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updated: 12/8/2013 4:09 PM

Chiefs thump Washington to break 3-game skid

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  • Kansas City Chiefs running back Cyrus Gray picks up wide receiver Dexter McCluster after McCluster returned a punt for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against Washington in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.

      Kansas City Chiefs running back Cyrus Gray picks up wide receiver Dexter McCluster after McCluster returned a punt for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against Washington in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. -- The first quarter was so lopsided that nearly all the footprints in the snow were on one side of the 50. That discrepancy was quickly corrected when the teams changed sides, just part of the visual record of the Kansas City Chiefs' thorough embarrassment of Washington.

After three straight losses, the Chiefs found an opponent that offered little resistance. They scored on their first four possessions, sacked Robert Griffin III five times and Kirk Cousins once, and returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in Sunday's 45-10 rout.

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The score was 17-0 after the first quarter and 38-10 at halftime. Quintin Demps immediately answered the lone Washington touchdown with a 95-yard kickoff return that resembled at times a winter stroll, part of a stunning tally of 321 return yards by Kansas City in the first half alone.

The Chiefs (10-3), who lost two to the Denver Broncos sandwiched around a defeat to the San Diego Chargers, went back to doing what they did so well during their 9-0 start -- beat up on a bad team. Washington (3-10) certainly qualifies: Sunday's game was their fifth straight loss, and coach Mike Shanahan appears increasingly likely to be gone after a third losing season in four years.

Fans quickly deserted Washington's first snowy home game in decades, and those that stayed had plenty to boo all game long. The Chiefs took the opening kickoff and gained 8, 9, 22 and 13 yards on their first four plays. Washington was a team with nothing to play for, and they looked like it. Shanahan eventually pulled the plug on Griffin, inserting backup Kirk Cousins for the final quarter.

Alex Smith completed 14 of 20 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Jamaal Charles ran 19 times for 151 yards and a score, and his 35-yard, right-then-left scamper was a highlight of the second half. Dwayne Bowe caught four balls for 69 yards and a TD. Dexter McCluster took a punt 74 yards for a score and set up another TD with a 57-yard return. Tamba Hali had a pair of sacks, and Derrick Johnson set up a touchdown with a 40-yard interception return.

The runbacks by Demps and McCluster were the ninth and 10th return touchdowns for the Chiefs this season: four on interceptions, two on fumbles, two on punt returns and two on kickoff returns.

Third-round pick Knile Davis scored his first rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, leaping over his own man and breaking a tackle for a 17-yard run.

Griffin, who endured yet another week of questions about his relationship with Shanahan, hit 12 of 26 passes for 164 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Alfred Morris ran for 31 yards on 12 carries, although that was enough to put him over 1,000 yards for the season.

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