Red Zone

Halftime report: Chiefs 38, Washington 10

Updated: 2013-12-08T20:52:41Z

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR The Kansas City Star

It’s halftime at FedEx Field, where the Chiefs lead Washington 38-10. Here are some quick observations.

1. What a half for the Chiefs, who took a disinterested team in disarray to the woodshed in the first half, like any good team should do. All you have to do is read this report, which came out before the game, and this report, which came out after the game started, to see where Washington’s once-proud franchise currently stands.

2. Receiver Dexter McCluster has already had the best day of his career, at least when it comes to punt returns. With his 74-yard punt return in the second quarter, he snapped the Chiefs’ single-game record for punt return yards. He currently has 158 yards, which broke the old team record of 141, set by J.T. Smith in 1979. The NFL record is 207.

3. Welcome back, Tamba Hali. Hali, who hadn’t recorded a sack in the Chiefs’ previous five games and has been hampered by an ankle sprain of late, recorded two sacks against Washington. What’s more, they came against Trent Williams, Washington’s stud left tackle. Hali has led a resurgent pass rush that has been largely dormant the last three weeks. The Chiefs currently have four sacks and three quarterback hits, as many or more than they had the last three weeks combined.

4. Quintin Demps must be a happy man. It’s been a rough few weeks for him, ranging from his struggles on the field to the death of his friend and former teammmate Thomas Howard. But his 95-yard kickoff return in the first half should serve as an uplifting moment for him.

5. It’s easy to lose sight of this in the deluge of the Chiefs’ special teams touchdowns, but quarterback Alex Smith is having his third straight strong outing. He’s completed 10 of 13 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns in less than ideal conditions.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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