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NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been a Texans fan for any real amount of time, it’s hard to hear “Texans versus Chiefs” and not flinch at the memory of the 30-0 Wild Card blowout in 2015. Thankfully, that game is long behind us and Brian Hoyer is no longer capable of giving the ball away umpteen times for the Texans.

At first glance when the schedule was released, this game seemed like a sure loss for Houston. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is quite possibly the best quarterback in all the land, and the Chiefs have a potent offense around him, along with a stout defense protecting the team’s end zone.

However, the Chiefs’ current injury report is like a who’s who of their key players. Guys like Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Eric Fisher, Alex Okafor, Xavier Williams, Chris Jones and oh, yeah, that Patrick Mahomes guy are on it.

If the Texans can follow the Colts’ blueprint from last Sunday night and take advantage of Chiefs’ injuries, this immediately becomes a very winnable game. Especially with Deshaun Watson, Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V all turning in anything remotely resembling last week’s performance against the Falcons. Granted, the Andy Reid led Chiefs are Super Bowl favorites in some circles and the Falcons are being circled by buzzards, but at least there’s hope for Houston. The facts:

  • The Chiefs hold the head-to-head W-L record by a very slim 5-4 margin.
  • Andy Reid is 5-1 against the Texans, while Bill O’Brien is 1-2 against the Chiefs.
  • The Texans’ offense is averaging 26.2 points per game while the Chiefs are putting 29.6 on the board. Houston’s defense is giving up an average of 22.0 points while KC’s opponents are averaging 22.6.
  • Deshaun Watson has thrown for 1,364 yards, 11 touchdowns, one interception, good for a 115.9 rating.
  • Mahomes has tossed the rock for 1,831 yards, 11 touchdowns, zero picks, and a rating of 114.7.
  • Carlos Hyde has racked up 310 yards at 4.2 per carry and two scores.
  • LeSean McCoy has rushed for 214 yards at 5.4 per carry and two scores.
  • DeAndre Hopkins leads the Texans with 31 catches for 347 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Travis Kelce leads KC with 28 catches for 439 and one TD.
  • Houston’s defense is surrendering an uncharacteristic 365.4 yards per game.
  • The Chiefs’ defense is giving up even more at 393.0 per outing.
  • Whitney Mercilus currently leads the Texans defense with five sacks.
  • J.J. Watt is hot on Whitney’s heels with four sacks.
  • Emmanuel Ogbah leads the Chiefs’ D with 2.5 sacks.
  • Both teams are +2 in the turnover department.
  • Deshaun Watson completed 28 of 33 passes (84.8%) for 5 TDs, 0 INTs, and 1 158.3 passer rating against the Faclons. He also rushed for 47 yards last week. With this amazing day, Watson became the first player in NFL history to pass for 400+ yards and 5 or more TDs with 5-or-fewer incompletions in a single game.
  • Watson is looking for his fifth straight game on the road with 2+ pass TDs and a 110+ QB rating.
  • Watson passed for 261 yards with 5 TDs, 0 INTs, and a 119.8 rating in Houston’s last meeting with the Chiefs.
  • Mahomes passed for 321 yards and one TD with a 91.9 rating last week. This made him one of five QBs in NFL history to pass for 300+ yards in each of his team’s first five games of a season.
  • Mahomes has 20 TD passes in his past eight games at home. He’s aiming for his fourth game in row against AFC South opponents with 300+ pass yards.
  • Carlos Hyde had a team-high 60 rush yards and a TD last week. He has a rushing touchdown in two of Houston’s last three games.
  • Duke Johnson had 9 catches for 78 yards and 2 TDs in his last game against the Chiefs (11/4/18 with the Cleveland Browns).
  • Lesean McCoy has a TD in two of his past three home games. He’s racked up 459 scrimmage yards (114.8 per game) and two TDs (one rushing, one receiving) in two career games versus Houston.
  • DeAndre Hopkins had 7 catches for 88 yards last week. He’s had 100+ receiving yards in three of his past four road games. Hopkins also had three TD catches in his last game against KC. Just one TD will give Hopkins his fifth game in a row with a TD against the Chiefs
  • Will Fuller had career highs in catches (14), receiving yards (217), and receiving TDs (3) in Week 5 when he became the fourth player in NFL history with 14+ catches, 200+ receiving yards, and 3+ receiving TDs in a single game.
  • J.J. Watt aims for his fourth game in a row with a sack. In four career games against KC, Watt has 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
  • Former Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu had his first pick as a Chief last week. Last season Mathieu had 89 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions as a Texan.

While Houston’s game last week was uncharacteristically high scoring and the Chiefs game was the opposite, both of these franchises have the ability to put fireworks on the field. Whenever Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes (arguably the two best ‘young gun’ quarterbacks in the NFL) face off, expectations for a shootout are high.

Excited to see Watson versus Mahomes? Or is there another match-up you’re excited for?