Texans vs Chiefs Live :The Houston Texans expect to have a player healthy for the divisional round who is critical to the success of their offense. Speedy wide receiver Will Fuller missed a total of six games with an injury during the regular season. Fuller missed his Football 2020 seventh game on the year —and for a receiver that relies heavily on his speed, Divisional Round 2020 this is a significant injury. According to a new report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Fuller is on track to suit up against the Kansas City Chiefs when Houston comes to town for the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
HOUSTON TEXANS v. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
When: 2:05 p.m. C.T., Sunday, January 12
Where: Arrowhead Stadium
TV Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson
The Chiefs opened as sizable favorites for good reason. They were by far the hotter team with five straight wins after their bye week by an average of 18.2 PPG. Rest will obviously play a factor with the Texans coming back from a 16-0 deficit to pull out a 22-19 overtime win against a physical Bills team Saturday.
Yet Andy Reid’s teams have a history of underperforming in the playoffs and these Texans went into Arrowhead on a sunny afternoon in October and won. Pulling out a postseason victory will be far more difficult, but Deshaun Watson could inspire enough confidence to create action on the Texans and keep this spread under double-digits.
Kansas City is hosting its third Divisional Round game in four seasons, having lost at home to the Steelers in 2016 before beating the Colts at home last January.
The Texans have lost three times in the Divisional Round since 2012, including twice at New England. The other loss came at Baltimore in 2012.
Even though the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans met in Week 6 of the 2019 season, both of these teams will look different in the divisional round of the playoffs. We can point to several areas where things have changed for each team.
Those changes could have significant implications in this matchup.This is the game the Chiefs have been working towards since the moment the clock hit zero in 2018’s AFC Championship Game. It also feels like a game that this team is currently built to win it all. The defense is fully capable of making the big plays needed to be a reason the Chiefs win games, something they weren’t capable of in 2018. Kansas City has a terrifying group of speedy receivers facing a Texans secondary that’s allowing 267 passing yards on average per game.
After Watt was injured earlier this season, Houston had one of the worst pressure rates in the NFL. K.C. should be able to take advantage of the Texans’ pass rush when Watt is off the field. He played more snaps than anticipated in the wild-card game against the Bills in his return off a torn pectoral. Look for Andy Reid to call deep shots when he subs out.
The one area the Chiefs need to better this time around is the turnover department. In Week 6 against the Texans, Patrick Mahomes saw a flag when Travis Kelce was tackled to the ground mid-play. He thought he had a free play and he threw an interception. The official decided to pick up the flag, and without a penalty, it accounted for his first interception on the year. Later, Mahomes would fumble near the goal line. Turnovers accounted for a 14-point swing in a game that Houston won by seven points.
Given the extra time to prepare and hammer home good fundamentals, I expect the Chiefs to come away with a victory. Deshaun Watson’s playmaking ability will keep Houston close and make for some late-game theatrics. This will only add to the excitement of a postseason rivalry that is sure to come up a few times in the next decade.
I won’t dismiss the fact that the Texans can look like a legitimate Super Bowl contender on any given week, but they disappoint more often than they play to their potential.
It was all Houston could do to defeat the Buffalo Bills last week, which required Deshaun Watson to pull a rabbit out of the hat on a few different occasions. The Chiefs aren’t the Bills. Kansas City is better in almost every facet than Buffalo, and the Texans for that matter.
Watson is a very good quarterback, but takes too many sacks and still struggles to read defenses. The Houston defense is average against the run and poor against the pass, which happens to be the Chiefs’ strength on offense. As long as K.C. doesn’t lay an egg, it is once again going to the AFC championship game.
Both of these teams will look a lot healthier heading into the divisional round of the playoffs. Kansas City, of course, has the benefit of coming off a first-round bye week. Houston will likely be a bit dinged up from a wild-card round that went to overtime.
In addition to those players, WR Tyreek Hill played for the first time after suffering a sternoclavicular dislocation in Week 1. He only played on 22 of over 50 offensive snaps for Kansas City. Star QB Patrick Mahomes was still dealing with the effects of a lingering ankle injury, which hobbled him during the game. The Chiefs also lost DB Kendall Fuller to a thumb injury during the course of the game.
The Texans also had some injuries ahead of the game with WR Kenny Stills and CB Jonathan Joseph both inactive for the contest. During the game, they lost OT Tytus Howard and CB Bradley Roby to injuries.
Most of these players should play for their respective teams, with only Joseph in question as he missed Houston’s wild-card round with a hamstring injury. A few players won’t be available for the matchup, like Texans OT Tytus Howard and Chiefs S Juan Thornhill, due to season-ending injuries.
Houston bottom 10 in defense DVOA against both the run and pass this season and coughed up the second-most yards per drive (37.64).
Since the Texans scored the seventh most points per drive (2.23) and the Chiefs were second at 2.7 points per drive, this game may appear to have the makings of a shootout. But Kansas City’s defense has stiffened lately, allowing just 10.4 PPG and 292.2 total YPG with 7 turnovers over 5 games since the Chiefs bye week.
The Chiefs allowed the third-fewest points per red zone trip (4.28) and the Texans allowed the most points per red zone trip (5.63) this season.
Patrick Mahomes and company are going to be able to score in this matchup. His splits were somewhat diminished in six home starts this year, but KC still averaged 25.6 PPG in those contests. The Texans pass defense was slightly better on the road and they produced 16 sacks in those games, but also coughed up 5.3 YPC.