Chiefs-Redskins Preview

Chiefs-Redskins Preview

The Washington Redskins are undefeated at FedEx Field this season, but there isn't a lot of optimism surrounding their return home this week. The Redskins will try to avoid losing to a winless opponent for the third time in four weeks Sunday when they host a Kansas City Chiefs team in danger of opening 0-6 for the first time in franchise history. Washington (2-3) won its first two home games over St. Louis and Tampa Bay, teams still looking for their first victory in 2009. But the Redskins have suffered some disheartening road defeats. They fell 19-14 at Detroit on Sept. 27 to give the Lions their first win in 20 games, then lost 20-17 against previously winless Carolina last Sunday. "We lost to Detroit on the road. We come here and lose to Carolina," quarterback Jason Campbell said after completing 17 of 23 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. "This one stings more." Despite leading 17-2 in the third quarter after Clinton Portis' first rushing TD of the season, the Redskins totaled 198 yards and again failed to reach 20 points for the first time this season. Washington has not scored 30 since coach Jim Zorn was hired prior to the 2008 season. "I ask myself questions. 'What are we doing?' 'Are we doing it right?' 'Do we have the elements we need to be a successful offense?' 'Has the scheme taken advantage of our opportunities?' I'm asking all those questions, and I ask them every week," said Zorn, who's 10-11 since replacing Joe Gibbs. "But the overall picture, we've just got to keep pushing. I don't have a lot of time devoted to worrying about my job status." Washington will become the first team in NFL history to play six consecutive games against winless opponents when it faces Kansas City. The Chiefs (0-5) came close to snapping their skid last Sunday but fell 26-20 in overtime against Dallas. Coach Todd Haley was encouraged by his team's performance, particularly on a game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter. Trailing the Cowboys by seven with 2:16 remaining, Matt Cassel engineered a 10-play, 74-yard drive that was capped off by his 16-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe on fourth-and-7. "They pulled together, overcame adversity and overcame some injuries (left tackle Branden Albert left in the third quarter with an ankle injury) in key spots to give us a chance to play a little longer and win the game," Haley said Monday. "That's something we definitely as a team have to build on." The Chiefs, though, fell to 0-5 for the first time in 32 years as Dallas receiver Miles Austin broke free of cornerback Maurice Leggett for a 60-yard TD in overtime. "It's very frustrating," Leggett said. "But we also have to focus on the bigger stuff so we can get better each and every day." An improved running game might help the Chiefs snap their nine-game losing streak. Larry Johnson is averaging 2.4 yards per carry and has no touchdowns. In these teams' last meeting, Johnson ran for 53 yards on 13 carries to help Kansas City to a 28-21 home win Oct. 16, 2005. Washington could have its own problems running the ball this week behind a makeshift offensive line that allowed five sacks last Sunday. Six-time Pro Bowl tackle Chris Samuels left that game with a stinger and will not play this week. Stephon Heyer, a right tackle, is expected to take Samuels' spot at left tackle, while Mike Williams will likely move from right guard to right tackle. It is still uncertain who will play right guard with Randy Thomas out for the remainder of the season with a torn triceps. The changes up front could present a problem for Portis, who is still looking for his first 100-yard rushing game this season. Washington is 25th in the NFL is rushing offense, averaging 94.8 yards. Portis, though, is averaging 127.2 rushing yards and two TDs in five career games against Kansas City. His 6.2 yards per carry versus the Chiefs is his highest average against any team. Cassel, who went 23 of 41 for 263 yards against Dallas, has not thrown an interception in his last 100 passes. He'll make his first career start against Washington, which has lost four straight and six of seven all-time against Kansas City.

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