For Pete's Sake

Five things to know about Chiefs’ next opponent: Washington

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Associated Press

Arrowhead Stadium is going to be electric.

The Chiefs are the lone unbeaten AFC team at 3-0, and they are taking on Washington on Monday night (Oct. 2), so fans will probably be a tad bit excited for the game under the lights.

During the season, I’ll provide a quick overview of the next Chiefs’ opponent early in each week, and here are a few things to know about Washington, which has a 2-1 record.

Terez Paylor, the Kansas City Chiefs beat writer for The Star, gives his insights on the 16-game schedule, which was released by the NFL on Thursday, April 20.

1. Rushing defense

While the Cowboys and Cardinals still play Monday night, Washington’s rushing defense currently ranks second in the NFL. Washington has allowed 62.3 yards per game.

Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch ran six times for 18 yards on Sunday night. The week before, the Rams’ Todd Gurley rushed for 88 yards in 16 attempts. In the season opener, the Eagles’ LeGarrette Blount had 46 yards in 14 carries.

Gurley’s numbers should encourage Chiefs fans who will watch Kareem Hunt try and add to his sterling numbers. He has 401 yards rushing through three career games, and is averaging 8.5 yards per carry.

2. Kirk Cousins

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins was fantastic in Sunday night’s 27-10 win over Oakland. Cousins completed 25 of 30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns.

That included this beautiful 52-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson:

It was a big bounce-back game for Cousins who had thrown for just 419 yards in Washington’s first two games.

For the season, Cousins has completed 66 of 97 passes for 784 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. He has a passer rating of 105.3, which is sixth among starting quarterbacks.

3. Chris Thompson

This is the fourth year for running back Chris Thompson, and he is on pace to shatter his season-best stats from 2016. Thompson has run 14 times for 119 yards (8.5 average) and two touchdowns. He also has 231 receiving yards on 13 catches an a pair of scores.

Here is a touchdown Thompson had against the Raiders:

4. Defensive domination

The Raiders had a mere 128 total yards on Sunday night, and that was the fewest Washington had given up in a game in the last 25 years. The 96 net passing yards by Oakland was the fewest Washington had allowed since 2008.

Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky is in his first season with Washington and the defense has allowed 272 yards per game, which ranks fifth in the NFL.

Cornerback Josh Norman is perhaps the best-known player on Washington’s defense. He doesn’t have an interception this season, and has defended three passes. Norman also has forced two fumbles.

5. Special teams

Before Sunday, Washington’s punt-returning was ranked 30th by Football Outsiders. Jamison Crowder had an 18-yard punt return against Oakland, but for the night he returned four punts for just 5 yards. Crowder is averaging 4.9 yards per return this season.

Washington was ranked 25th in kickoff returns, through Week 2, but didn’t have a return against the Raiders. Bashaud Breeland and Thompson handle kick returns and are averaging just 18.6 yards per return.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff