but we allow it because he can escape and play more often.
There is no sore spot on the offensive line. From left to right, these young men are, to steal a phrase from Lamar Jackson, “out of control”.
Creed Humphrey could be the best center already in the NFL as a rookie, and fellow rookie Trey Smith is also maiming defensive linemen. Joe Thuney has proven to be a solid pickup, and tackles survive, despite Mahomes’ somewhat inconsistent depth of fall.
Keep in mind that the entire right side of that offensive line is actually rookies, given that right tackle Lucas Niang is playing his first season in the NFL after retiring from 2020.
Watching Payne and Allen vs. Humphrey is a steel-to-steel clash, but the rest of the line here is a sharp iron. I won’t take my eyes off of this, even with Patty running around like crazy throwing the pill.
This one is too close to call.
Advantage: To push
I have written many times already about the forces that can be stopped encountering moving objects, but this could wear the crown for this trope. Because as dominant as the Chiefs’ offense is, their defense is the direct opposite. It’s a really horrible product with no backups in sight because Kansas City has remained relatively healthy. Meanwhile, Washington’s offensive is not as statistically weak as expected. However, it still has at least one major flaw.
Taylor Heinicke vs. Chiefs Defense
Phew, mate. What a battle of titans we have here. I can only explain how bad the Chiefs’ defense is in so many ways, so I’ll spare you that part.
Taylor Heinicke didn’t play as badly as I expected, but his playmaking attitude and lack of arm skills really don’t mix. He has thrown heinous interceptions so far in 2021, including 2 against a good Saints defense last week.
Still, this Kansas City defense is so disheartening that even an undrafted quarterback will likely succeed against them more often than not.
Advantage: Football team
Washington Weapons Against Chiefs Defensive Backs
For the sake of transparency, when I saw a “D. Carter” in the box’s score last week for Washington, I had to go to the list and find out who it was. With injuries to Logan Thomas, Cam Sims, Curtis Samuel and rookie Dyami Brown, the football team dug deep for DeAndre Carter, who ended up as the team’s second receiver in Week 5.
Still, Terry McLaurin is in good health, and that’s all that matters in this game at the end of the day. It’s so ugly in Kansas City.
Washington’s offensive line against the Chiefs forward seven
It is the strongest unit of the soccer team… the soccer team… right now. At least it’s the strongest compared to expectations. The loss of Samuel Cosmi is significant given his game so far as a rookie. However, given the performance of the rest of the line, they should be able to overcome the loss.
The Chiefs’ pass rush is really nothing to Washington. Quite frankly, they don’t have anything in the top seven that should scare the football team at all. The defensive line did not manifest and linebacker play was suboptimal at best and terrible at worst.
Bet line and game prediction
The Chiefs vs. Football Team currently favors the Chiefs by 7 points. Considering Washington is currently dominated by nearly one touchdown per game in 2021, that just looks a little low.
Even with the potential for the Chiefs’ defense to be the worst in a decade, if Washington’s defense doesn’t start playing some quality high school football, this Chiefs offense will net them 40 burgers.
I desperately want this Washington defense to be a game-changer, but nothing I’ve seen has convinced me that they can.
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 38, Washington 27 football team