How can the Chiefs fix their pass protection problems? Many ways, coaches say

When Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith turned on the tape of Washington’s 27-10 win over Oakland last week, he saw a fast, aggressive defense that got after Radiers quarterback Derek Carr, who was sacked a league-low 18 times last season.

Washington sacked Carr four times in the victory, the most he’s been sacked in a game in nearly 20 months. And if you’re the Chiefs, who have surrendered 12 sacks this season –– third-most in the league –– it was hard not to take notice of Washington’s throttling of one of the league’s best offenses.

“That doesn’t happen –– it doesn’t happen often at all,” Smith said of Oakland’s offensive dismantling. “That is a really good unit, run and pass, that just got completely suffocated. They got behind and became one-sided and they still weren’t able to get much of anything going. I think this defense is playing really good football as a unit all across the board. On the backend, the frontend, run and pass. Big test for us.”

Washington ranks 12th in the league in sacks with eight, but it ranks fifth in the league in quarterback hits with 20, behind only the Falcons (23), and Chiefs, Packers and Colts (22 each).

“They’ve got a very good pass rush –– their defense is playing very well, it starts up front for them,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “They’ve got a very strong front seven, period. Their linebackers are good too. Then I mentioned this to you after the game, we’ve got to do a better job up front. There are some plays that we’d like to have back there, but we’re capable of doing it, we just need to make sure we do it.”

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