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Incompletions: Texans-Chiefs (The Deshaun Watson-Patrick Mahomes Debate Begins)

With so much to write and talk about after every game, and not enough time for one person to write about it all, the masthead joins together and writes about the biggest win the in the Bill O’Brien era.

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Matt Weston:

All those days ago, this was the game I was most excited for. Back in the spring, when those great swaths of purple flowers secreted their perfume, and this summer, when it was hot and dreadful and wonderful. Deshaun Watson versus Patrick Mahomes and the Great Young Quarterback Debate. Andy Reid versus Bill O’Brien in fourth dimensional galactic chess. The first chance for the Texans, if their season was going well, to prove they’re among the AFC’s elite...or perhaps it was going to be another season of the same, exact, thing.

The view was worth the hike. Houston brutalized the Chiefs’ wretched linebacker group with a powerful vertical run game, utilizing quick passes and play action to get them chasing sideline to sideline and neutralizing their cornerback play. Deshaun Watson was precise and accurate, leading a ball control offense that limited the Chiefs to three second half of possessions. The offensive line handled the Chiefs’ revamped defensive line’s one-on-one pass rushes.

Most importantly, the Texans didn’t panic after stumbling to a 10-0 and then a 17-3 deficit. Houston’s defense forced two turnovers, covered well enough, and made monstrous plays when they needed it. Will Fuller’s slippery little fingers keeping him from Nelson Agholoring Tyrann Mathieu was the only thing preventing a perfect game and a perfect day.

In actuality, it wasn’t really just an offseason we waded through. It was five seasons. After years of abysmal offenses carried by a spectacular defense, horrific quarterback play, ineffective offensive game plans, and Watson losing one possession games to non-AFC South teams, the Texans finally did it. They took down one of the league’s elite and they did it in a dominant way.

Back-to-back suffocating offensive weeks don’t excuse or outweigh all those lost aimless years. The football still weighs more than the feather. That being said, it does look like a light has flooded and lit up the inside of Bill O’Brien’s skull. The Texans may finally be more than the best team in a mediocre division. They may finally do something more than eat the curb in the Divisional Round. Bite the belt and buckle up. Vivisect me and open me up. The Texans may have finally have evolved into the team we’ve been waiting for them to become.

A Story In Three Parts:

Matt Burnham:

Good things usually don’t come in whole pieces for the Texans, but the Chiefs tried everything they could to make us forget.

Turnover battle? Chiefs.

Dropped touchdowns? Four of them.

Injuries? Several Texans.

Best way to lose is all three of those things and yet the Texans...won?

This game easily could have been a 24 point blowout by the Texans. But the Texans Texan’d all over the field, so nothing was sealed until the last two minutes.

I’m just going to start the Deshaun Watson for MVP campaign. Let’s call it what it is. He has been one of the three or four best players in the NFL this year and he looks like he is in total control of everything. Crazy what offensive line protection does for you, right?

Andy Reid went full Bill O’Brien and Bill O’Brien went full Andy Reid. One was aggressive and trusted his quarterback; the other one called a run play on 2nd and 13, I think it was. Up is diagonal and sideways is down. I don’t know. Something like that.

The Texans won a game on the road against a Super Bowl contender and didn’t wet themselves even though they desperately tried to after falling down 10-0 after one total offensive play.

My predictions about the Texans live on. Without the foolish prevent defense when the Saints needed seven yards, I would be 3-0 picking the Texans on the road when they’re underdogs.

They beat the Chiefs. I don’t know what life is.

Mike Bullock:

I’m not sure what to do on a morning after the Texans beat a team they shouldn’t have, the Astros beat a team no one in the national narrative thought they could and, well, Clemson crushed Florida State Saturday, too. It might have been the best sports weekend I can remember.

Not only are we finally seeing the Deshaun Watson from Clemson, the guy who pulls crazy, Brett Favre level magic out of his hat on a regular basis, but Carlos Hyde had a major ‘revenge-game’ when no one figured he had any reason for it. What might be best of all is Tashuan Gipson nabbing Patrick Mahomes’ first interception of the year... again...after pointing out he did it last year. Hopefully Johnathan Joseph and Bradley Roby can return for next week’s game against the Colts.



I want to say that this is one of those season-defining wins, but it’s a little too early for that. Instead, I’ll say that this was one of the best wins of the BO’B era. The Texans walked into Arrowhead and absolutely dominated a Chiefs team that everyone believes in. Despite falling behind early in the game, the Texans came back and looked like the better team.

It’s time to start talking about Deshaun Watson as a top five QB. When he is on, he’s one of the best in the NFL. He wasn’t sacked for a second week in a row and he looked really good reading the Chiefs’ D. He had two interceptions, but one of those was an end of half shot that I’m not too worried about. He was better than Patrick Mahomes in this game.

Carlos Hyde looks reborn in Houston’s offense. He’s starting to turn heads as everyone is seeing what made him such a great college talent. He had 116 yards on the ground and looked powerful running between the tackles. The Chiefs simply had no answer for the power run game of the Texans.

I loved the way the Texans’ defense played. They got burned a few times by Tyreek Hill, but overall it was a good performance. Gipson even forced Mahomes into his first interception of the season. J.J. Watt and D.J. Reader didn’t have a sack but seemed to be pushing the pocket well and were clearly making Mahomes uncomfortable. Charles Omenihu came up huge at the end of the first half a his strip-sack that led to the Texans taking a lead into the locker room. It was encouraging to see them play well even with all the secondary injuries taking place.

The coaching was really good and it’ll be interesting to see if the Texans can ride this hot hand into next week at the Colts.

Not Really, But I’m Just Trying To Have A Good Time.

Capt Ron:

In back-to-back weeks, I have had to watch recorded replays of the Texans games due to other commitments during the live broadcast. In both of those weeks, the Texans have played lights out. It’s been incredible to see the potential of this offensive roster come to life and I want more of it! Is O’Brien finally setting aside his previous stubbornness to unleash Watson? Whatever it is, do more of it!

I’m not sure what happened to Fuller’s hands, but if you find them, please send them to:

NRG Pkwy., Houston, TX 77054.

Time to regroup, heal up, and then crush Jim Irsay’s soul when the Texans head to Indy.


Diehard Chris:

Sunday’s win in KC was impressive and hugely unexpected. I know the Chiefs are vulnerable right now and have a poor defense. I get all of that. I looked at this game as one that would probably fit into the pile of “almost impressive wins” where the Texans would fight hard but ultimately come up short. This is due mainly to my complete distrust of Houston’s secondary. So OF COURSE - what happens in this game? We find out the day of that your second-best cornerback Johnathan Joseph will not play at all due to a hamstring issue, and with plenty of time left in the game, your best cornerback, Bradley Roby, leaves the game with - a hamstring issue. So clearly the Texans could keep up offensively but the defense just won’t be able to stop Mahomes with all those inju--- WHAT? They WON the damn thing? Cannot process.

Bill O’Brien had another great game and game plan to exploit KC’s weaknesses. Deshaun Watson didn’t have spectacular numbers, but that’ll happen when you suffer multiple dropped TD passes by Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins. Houston’s running game MAULED the Chiefs, and the Texans also managed to use the short-passing game to near perfection. Add to that the offensive line’s second game in a row allowing ZERO sacks (what?), and I believe they only allowed one QB hit.

I guess we need to start taking this offensive line’s improvement as seriously as we need to take Ka’imi Fairbairn’s unraveling.

Now it would be veeeery Texans for them to follow this up with a dud in Indianapolis next week against the same Colts team that also put it together for a road win against the Chiefs. If we are going to start to believe this is a legit contender that can play consistently week to week, a win on the road against the division rival Colts would be a damned fine start.

Yeah, So, That Just Happened.


I watched this game from the ICU unit at St. David’s here in Austin along with my father and sister.

My dad, even in his haze, kept saying how different the offense looked and how differently they were being coached. My sister asked on a couple of occasions if BOB had been replaced by space aliens. For the record, my dad also believes Watson is a better quarterback than Mahomes, and I do not disagree with that assessment.

The simple fact is that the Houston Texans are a far different team since Week 2. The offensive play calling has improved drastically, and BOB has shown aggressiveness he had not displayed in his previous 82 games as a head coach. Most of all, BOB has finally learned that Deshaun Watson is not Tom Brady, which was the most important step of all.

On the defensive side of the ball, Romeo Crennel has been fantastic at covering up our vulnerabilities, something that really jumped out yesterday.

The Texans still look like a glass cannon in a lot of ways, but only one team in the NFL has Deshaun Watson. Watson has been a successful quarterback in spite of his offensive coordinator for most of his time in the NFL. Even with a middling offensive coordinator, Watson can single-handedly drag this team to success.