Of all the crazy off-season moves Houston made prior to the start of the 2019 season, trading offensive lineman Martinas Rankin to the Kansas City Chiefs for Carlos Hyde seemed to be one of the few that made great sense on the surface.
The Texans had just found out starting tailback Lamar Miller was out for the year with an ACL tear, many fans blamed the terrible blocking of the offensive line and Houston looked like it was going to have no running game at all.
Getting rid of Rankin had to happen. He was, well, not good.
Getting rid of him by way of a trade that brought in Carlos Hyde seemed almost too good to be true.
Carlos has been a heck of an addition to this team. I’m blessed to have him as my running back and a friend.
Then, Hyde proceeded to have the best season of his career, racking up 1070 yards on 245 carries and hitting the end zone 6 times. Not only was that the best season of Hyde’s career, it was the best by a Houston running back since Arian Foster 1246 yards on 260 carries with 8 TDs in 2014.
This week marks a first for Hyde, as despite his long career, he’s never played in a divisional round playoff game before. But, just like the last time Houston faced the Chiefs, Hyde should be an integral part of the gameplan; the more success Hyde has, the less time Patrick Mahomes has the ball in his hands.
With Hyde, Duke Johnson Jr. and Deshaun Watson, the Texans posted the 9th ranked rushing attack in the regular season with 2009 total yards, more than half of which Hyde gained.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs posted the 7th worst rushing defense, surrendering 2051 yards, an average of 128 yards per game and 4.9 per carry.
Those stats play right into the Texans hands.
While Las Vegas oddsmakers and most pundits don’t give Houston much of a chance to win this weekend, if Bill O’Brien can have the team ready from the first snap, control the ball with a solid ground game and get a few playoff caliber plays from guys like Hyde, Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt, those predictors might very well be proven wrong.
What do you think? Will Hyde have another successful game against his former team? Or will this one turn into a shoot-out between Mahomes and Watson? Give us your gameplan in the comments box.