The Texans are still alive after surviving the fight against the Buffalo Bills. Their reward? They need to beat one of the best teams in the NFL - on their home turf - for the second time this season. Yes indeed, the Houston Texans will meet the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday afternoon, pitting young QB phenoms Deshaun Watson against Patrick Mahomes in the first of hopefully several playoff match-ups.
It’s a tall order, but Through Deshaun All Things Are Possible.
Let’s see how the BRB staff sees this one playing out:
Chris: Chiefs 38, Texans 31.
I think the ride comes to an end on Sunday. The Chiefs are not the same team they were in Week 6, and it’s a LOT for this Texans team to pull this upset off twice in the same season. If the Texans seemed to be moving away from Bill O’Brien controlling the offense and moving toward putting it in Deshaun Watson’s hands, I would have different opinions. But the way it seems to work right now is: O’Brien/Tim Kelly offense in first half, fall behind, finally give more control to Watson, and pray it’s enough to get a win. That can only work so many times. The Chiefs get the win in a game not quite as close as my predicted score indicates.
Matt Weston: Chiefs 37, Texans 29.
So many things had to happen for the Texans to win in Week 6. Chris Jones, Eric Fisher, and Anthony Hitchens were all out. Tyreek Hill had just returned from injury. Frank Clark was playing crappy football back then. Charles Omenihu forced a fumble at the end of the half that turned into a touchdown. Patrick Mahomes threw an interception in the end zone, taking a risk and assuming a defensive penalty would be called. One wasn’t called.
Kansas City had 9 offensive drives. Two were turnovers, two were 3 and outs, and one was crushed by the clock. The Texans debuted a new zone read offense that week that hasn’t worked since they beat the Jag-U-Ars in London. The only weird that thing that went in Kansas City’s favor the last time these teams met was Will Fuller’s dropped touchdown passes against Tyrann Mathieu, something I’ll always be upset about and something that isn’t all that weird to begin with.
Even though Houston won in Kansas City in October, there isn’t much to take from it, aside from confidence, determination, and things like that. The Chiefs have been incredible since losing to Tennessee because of a blocked kick field goal. Their pass defense is fringe top ten. Their run defense is the 30th worst instead of the worst. And the Chiefs’ offense has been as good as it was last year on a per play basis. The touchdown rate is what has changed. Houston still has a terrible pass defense. They’re atrocious against short passes. They don’t have an answer for Byron Pringle, let alone Travis Kelce. Unless they force three turnovers or so and their best players make big plays, Kansas City is going to score over and over again.
I’m guessing Houston plays ball control, starts off slow, falls behind, starts utilizing their vertical passing game after 40 minutes has passed and they’re down big, makes this one closer than it really was, and leaves us all thinking what if. What if they were aggressive and tried to win a 34-31 game from the kickoff?
BFmf’nD: Chiefs 48, Texans 27.
The Texans have been so dadgum lucky this year. The game last week was a great example. That said, this team is due for one of it’s BOB-instigated meltdowns, and I think it happens this week.
This is a very, very different Chiefs team from the last time we played, and Andy Reid ain’t gonna fool around. He’s going to go for the throat early and often, and BOB will CHUM his way to a big deficit.
Kenneth L.: Chiefs 31, Texans 24.
This is the opposite score of the Week 6 match-up and win against the Chiefs. Because this will be the complete opposite game. Patrick Mahomes is going to light up Houston’s injured and defenseless defense. It will be historic. Kansas City will be at full froth in terms of health, excitement, revenge, and talent. Last time, the Chiefs got up 17-3 on the Texans. That could easily happen again as the Kansas City offense is built to dominate against defenses like ours.
Half of it is the mindsets the Chiefs and Texans have. The Chiefs want to blow you out of the water and end your career. Flashy. Brilliant. Multiple. Unrelenting. The Texans’ offense paces its way to the finish line and never gets into a situation it isn’t comfortable with. Logical. Punctual. Cautious. Deliberate.
The Texans need to unleash their offense and capitalize on two mistakes by the Chiefs’ offense. That’s how they won before and that’s how they could win this week. The Texans franchise has never won a divisional round game. This may not be the year.
Mike: Chiefs 34, Texans 31.
Between J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson, it’s hard to imagine a team with more motivation coming from its leaders - both players have proven again and again they can put the team on their back and carry them to the promised land. But, all the juice in the world from Watt won’t make Houston’s defense what it once was, and all the magic from Deshaun won’t suddenly make his offensive line top notch. I think it will be closer than many imagine, but in typical Houston fashion, they keep the fan base hoping against hope until losing on a last minute field goal set up by a terrible defensive series.
And so it continues: “Houston Texans: Waiting For Next Year Since 2002”.
TexanRevJ: Chiefs 34, Texans 17.
The Texans won this game in Week 6. That is almost a lifetime ago in NFL terms. In that game, the Texans didn’t give up a sack, Tashaun Gipson had a big game, and Patrick Mahomes was still recovering from an early season injury. Even if all those things happened again—and they won’t—I’m still not sure that the Texans would be able to pull out a victory.
The Texans would have to get off to a hot start to even have a chance in this game. Unfortunately, that isn’t their strength. More often than not, we’ve seen that the Texans start games unprepared and unfocused. They spotted the Bills 16 points in the Wild Card round and were able to pull the game out, but they won’t be able to do that against the Chiefs.
Andy Reid is 18-3 after a bye week. That seems like a stat that is more luck than anything, but he’s been able to reproduce the effect time and time again. Reid is one of the top three coaches in the NFL, and he will have his team ready to play. They are going to find ways to exploit what the Texans do on defense. Tyreek Hill is already hard to cover; now he’s had time to heal and a coach who wants to get him the ball. It could be a long day for Houston’s secondary.
If the Texans have any hope, it rests on Deshaun Watson’s shoulders. He will have to play the best game of his career and carry the team to the finish line. He’s done incredible things before. Let’s hope he has another big game in him and is able to will the Texans to their first AFC Championship Game ever.
Capt Ron: Texans 38, Chiefs 35.
I’m going on the assumption here that Will Fuller will be the x-factor for Houston, who narrowly wins by a field goal. Why break from “the L-W-W pattern?”
O’Brien will be outcoached from start to finish regardless of who plays. He sucks at play design, play calling and game management!—Insert the recently-leaked video from the Broncos game—I actually love the fire and passion he brought in that outburst. I wish that emotion would translate to better game planning, faster starts, and more effective results to dominate the opponent instead of these sloppy one-possession tilts that come down to a player sometimes making an off-script adjustment in the final moments.
If the team starts out slow, as they have nearly every game this season, they will lose this game.
If Will Fuller is not available, then the Texans will lose this game.
How can they win? Watt and Watson can outperform their counterparts from the Chiefs. This game will come down to individual and team passion, precise execution in all three phases, and a lucky bounce or two. Will Fuller creates a force multiplier for the offense, so if he’s good to go, I think the Texans can pull out an exciting win. I want to believe they can make it to the next level.
Tim: Chiefs 31, Texans 24..
That’s right—I predict that your Houston Texans fall to the Chiefs by the very score Houston beat Kansas City by in Week Six. Embrace the symmetry!
I think the Texans have about a 35% chance to win this game, and the majority of that is based upon Deshaun Watson’s excellence. The Chiefs are playing at home. They’re healthier. They’re rolling. They should win this one to set up an epic AFC Championship Game against the Ravens in Baltimore next week.
Andy Reid is no stranger to losing playoff games his team was the sizable favorite to win. And this isn’t a best of seven series; it’s one game. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if the Texans won. They went into Arrowhead and did it a few months ago, albeit against a far weaker Chiefs squad.
I don’t think they’ll do it again on Sunday, but I can’t wait to see if they do.
I just want Bill O’Brien to say F*** it and hand this entire game to Deshaun Watson. Of course I know that will not happen, but I’d rather see him come to that conclusion in the first quarter instead of the third. All that said, Deshaun can’t get out there and cover receivers or generate a pass rush. But this is the time to pull out all the stops as if there is no tomorrow.
Feel free to use the comments below to predict the game. Above all else ENJOY it - it may be the last for a very long time.