Kansas City Chiefs: Behind Enemy Lines With The Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs head to Houston this week for a rematch of the 2015 AFC Wild Card game against the Texans.  To get a better look at the opponent, I sat down with Josh McSwain of Toro Times on the FanSided network.

The Kansas City Chiefs face their first road test of the 2016 season at NRG Stadium against the Houston Texans.  This game is being billed as a rematch of last year’s AFC Wild Card game.  That game was a one-sided affair as the Chiefs put a 30-0 pounding on the Texans.  To see if and why Chiefs fans should expect any different this time, I spoke with Toro Times writer Josh McSwain to get a look at the enemy.

There is no doubt that the Chiefs owned the Texans in 2015.  Even Texasns beat writer, John McClain, said “(Houston) should rename its stadium Arrowhead if Chiefs win again.”  Apart from the Wild Card beat down, the Chiefs also took down Houston in Week 1 of the season.  That was a 27-20 victory for KC, though the game was nowhere near as close as the score.  The Chiefs offense moved the ball at will in both contests, especially tight end Travis Kelce.

The Chiefs appear to have addressed a number of their concerns on offense.  The defense may have taken a step back, but the unit seemed to come to life in the second half last week.  To be honest, I don’t know that the Texans are as good an offensive team as the Chargers.  Brock Osweiler is certainly no Philip Rivers.

However, I do think this game has the potential to be high scoring.  To get some more perspective on that, check out my answers to John’s question over on Toro Times…

Next: Toro Times: Questions With The Kansas City Chiefs

Ben Almquist: After the 30-0 beating the Chiefs gave the Texans in last year’s AFC Wild Card game, is there a feeling of “revenge” in Houston this time around? 

“(Houston) should rename its stadium Arrowhead if Chiefs win again.” ~ John McClain, Texans beat writer

John McSwain: “I don’t think any of the players would say it, but I think it’s there. Of course this won’t produce the hatred of the other AFC Wild Card game from last year that is also being played this weekend (Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh) but after getting beat like that on your home field, there is no way the Texans don’t have at least somewhat of a mindset of vengeance this week.”

BA: Brian Cushing is out this week.  How does that affect the Texans run game against Spencer Ware?

JM: “It drastically hurts the Texans run defense to have him out. That was one area I was concerned about heading into this season, so that makes for a definite cause for concern this time around. Between Ware, Charcandrick West and Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have the best trio of running backs in the NFL. KC averaged 4.4 yards per carry last week, so there’s no doubt the Texans are going to get a heavy dose of the ground game.”

BA: Travis Kelce had two big games against the Texans last year.  Do they have an answer for him this time around?

JM: “That is debatable. While Jadeveon Clowney may finally be healthy, he’s certainly not a coverage linebacker. He and Whitney Mercilus are both primarily pass rushers and more than adequate run defenders, but I would expect to see a lot more safety in the box type of looks, for multiple reasons. First, the Chiefs don’t have a home run threat at receiver so the Texans won’t have to play over the top as much. The safety can help cover Kelce and help in run support. I also imagine John Simon will be charged with covering Kelce quite a bit.”

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BA: Who is a Texans player that Chiefs fans don’t know but should?

JM: “That’s a tough one. I think the fans might know about the rookie receivers in Will Fuller and Braxton Miller, so I’ll go with undrafted rookie tight end Stephen Anderson. The former Cal Bear caught three passes for just 25 yards in the opener, but he is a guy who opens up the middle of the field. If the Chiefs focus all their attention on the receivers, I would expect Anderson to get some looks; particularly in the red zone.”

BA: What’s your prediction for this game?

JM: “I think third time is the charm for the Texans. With Lamar Miller in the fold, the Texans have that ground threat that they did not have last season. The Chargers ran all over the Chiefs last week, so I think this will be an old fashioned ground and pound game. Moreover, I think Brock Osweiler’s familiarity with the Chiefs will help him and in the end the Texans pull out a close game.”  Texans 24, Chiefs 20 

Next: Chiefs Face Important Stretch Of Games