Chiefs coach Andy Reid has preached starting fast and his team more than obliged Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak in emphatic fashion at FedExField in Landover, Md.
From offense, defense and special teams, the Chiefs (10-3) played a complete game for the first time this season en route to a 45-10 blowout win against the Washington Redskins (3-10).
A little snow didn’t affect the Chiefs, who scored on the first five possessions and received little, if any, resistance from the Redskins.
By the time the first half ended, Kansas City held a 38-10 lead before going on cruise control.
Kansas City produced a season-high 17 first-quarter points, featuring a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Jamaal Charles and a 21-yard touchdown by wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
The Chiefs continued the onslaught in the second quarter with Charles scoring on a 5-yard catch, and then wide receiver Dexter McCluster blew the game open with a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown to put the Chiefs up 31-0.
McCluster finished the game with a whopping 177 yards on seven punt returns. His yardage marks the seventh-most in NFL history.
Meanwhile, the Redskins finally got on the board after quarterback Robert Griffin III found tight end Logan Paulsen for a 7-yard touchdown with 1:07 remaining in the first half.
But any glimmer of hope of entering halftime with momentum was quickly crushed when Quintin Demps took the ensuing kickoff 95-yards to the house for another Chiefs special teams touchdown.
Demps’ return for a touchdown marked the second straight week the Chiefs returned a kickoff for a score. Rookie running back Knile Davis accomplished the feat last week against the Denver Broncos.
Davis capped off the scoring explosion with a 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs offense totaled 347 yards (154 passing, 193 rushing), while the special teams notched 300 return yards.
Charles paced the ground game with 151 yards rushing on 19 carries, a 7.9 yards per carry average, to go along with two total touchdowns.
Quarterback Alex Smith completed an efficient 14-of-20 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns before giving way to backup Chase Daniel late in the second half.
Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe paced the receiving corps with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Chiefs got back on track in the sack department, recording six on the day to push the season total to 43.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali and defensive end Tyson Jackson each had two sacks, while outside linebacker Frank Zombo and safety Eric Berry chipped in with one each.
And after surrendering 1,118 yards passing in the past three games, the Chiefs limited Griffin to 164 yards on 12-of-26 pass attempts.
The Chiefs defense also recorded an interception off Griffin, and recovered a fumble.
Playoffs will have to wait another week
The Chiefs took care of business Sunday and had a chance to clinch a playoff spot with outside help.
Unfortunately, the Minnesota Vikings couldn’t hold off the Baltimore Ravens in a wild contest that produced 35 points between the teams with less than 2:05 in the game.
The Ravens went on to win 29-26 with :04 remaining on the clock.
The Chiefs also had a chance to get in the playoffs if the Miami Dolphins lost or tied against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, the Dolphins hung on for a 34-28 win in snowy conditions in Pittsburgh.
After being picked on by quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers the past three games, cornerback Marcus Cooper rebounded with a nice game.
Cooper recorded three tackles and made two very nice pass breakups.
With Sunday’s win, Chiefs coach Andy Reid hit 150 career wins as a head coach, 140 coming during the regular season and 10 in the postseason.
Reid becomes the 21st NFL coach to win 150 games.
Record day through tweets
McCluster has set the record for most punt-return yards in a game with 158. Broke previous record of 141.
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) December 8, 2013
McCluster with a 74-yd punt return for a TD. That is his 2nd PR TD of 2013. Becomes the 5th Chiefs player to have 2 PR TD in 1 year. — ChiefsCommunications (@ChiefsPR) December 8, 2013
That’s second time Chiefs have had kickoff and punt return TDs in same game. Dante hall scored both vs Rams in 2002 — Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) December 8, 2013
McCluster’s 177 yards in punt returns was 7th-most in a game in NFL history. Record 207 held by LeRoy Irvin for Rams, against Falcons/1981 — Vahe Gregorian (@vgregorian) December 8, 2013
Whoever’s in charge of the 2013 #Chiefs highlight video is having a field day today. This is ridiculous.
— Andy Burns (@AndyRBurns) December 8, 2013
Notes: Chiefs rookie running back Knile Davis scored his first rushing touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter … Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles recorded his 10th rushing touchdown of the season, the first time in his career he’s notched double-digit rushing scores in a single season … A good sign of how dominant the Chiefs were Sunday: The team punted just three times … The Chiefs held the league’s No. 1 rushing offense to 65 yards … The Redskins entered Week 14 averaging 150.4 yards rushing per game … Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali two sacks marks the fourth multi-sack game of the season and the 18th of his career … The Chiefs are 4-0 this season when Hali records 1.5 or more sacks.