Football is going to be on our television this week, and I cannot be more excited to say that. That means we need to learn about the Kansas City Chiefs’ opponent for Week One, the Houston Texans. Following an off-season like no other, there is much uncertainty going into Thursday night.
Last season, the Texans won in Kansas City during the regular season in a sloppy, back and forth contest. They looked primed to hand the Chiefs a heavy and heartbreaking playoff loss. A 24-0 lead evaporated to a 28-24 deficit for Houston by halftime. Entering Opening Night, the Chiefs are currently on a 51-7 run against the Texans. Now, let’s get to know the visitors from Texas.
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Don’t Count Them Out
We saw Patrick Mahomes secure a record breaking contract extension this summer. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson also signed for major money recently, agreeing to a four year deal for $156 million. For Houston, it is well worth it.
Watson can seemingly pull his team out of the grave and bring them to victory, when the team is noticeably struggling. He already has eight career fourth quarter comebacks in his first three seasons. Of course, we cannot forget about last year’s Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills. Houston was down 16-0 in the second half, before Watson put on his Superman cape. A 20 yard rushing touchdown from the dual threat signal caller ignited the Texans’ fire. His broken tackle in overtime, before rolling out to complete a long pass will give Bills fans nightmares for years to come.
We also cannot count out the players who Watson will be throwing to. Despite the unnecessary trade of DeAndre Hopkins, the Houston Texans still have a better receiving corps than a handful of NFL teams. As long as they are aggressive, the quartet of Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb can still do damage. The Kansas City secondary certainly may need some time to get their feet wet once again.
All Gas, No Breaks
On the defensive side of the football, there is not much that is different than the last time these two teams met. The defensive line with JJ Watt, Charles Omenihu, Brandon Dunn and Carlos Watkins can takeover a game in the trenches if they want to. But, the back seven, specifically the secondary, is going to have a mouthful to deal with on Thursday.
In the playoff game, the Houston Texans attempted to utilize man coverage. This left Mahomes with plenty of options throughout the game. When he wanted to launch it deep, the defensive backs were pushed to the brink and had no idea when the ball was coming their way. The well known Kansas City speed wore Houston out. Meanwhile, Travis Kelce can become unguardable with man coverage attempts. He is also a Texan killer in his career (41 receptions, 558 yards, 5 touchdowns). Kelce caught three touchdown passes in the playoff game.
It is no easy task to attempt to slow down the Chiefs attack. However, the Houston Texans should get no passes for failing to improve that part of the roster.
Peaks and Valleys
It is well documented how head scratching of decisions Bill O’Brien can make. Whether it be in game situations as a head coach, or with roster construction as the acting general manager, there is a lengthy list to point to. Going into this opening matchup against the Chiefs, O’Brien cannot try to outdo future Hall of Famer Andy Reid.
Rather, BOB and the Houston Texans must stick to a plan that can possibly push Kansas City to their limit and move them off their plan, instead of veering off of his own track. It could be difficult to do that at the beginning of this particular season, compared to past ones. Furthermore, O’Brien must know that swinging for the fences too early is no match against the defending Super Bowl champions.
That will conclude our look into the Houston Texans from behind enemy lines. Be sure to stay tuned for more game preview content before Thursday night. For more great sports and NFL content, stay locked on 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.