- They can play ball control: use play action, control the clock, own the time of possession, ESTABLISH THE RUN, pray, then pray some more, and hope the defense gets enough turnovers to escape with a win. This is what happened in their successful first match-up at Arrowhead Stadium when they broke out the read option that doesn’t work anymore.
- Or they can go for it and unleash Deshaun Watson as a vertical passer and try to get into shootout against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
One of the hurdles to going with the latter strategy is Will Fuller. The Texans’ deep threat wide receiver, who is much more than just a deep threat, has been out of the lineup since injuring his groin against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16. The Texans attempted two passes over 20 yards against the Bills without Will Fuller in the lineup last week. The first was a miss slightly over Kenny Stills’s head, and the other was a 41 yard completion to DeAndre Hopkins that put Houston in position to score a touchdown.
Regardless, Houston’s offense tends to turtle without Fuller. The deep passing disappears. The dynamism of the offense gives way to Carlos Hyde carries up the middle.
But I come bearing good news. As of right now, Fuller is expected to play against the Kansas Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the 2019 NFL Playoffs.
Help is on the way for playoff teams next week:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 5, 2020
— The #Texans are expecting to have WR Will Fuller (groin) active vs. the #Chiefs, barring a setback.
— The #49ers are expecting to have pass-rusher Dee Ford (hamstring) for the divisional game. He’s been limited or out for a month.
We will have to wait and see how Fuller progresses throughout the week. If he does play on Sunday, the Texans at least have the option to try and go toe to toe against Patrick Mahomes. If he doesn’t play, get ready to ESTABLISH THE RUN, hope enough things happen for Houston to pull off a miracle, and go farther than any Texans team has ever gone before—the American Football Conference Championship Game.