AFC Game Of The Week

Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs

Texans: After a disappointing loss in week four to the Carolina Panthers, they bounced back in a strong way against the Atlanta Falcons and put up 50 points on them in week, 53 to be exact. The week before after the loss, a video surfaced of Deshaun Watson working out shortly after the game on the field. You have to admire that in a player and he even admitted he didn’t have a good game. That practice paid off because he had the best game of his young career last week completing 28 of his 33 passes for 426 yards passing and five touchdown passes. He also finished with a perfect passer rating (158.3). Talk about being locked in, that’s exactly what he was. When I watch this Texans offense, it’s more than just one guy. Yes, they happen to have the best wide receiver in the league right now in Deandre Hopkins, but there’s so much more they have to offer on the offensive side of the football. On the opposite side of Hopkins, there’s Will Fuller who’s also coming off the best game of his career last week as he was targeted 16 times, caught 14 passes for 217 yards receiving and three touchdown passes. There was uncertainty with their running game when Lamar Miller went down with a torn ACL. It’s been the next man up. Carlos Hyde is a veteran running back who’s added experience and Duke Johnson also has received his carries as well. After a few years of being considered elite, the Texans defense is just average to me. Right now, they rank 20th in the NFL in total yards allowed (365.4) and 25th in passing yards allowed (270). Their front seven is still good even after trading away Jadeveon Clowney who was coming into his own the last few years. He may not be the dominant guy he once was, but J.J. Watt is still a force on that front seven along with Whitney Mercilius who’s recorded five sacks this season. To keep things moving forward, they will face the Chiefs who are looking to bounce back at Arrowhead on Sunday.

Chiefs: Sunday night against the Colts was the worst I’ve seen them look in about two years. I can’t say it enough but give credit to Frank Reich and the Colts for having a great game plan. After Mahomes scrambled all over the place on them in the first half, he was kept in the pocket for the rest of the game. The running game struggled to pound the rock and getting it going and the defense which has been the Achilles heel of this team the last season and a half or so did indeed struggle to make a few steps here and there, but they actually did a much better job of keeping them in the game more so than the offense and held the Colts to just 19 points. Each week, you expect the Chiefs offense to just light up the scoreboard. That wasn’t the case last week. Ever since Patrick Mahomes became the starting quarterback, that’s the lowest amount of points they’ve scored with him on the field. This can all be a learning experience though for the Chiefs. If the defense really wants to put their heads in the game, they can make stops. I know they can, it’s just remaining consistent which has been the problem for them. The injury bug really caught this team. Mahomes was limping for most of the game with an ankle injury, Sammy Watkins who’s stepped up in the absence of Tyreek Hill and had a nice year so far was forced to leave the game with an injury and Chris Jones who happens to be their best defensive player got hurt as well. I’m not one to really play the “what if ” game, but there’s a strong possibility that this is a different game if those three I listed aren’t hobbled or injured. Despite all of that, this is still the second-best team in the AFC who just happened to have a rough day at the office. For the most part, they’ve still been able to get by even without key pieces like Cheetah on that offense. They’ve shown their depth as of late. Sunday night, they just ran into a team who played better. To get back on track, the Houston Texans come to Arrowhead.

Texans Player to Watch: Carlos Hyde– I have a strong feeling the Chiefs were watching the game last Sunday night. I’m not saying they need to do what the Colts did, but I feel they unleashed a blueprint to wear the Chiefs down. The Colts continued to run the ball until they could stop, and they couldn’t. Early on, I see the Texans mixing it up and running the football. Feed Hyde and see what comes of it.

Chiefs Player to Watch: Alex OkaforThe Chiefs signed him to add more toughness to their defensive line. He’s a force when it comes to stopping the run because he knows where to be to make the stop. When I watch him, I see a player who sheds every block that comes in his direction. Let’s see what he does in this one on Sunday.

Final Analysis: Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes will forever be linked to each other as draft classmates. They were both drafted in 2017. This marks their first meeting in the NFL facing one another and we could be in for the next great quarterback rivalry. I’ve seen a few columnists say this could be the next “Peyton and Brady” like matchup. Let’s not go that far. I expect this game to be a shootout on Sunday. All offense with very little defense. How limited with Mahomes be with that ankle? If you’re the Texans, make him run and move around to test him. The Texans offensive line must come in and dominate the line of scrimmage and control that clock. The Chiefs will have their work cut out for them in this one. They can’t do what Atlanta did which was sit back and let Watson pick them apart. A pass rush needs to be applied.

Prediction: Chiefs 38 Texans 35

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