The Chiefs remain undefeated after their 24-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday at Arrowhead stadium. This week, the Chiefs play host to the struggling Houston Texans in what will be the 2nd game of a three game home stand. Houston (2-4) was a pre-season favorite to be a Super Bowl contender but has quickly spiraled out of control through the first six weeks of the season.
Last Sunday at Reliant stadium in Houston, the Texans hosted the Rams in what would go on to be a blow out for St. Louis. The real headline from that game was the fans cheering the injury of their starting quarterback, Matt Schaub. The Chiefs faced a similar issue last season, when fans were accused of cheering the concussion of former quarterback Matt Cassel.
Schaub injured his ankle on the play and it’s uncertain on whether or not he will play this Sunday.
It’s unlikely that head coach, Gary Kubiak, will trot out a quarterback that has a bad ankle against the most ferocious pass rush in the entire NFL right now. Either way, this is a match up that heavily favors the Chiefs. With that said, lets take a look at the numbers.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS:
It’s weird when you look up the Houston Texans stats. You see them at the number one spot in total defense, only surrendering 252.8 yards per game, and are first against the pass as well with an average of 131.3, yet they’re 2-4 having lost four in a row.
They dominate their opponents in almost every category, including time of possession, passing yards, total first downs, but where they lack is where it hurts them most. They’ve only scored 11 touchdowns and have surrendered 21. They’re -12 in the turnover to take away category and have thrown a pick-six in five straight games. That’s just terrible.
The Texans can’t get out of their own way and now have to try and get a win, on the road, against one of the leagues best defense’s.
Running back Arian Foster isn’t having a terrible season statistically. He’s carried the ball 117 times for 531 yards, which leads the AFC, and just one touchdown. Last week against the Rams, he totaled his season-best 198 yards from scrimmage and he is averaging 113.7 rush yards per game in his past 3 games.
The Chiefs will need to sell out on stopping Foster from having a big day if they want to keep Houston out of this game.
Superstar wide out, Andre Johnson, has been quiet, very quiet. Johnson hasn’t caught a touchdown pass in his last ten games, dating back to last season. His last touchdown catch came against the Colts in their week 15 match-up of 2012. This year, his quietness has continued with just 44 receptions for 495 and zero touchdowns.
Though the lack of numbers, Johnson is still one of the most dynamic players in this league and the Chiefs cannot sleep on him.
Quarterback, Matt Schaub has had the worst start to any season of his career. He’s thrown for 1,552 yards, 8 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Of those 9 ints, four of them, in four games straight for Schaub, have been taken the other way for a touchdown. I highly doubt he plays, considering Schaub believes he dislocated his ankle on the sack he took last week against St. Louis.
MATCH-UPS TO WATCH:
As I mentioned earlier, Andre Johnson is a guy the Chiefs cannot fall asleep on. In 5 career games vs. KC, Johnson averages 105.6 receiving yards per game with 4 TDs. The last time these two teams played, Kansas City traveled to Houston in 2010 and had a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter.
With the help of Andre Johnson, including his go-ahead touchdown catch with 0:28 seconds remaining, Houston over came that deficit and won the game. He’s just as capable now as he was then, and the Chiefs have to keep an eye on him.
To the other side of Johnson, is the emerging rookie DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins was Houston’s first round pick and has been sensational. He leads all rookie receivers with 25 receptions for 340 yards and a touchdown. His only touchdown was the game winning play against the Tennessee Titans in week two of this season. The Chiefs secondary matches up well with almost anyone they will face all season, but they must keep an eye on this rookie.
2012 Defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt is one of the most dynamic defenders in the league. He posted a league leading 20.5 sacks last year and equaled that number in tipped passes at the line of scrimmage. You didn’t think Alex Smith had time to throw last week? Wait till you see what this guy Watt can do.
It will be very important to keep more than one person on Watt at all times, especially in passing situations. Watt is a player that can take a game over if allowed and KC must do everything they can to prevent him from doing so.
Chiefs wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe had a monster game the last time he faced the Texans. In that 2010 match up, Bowe caught 6 passes for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns posting an average of 18 yards per catch. Definitely a different year, considering the Chiefs lacking in passing numbers, but Bowe is capable of having a huge game.
Houston is ranked first against the pass but that number can be miss judged. They’ve been down the last four games they’ve played, largely due to their turnover issues on offense. Their defense is playing from a short field, and teams are running the ball to chew up clock on them and they’ve surrendered 5 straight games with a pick-six. Bowe needs to have a break out game, and why not do it against the same team he did in 2010?
Kansas City is one of the hottest teams in football right now and Houston is quite the opposite. The Texans still won’t confirm on whether or not Schaub is officially ruled out for the game, but have confirmed that they’re preparing T.J. Yates and Case Keenum to possibly start.
Yates was clearly their guy last week, but in his short time during the game, he threw two terrible interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. It’s very hard to pick a banged up Texans team to come into Arrowhead with an immobile quarterback against a defense that already has 31 sacks.
It will be important for the Chiefs offense to effectively move the ball and not turn it over, giving Houston’s offense the short field to work with. Jamaal Charles is having the best season of his career and has entered his name, once again, with some legendary ones. Charles is one of three players, OJ Simpson and Jim Brown being the others, to have at least one touchdown and 100 yards in the first six games of a season. If Jamaal can stay healthy and keep this going, he is well on his way to making a case for Canton.
We cannot forget that, this Texans team jumped out in front of a very good Seattle Seahawk team early, but blew it by throwing a pick six to tie and eventually lost in overtime. They are still a very talented roster and the Chiefs cannot take them lightly.
Andy Reid is 3-0 against the Texans, and with the best defense and home field advantage behind him, he should be able to take that record to 4-0 and 7-0 this season.
The game starts at 3:25 PM CDT, on CBS