Week 6 was a long time ago. BFD had hair. I was still bronze. Diehard Chris hadn’t seen The Irishman yet. Will Fuller V was healthy. Kenneth had only 25 sacks in his sack tracker. Ahhh, youth. Ahhh, were so young once.
Now, way over here, in the January drudges of chapped mouths and florescent skin, the Texans return to Kansas City to play the Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the 2019 NFL Playoffs. Entering this game the Texans are a long shot to win, and are a 9 point underdog this game.
To begin the season preview that will take hold of this place for the next few days, I asked the masthead to briefly leave the grounds of all reality and imagine it’s Monday after the Texans just beat the Chiefs. How did they pull off the upset? What did they do to make this happen?
I don’t think Houston can beat the Chiefs like how they did it last time. That crackpot never seen before motion Darren Fells out into the flat read option doesn’t work anymore. It stopped working after they played Oakland. Teams caught on. It’s over. Done with.
That game also had Patrick Mahomes throw an endzone interception after he assumed a penalty was called on Houston. It wasn’t. And an end of half Charles Omenihu strip sack turned into a Texans touchdown. Tyreek Hill just returned from injury. Mahomes’s ankle was hobbled. Their running back position was in disarray. Chris Jones and Anthony Hitchens were injured. The Chiefs are better now than they were then, and even back then, so many things had to happen for Houston to pull it off.
So, if the Texans do it, they do it by throwing the ball downfield. Will Fuller is healthy and he actually catches the deep passes thrown to him. Kenny Stills takes advantage of the cascading affect of his return, and torches the Chiefs #3 and #4 cornerbacks covering him. It’s an awful day for Tyrann Mathieu. Duke Johnson skips past Kansas City’s linebackers whenever they blitz. And their pass rushers can’t win their one v. one matchups. Then, on top of all of that, Justin Reid limits their deep passing game, J.J. Watt is relentless and overwhelming, Mahomes has two interceptions, the Texans have zero turnovers, and Houston continues their one possession win streak and wins a 34-31 game or whatever.
This sounds like a beautiful Monday morning to wake up to.
Kenny Stills has 7 catches for 120 yards, and Carlos Hyde has 6 carries for 12 yards. As long as we give the ball to players who are actually productive at their jobs, and I doubt it will happen (!), that’s our best chance to win.
Expect the unexpected: Houston comes out with a crazy, trick play where Deshaun Watson connects with Keke Coutee on a play action fake, and Coutee takes it to the house. J.J. Watt then forces a fumble on the Chiefs first play that D.J. Reader returns for a touchdown and within minutes Houston is up 14-0. The crowd goes silent, and Houston settles into their clock control gameplan. They play well enough to hold the lead, exchanging touchdowns and field goals, bu the Chiefs never recover from the opening few minutes. Texans win 34-23, stunning everyone.
In order to beat the Chiefs in the playoffs, the Texans pull out all the stops. Carlos Hyde & Duke Johnson combine for over 200 yards of total offense. Hop has 2 TD catches and 100+ yards and Fuller beats Mathieu deep for the game winning score late in the 4th.
On the defensive side of the ball, J.J. has 4 sacks and a FF, which is of course recovered by DJ Reader. Justin Reid atones for his missed pick from the game earlier this year and makes a diving interception of Mahomes as he tries to lead the Chiefs down the field in a last ditch effort to beat the Texans.
Deshaun Watson is hailed as a hero and master commander of BOB’s offensive scheme. BOB receives the accolades he’s always wanted as he’s dubbed the next Bill Belichick.
If the Texans pulled off the upset...
Will Fuller V played and had a big game. The Texans likely got down early (again) and weathered the storm (again). With Tashaun Gipson out, someone clearly stepped WAY the hell up and allowed Travis Kelce a lot of catches, but no big plays. The Texans finished their tackles and did not turn the ball over. Deshaun Watson had one of his best games as a pro. Bill O’Brien gave the reins of the offense to Deshaun earlier in the game than he typically would.
All or most of those things would need to happen. But hey - I’ve been wrong about this team ALL YEAR so I have no clue. I just wanna see a good, close game and hope the Texans pull off the upset!