Monday Night Football Recap
The Kansas City Chiefs outlasted the Washington Redskins 29-20 on Monday night in a game closer that the final score, and that game marked the end of the first quarter of the season.
First, the Monday nighter. The Redskins dominated the first quarter and built a 10-0 lead but then fizzled offensively. The Chiefs, who started slowly, eventually chewed up the Redskins with 168 rushing yards and a comeback to win. Rookie Harrison Butker’s 43-yard field goal with four seconds left gave the Chiefs a 23-20 lead and they scored again on a fumble return as the Redskins tried desperately to lateral the ensuing kickoff and lost it.
The touchdown didn’t change the result, but it made a difference to the betting crowd. The Chiefs were favored by 7 points and this play allowed them to cover the spread. The Redskins go into their bye week 2-2 trying to fix a defense that kept losing bodies against the Chiefs.
The Chiefs? They’re the NFL’s only unbeaten team. At 4-0, with a savvy Alex Smith running their offense and a road win over the New England Patriots, they have the look of a Super Bowl contender.
Other notes at the quarter-pole:
● If the Chiefs are a surprise at 4-0, so are the Giants at 0-4. Widely touted as this year’s NFC East champions, they’ve lost their last two games on last-second field goals. Only one 0-4 team has ever made the playoffs.
● The Los Angeles Rams, so dreadful last year, have made a complete turn under rookie head coach Sean McVay. Quarterback Jared Goff, in his second season, could be the Comeback Player of the Year. The Rams are 3-1
● If the Los Angeles Chargers had played the final 16 seconds differently and gotten a rookie kicker a little closer against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 for his attempt at a game-winning field goal, the Chargers likely wouldn’t be winless (0-4) and the Dolphins (1-2, their opener was postponed due to Hurricane Irma) would have the Big 0 in the win column. The Dolphins are averaging 8.3 points per game.
● For all the noise about the way the Patriots attacked the offseason and rebuilt, their defense is leakier than ever. They’ve allowed the second most points in the league and, at 2-2, have lost twice at home.
●The Cleveland Browns (0-4) are the only team in the league not to have led for a single minute of any of their four games.