Last time, we talk about the matchup and strategy between the Kansas City defense and Houston offense. We will flip the script today. The Chiefs offense is looking to come out hot and remind people what they are capable of doing. Meanwhile, the Texans defense is led by the veterans up front. However, the backend has a lot of responsibility, despite having players that have recently been pieced together.
When these teams met earlier in the year, Kansas City kicked things off in style against Houston. Then penalties, drops and injuries changed the course of the game. Frustration ultimately hurt Kansas City even more. Let’s explore here, how each unit may gameplan for Sunday.
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During the current Chiefs winning streak, Patrick Mahomes‘ numbers may not blow people away. The team is more complete though. As a result, Mahomes does not have to perform like Superman week in and week out. It is evident that he is still making the right choices most of the time. Mahomes is not beating opponents by throwing long bomb after long bomb. More importantly, the choices are precise and calculated, making the opposing teams look simple to beat.
There has to be a big smile on the face of Mahomes entering this Sunday. The Kansas City offense is set up well to beat the Houston defense. First off, the Texans are still figuring things out at defensive back. A couple of those guys were not with Houston the first time these teams met. Additionally, the Kansas City skill players’ abilities matchup well with the Houston defenders. Speed can help in the deep passing game. To boot, Mahomes could connect well in the short to intermediate game with guys like Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce. Mahomes will look to remind people how well he can spin it through defenders.
There has been some love and hate with the Chiefs offensive line, especially on the interior. But overall, they are ranked in the top half of the league in offensive line efficiency. On the other hand, the Texans were among the worst in the league during the year with 31 sacks. They managed three sacks last week during Wild Card Weekend.
Now, JJ Watt is back though. He brings the energy and leadership to this front seven that they need. There is a lot of hard working underrated guys, like Angelo Blackson, DJ Reader and Charles Omenihu. This is going to be one matchup that could go a long way in either Kansas City running away with it, or Houston keeping it a close game. Who can win more battles at the line of scrimmage?
Turning The Corner?
For most of the regular season, the Chiefs struggled with their offensive rushing attack. In the last two weeks, things have changed. Led primarily by a more healthy Damien Williams, defenses were struggling with the outside zone concept. Williams has underrated speed in the open field. Also, he is capable of churning out tough yards after contact in between the tackles. Furthermore, Williams looks determined to lead the charge and be counted on during the playoffs. There is doubts, but the team believes he is where he could have been at during the outset of the season.
Other backs like Darwin Thompson and LeSean McCoy have roles that are less known. Andy Reid said all three backs could see the field. McCoy has been inactive a couple of times, and was believed to have fallen out of favor because of fumbles. Was the Chiefs words of resting him up for the playoffs actually true? Either way, Thompson has been mostly impressive when receiving opportunities. Kansas City feels good in this aspect just as much against the Houston defense.
People can get insane about time of possession. However, it could loom large this week when Kansas City hosts Houston. If the Chiefs are able to control the clock and play under control, that will limit the chances Deshaun Watson could have. Due to the magic Watson is capable of, this plan could be possible for Reid. The Chiefs have done that well during this winning streak.
We know Kansas City can generate explosive plays of their own. But, they are just as comfortable with getting manageable gain after gain. The long down and distance situations rarely puts fear into the offense, and more so, Mahomes. We saw him beat the Patriots on a 3rd and 15+. Then, he had no trouble completing a pass to Tyreek Hill to beat the Bears on a 3rd and 18. Anything is possible and the players believe nothing is impossible.
That will wrap up our look at how the Kansas City offense could matchup with the Houston defense. Be on the lookout for the game preview to end the week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.