NFL Game of the Week: Texans vs. Chiefs
With many teams finally starting to hit their stride entering week five, the game this week to watch is the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football.
Kansas City enters week five as arguably the best team in football as they are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. With a record of 4-0, the Chiefs have some of the more impressive wins in this young season, beating the Patriots on opening night in Foxboro and the 3-1 Eagles.
The Chiefs are coming off a hard-fought 29-20 win against Washington on Monday Night Football. Quarterback Alex Smith led the way with 293 yards and a touchdown. Running back Kareem Hunt continued his domination with 101 yards on the ground and another 20 through the air. Kansas City was able to hold off Kirk Cousins and the Redskin offense from taking the led late.
Houston is bringing in a 2-2 record into this matchup and look to go above .500 for the first time this season. Ever since Coach Bill O’Brien put in quarterback Deshaun Watson to replace Tom Savage, there has been a new energy in this team.
The Texans are coming off their best performance of the season with a 57-14 embarrassment over the Titans. Watson had an incredible performance with 283 yards and 5 total touchdowns, which tied a rookie record. Wideout DeAndre Hopkins was the main target for Watson, who had 10 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.
With Watson now in the lineup, this game has the look of being very competitive.
Chiefs Offense vs. Texans Defense
This should be a good matchup to watch on Sunday as both units have been among the league’s best this season.
Kansas City has been much better on offense than most expected this season. Alex Smith has been incredible this season by having a 76 percent completion percentage and ranking third in the league in yards per attempt. Tight end Travis Kelce and wideout Tyreek Hill have been the main targets for Smith this year. Both receivers have totaled 21 receptions and two touchdowns each.
The early front-runner for MVP this season has been Kareem Hunt. Hunt has come out of nowhere as a rookie to lead the league in rushing by 140 yards. Hunt has averaged an astonishing 7.4 yards per carry and 125.5 yards per game. Look for the Chiefs to pound the rock early with Hunt to set up the deep pass to Hill and Kelce.
A Texans defense led by All-Pro defensive ends J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney looks to pressure Alex Smith. Kansas City’s offensive line has allowed 16 sacks (third most in NFL) this season and Watt and Clowney are two of the best pass rushers in the league. Expect for the Texans to come away with several sacks on Smith and a weak Chiefs offensive line.
Houston’s defense ranks fifth in the league in yards allowed per game. So, one of the best offenses against one of the best defenses should be a fantastic matchup. The Texans defense has two touchdowns and forced a league high seven fumbles. This defense is among the league’s elite and should be a challenge the Chiefs haven’t faced yet this season.
Texans Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
After pulling Tom Savage in week one, the Texans offense has been elite with rookie Deshaun Watson. Watson has found a groove in the last two weeks with seven touchdowns in those games. Wideout DeAndre Hopkins has been the number one target for Watson this season, as he leads the league with 31 receptions.
Houston’s running game is led by Lamar Miller, who is tied for tenth in the league in rushing. The Texans like to run Miller a lot to set up the deep bomb to Hopkins and Will Fuller. Deshaun Watson also makes several plays a game with his feet, so watch for Watson to make a big impact scrambling out of the pocket.
The Chiefs defense is led by linebacker Justin Houston, who has four sacks and one touchdown this season. However, Kansas City ranks as the seventh worst team in yards allowed per game. So while the Chiefs can get after the quarterback and force turnovers, they are prone to giving up a lot of yards.
All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters leads the Chiefs secondary that has struggled a little this season. Kansas City has been able to hold opposing teams to field goals, but that could be a tougher task against Watson and the Texans offense that has found their groove lately.
This game has the look of being very close and competitive. As the league’s last undefeated team, Kansas City hopes to improve to 5-0 against Houston. However, a loud NRG Stadium will help Houston and watch for Watson and Hopkins to expose the Chiefs defense. Watson keeps on rolling in a close win at home.
Prediction: Houston 27, Kansas City 20
Camden Tofil is a freshman majoring in advertising/public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.