Texans vs Chiefs Game Preview
The only preseason game this week that pits two AFC teams against each other. The Texans and Chiefs meet in what could be a sneak peek of a future playoff game as each side has all the makings of a postseason team.
The Chiefs are one of the NFL’s most complete teams and further bolstered their defence with key offseason additions. The Texans were decimated by injuries last year but the return of their star players plus upgrades means a potential Super Bowl run.
Just when Houston finally found their missing piece in quarterback DeShaun Watson, the rookie phenom went down with an ACL injury. On top of that, Houston lost defensive MVP J.J. Watt (DE) along with Whitney Mercilus (LB) in the same game.
The bad luck in 2018 doomed the Texans to a 4-12 finish. Despite not having many draft picks, the team used free agency to improve. If they stay healthy, they should win back the division.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City surprised everyone when they traded away quarterback Alex Smith. This signalled the start of the Patrick Mahomes era. The 2017 first-round pick is bursting with talent and has the game-breaking ability that his predecessor simply didn’t.
Mahomes presents a higher ceiling of playmaking but also a lower floor. Fortunately for him, the Chiefs are loaded everywhere else and all he has to be is decent and the Chiefs will once again be vying for a Super Bowl.
The Chiefs are one of the deeper teams in the NFL. They are covered in almost every position. Same can be said for the Texans minus their o-line and running backs. This game will test each side’s defensive depth even as Kansas City is favoured to win here.
Texans vs Chiefs Head-to-Head Records
The Texans and Chiefs have met ten times overall with Kansas City leading the series 6-4. Their first meeting was in 2003, which the Chiefs won via blowout: 42-14. Houston would go on to win three of the next four meetings but then Kansas City would take over and win four of the next five.
Houston defeated Kansas City in 2016 in a game the Texans defence dominated. But it has been the Chiefs show for the most part including a thrilling win in their most recent meeting last season. Their games have alternated between defensive struggles and shootouts.
Before last season, the Chiefs have limited the Texans offence to under 20 points. The addition of Watson to the Texans changed the game as the rookie lit up the Chiefs for five touchdowns. It’s unlikely the next game will over 76 points total again as both teams will make the necessary adjustments.
The shift with the teams’ offence is likely to change the dynamics of this rivalry. The Chiefs remain solid on both ends of the ball and the Texans are almost as balanced. Expect higher scoring between each side next time they meet.
Houston Texans Recent History
The Texans are the NFL’s youngest franchise. Following the relocation of the Oilers to Tennessee in 1997, the NFL awarded Houston a new team in 2002. And it took this new team almost a decade to finally break into the postseason in 2011 then followed it up with another run in 2012.
Since their first playoff trip, the Texans have only had two losing seasons: in 2013 and 2017 and both these seasons saw the team decimated by injuries. Otherwise, the Texans have consistently finished above .500 going 9-7 from 2014 to 2016 and winning a franchise-best 12 games in 2012.
Let’s not talk about curses just yet but almost every season it seems like the Texans are dealing with injuries. But if they stay relatively healthy, this is a team that will consistently finish atop its division and can even challenge for a Super Bowl if they add some more pieces.
Kansas City Chiefs Recent History
As a franchise, the Chiefs are like a great Hollywood movie that falls apart towards the final act. Regardless of their record and who’s coaching them, the Chiefs have a tendency to collapse in the postseason. This is a franchise that has one playoff win in the last 23 years. That is a 1-10 playoff record.
What makes it even more painful is that most of these recent losses came on home turf such as their last two losses. Their last three one-and-done’s all came by no more than two points meaning the Chiefs are always in it but can’t seem to finish the job. Hence why they made the switch at QB.
Kansas City hopes Mahomes is the answer for their shortcomings. The prospect has dynamic playmaking ability and could finally push this team to the edge. If he doesn’t, Andy Reid’s coaching seat will get extremely hot extremely fast.
Houston Texans Outlook
This is a Super Bowl-calibre team. The Texans have had a potent defence since even before drafting Watt and they’ve had solid options on offence but lacked a franchise quarterback. That’s where Watson fits in. They still have plenty of work to do to patch up the offensive line and add running backs.
Right now, the Texans still lack a complete team and Watson could be doing his best Russell Wilson-impression in carrying the offence. But at least he has DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins and newly drafted tight-end Jordan Akins to help him out.
It’s been a long road for the franchise but they are finally peaking as a franchise. It will be up to the front office to preserve their franchise players long enough to capture their first Lombardi trophy.
Kansas City Chiefs Outlook
The Chiefs might be the NFL’s best-rounded team. Looking at this team from quarterback down to their special teams, they have everything a coach could possibly want. The onus is on Reid and his staff to deliver because if they don’t, they’ll be looking for new jobs.
Mahomes could finally be the sparkplug the team needs. The rookie QB has a rocket arm, dynamic scrambling ability, and the blue-collar work ethic the fans desire in their franchise player. This kid is built to win and he just needs to show it.
The “Sea of Red” grows restless each season. They want a winner and they want it now. They’ll remain faithful to their team no matter what but they won’t tolerate playoff disappointment any longer.
Theoretically, this is the Chiefs’ game to win. They are playing at home and are deeper on almost every side of the ball. Newly signed veteran Chad Henne will also be better than Brock Osweiler on Houston’s side. Their additions on defence are sure to create mismatches against Houston’s wretched o-line.
Even looking at the numbers, the Chiefs have dominated the Texans on almost every category: passing, rushing, and turnover-differential. Even removing the lopsided playoff game where the Chiefs won 30-0 and they have the advantage.
But since it’s the preseason, don’t put too much stock in what the teams look like. The Chiefs have many rookies and new players and they’ll need to work the rust off on top of discovering the playbooks. Osweiler is the butt of the joke but he can still ball especially against backups.
The Chiefs are a solid pick to win. They have more going for them but don’t count the Texans out entirely. They also have solid depth on defence and will make it tough for Henne and the offence.