It’s halftime of the Chiefs’ fourth game of 2017, and the Chiefs trail Washington 10-7 at Arrowhead Stadium. Here is Terez A. Paylor’s quick analysis.
1. Larry will be missed
It’s unclear how serious right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s injury is –– his knee buckled when a teammate landed on it while going to the ground –– but it’s never a good sign when the team declares him out for the rest of the game as quickly as the Chiefs did (within 10 minutes). Jordan Devey stepped in, and while he may prove to do a good job –– he did log some regular-season snaps a year ago –– Duvernay-Tardif will be missed for however long he’s out. He might be the nastiest of the Chiefs’ lineman, and while he’s still refining his awareness, he was on the path toward developing into a really good player.
2. The O-line needs to step it up
The Chiefs’ pocket is collapsing quickly. Washington is generating plenty of pressure, often times with a four-man rush. The injury to Duvernay-Tardif hurts, as does the absence of Mitch Morse. Throw in the fact Eric Fisher is playing through a back injury, and Washington’s trench dominance makes sense. But if the Chiefs’ o-line doesn’t give quarterback Alex Smith more time to throw, they won’t be able to take advantage of some of the downfield matchups they have with Ty Hill and Travis Kelce. They started doing a better job later in the second quarter, when they finally mounted a scoring drive that was capped by a Kelce touchdown. They need to keep it up in the second half, which might allow for a few more Kareem Hunt touches.