An Exciting Rookie Showdown

AFC Game Of The Week

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

Chiefs: Four weeks in and only one teams remains with a zero in the loss column, the Kansas City Chiefs. They’ve been very impressive so far. It’s all started with Alex Smith and right now, he’s playing some of the best football of his career. Through the first quarter mark of the season, he’s completed 76 percent of his passes and thrown eight touchdown passes and zero interceptions. Taking care of the football nowadays is a must and he’s done a pretty good job of doing that. What’s really caught my eye is how the playbook has expended offensively. For years, it was always Travis Kelce getting the football and rightfully so because he’s been one of the very best at his position and he’s become Alex’s go to guy, but it’s about time that some of the others have stepped it up. Tyreek Hill has picked up where he left off from his campaign last year, Chris Conley has been that threat on the outside and Kareem Hunt, we can’t say enough about him and the impact he’s had on this team. As a defense, you have to account for him as a runner and a receiver and I truly feel he does his best work when he’s catching the football. The defense has held its own as well despite losing Eric Berry for the year after rupturing his Achilles. The guy that’s grabbed my attention is Justin Houston and he’s finally healthy. It may be early, but he’d have my vote for defensive MVP if it all ended today. For the third straight year, the Chiefs will travel to Houston for another showdown with the Texans.

Texans: Let’s look at it like this. When the season started, Tom Savage was the starting quarterback and things looked a complete mess. Why wouldn’t you start a guy that you traded up to get in the draft this April? Finally, Bill O’Brien decided to go with Deshaun Watson and it’s panned out to be the best decision he could make as a head coach. They’ve won two of the three games he’s started and he almost led the Texans to a win over the Patriots, but they fell just short. This past Sunday, the Texans had quite the day against the Titans. 57 points were scored (a franchise-record) and everything was clicking for them as a team. Let me put it like this, the Houston Texans I feel would still be searching for a victory if Tom Savage were still starting. They’re in a much better position now with Watson under center and he’s given them some stability at quarterback, something they haven’t had in a really long time. The Texans rank fifth in the league at 139.8 yards per game. When I look at their defense, they’ve been great when it comes to the takeaway aspect of things. The Texans are tied for fourth in the NFL in takeaways with seven and five of those came on Sunday in the blowout win over Tennessee. This will be a big game on Sunday night with the unbeaten Chiefs coming to town.

Chiefs Player To Watch: Chris Jones– He’s a six-foot-six, 310 pound guy that loves to rush the passer. The Chiefs defense will be going up against a guy that’s notoriously known to run and move the pocket. Chris can also take advantage of an offensive line that’s been very up and down this year.

Texans Player To Watch: Lamar Miller– As I stated up top, the Texans are ranked fifth in the league in rushing. However, their longest run of the season came in week two against the Bengals when Deshaun ran for a 49 yard touchdown. Lamar Miller has rushed for 257 yards on the season, but has an average of 3.8 yards per carry. I look for the Texans to establish him early on to open things up.

Final Analysis: These teams have become extremely familiar with one another. They’ve met in the regular season a few years and counting and once in the playoffs. The Chiefs should own some property down in Houston, that’s how much they’ve faced the Texans. The Chiefs red-zone defense against the Houston red-zone offense. The Chiefs offensive line is decimated with injuries so they’ll really need to hold their ground against this front seven.

Prediction: Chiefs 27 Texans 21