TEXANS @ CHIEFS – NFL PLAYOFF GAME PREVIEW (1-12-20)
TALE OF TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT DEFENSES IN PLAY AS CHIEFS HOST TEXANS IN FINAL 8 PLAYOFF DOOZIE!
LAS VEGAS BETTING LINE: KC CHIEFS (-9 1/2 or -10) hosting Houston Texans ~ TOTAL: (51 1/2)
TEXANS OFFENSE — OVERALL (13), RUSH (9), PASS (15) — (126 RUSH, 236 PASS)
TEXANS DEFENSE — OVERALL (28), RUSH (25), PASS (29) — (122 RUSH, 267 PASS allowed)
CHIEFS OFFENSE — OVERALL (6), RUSH (23), PASS (5) — (98 RUSH, 281 PASS allowed)
CHIEFS DEFENSE — OVERALL (17), RUSH (28), PASS (8) — (128 RUSH, 221 PASS allowed)
HOUSTON (10-6) ~ (5-3 AWAY) ~ (5-2-1 ATS Away) **** KANSAS CITY (12-4) ~ (5-3 HOME) ~ (4-3-1 ATS Home)
WEEK 6 FINAL: Houston beat KC at Arrowhead 31-24 and had a gigantic (39:48 mins to 20:12 mins Time of Possession advantage).
Well this is a very intriguing match up up two new young stud QB’s picked a handful of picks apart in same Draft a few years ago. Both have shown they are a force to be reckoned with and Texans QB D. Watson really came up big in second half last week in the big comeback OT win vs. the Bills. The Texans lost the total yards battle 425-360 but they came away anyway with the big win thanks to some miracle Houdini plays from Watson. The Texans have shown they can win on Road, winning 5 of 8 roadies including one of those 5 a win at this same field, Arrowhead. The Chiefs, well they weren’t as dynamic as a year ago but they surely finished strong, winning their final 6 games, outscoring their opponents 167-69). The Chiefs season sputtered a bit in early mid season spots but the Chiefs got back a healthy QB P. Mahomes and the Defense, the biggest tale of two total opposites I’ve seen in years, just went into ’85 Bears Defense mode down the stretch.
Lets first look at how almost mirror image close these two teams are.
HOUSTON KANSAS CITY
TD’S 46 50
FIRST DOWNS 346 350
PLAYS PER GAME 65 61
FG’S 50+ 3-6 3-6
PUNTING 39.6 40.3
Now let’s look at some huge differences:
TURNOVERS 22 15
INTERCEPTIONS 16 5
PASSING YARDS 221 281
The Texans to me are one of worst coached teams in the NFL and you can never count on anything from HC Bill O’Brien. The team wins in spite of him. On the other side you have Chiefs HC Andy Reid, who is as good as it ever gets with an extra week to prepare for a game. Reid is (18-3) straight up all time off a bye week and last year off the Bye in Playoffs the Chiefs dominated the Colts winning easily (31-13). In the game this regular season off the “Bye” week the Chiefs were really prepared scoring 40 points. The Texans scored no points in the first half last week. Why? O’Brien rarely has his team prepared. Again he has some dynamic Play makers that make him look better than he is.
This game has some big Injury reports for both teams as some key additions and key losses too. Also a few very key Chiefs stars who are nursing some tougher injuries as well. The biggest loss is Chiefs young Safety J. Thornhill, who was really playing lights out. Impossible to replace this kids talent as he was just hurt (torn ACL) in the last game of the regular season. For the Chiefs stud TE Travis Kelce is nursing a really bad/sore knee bruise and stud DE and leading Sack man C. Jones (9 sacks) is nursing a strained calf. Losing either would be a gigantic blow. The Texans welcome back WR Will Fuller, who is a big time deep ball threat and opens things up for the real stud WR D. Hopkins. He’s had 5 catches in 5 straight Playoff games and with Fuller on field he likely get 7-8 this game.
I’ve been watching games for 50 years and handicapping these games for over 30 years now. I can’t remember ever seeing a Defensive turnaround like the Chiefs Defense had from first half to second half. The numbers are as staggering as we might ever see again.
KC DEFENSE WEEKS 1-10 WEEKS 11-17
POINTS ALLOWED 24 11.5
TD’s ALLOWED 28 7
PASSER RATING 92.9 63.5
Please note: The Chiefs didn’t face any Offense in the Top 10 in this great stretch but LA Chargers Offense (#10). But you can’t look past how dominating they were. It was completely unexpected.
KEYS TO GAME 1:
KC Pat Mahomes 281 Passing yards per game vs. Houston Defense that allowed 267 passing yards per game (4th worst). HUGE ADVANTAGE: KC
KC DEFENSE vs. TEXANS RUNNING BACKS: KC Defense allowed league most 951 rec. yards and 100 catches to RB’s. HUGE ADVANTAGE: HOUSTON
KC DEFENSE: Has not allowed any RB to gain 60 or more yards since Week 13. In Week 6 game Texans RB C. Hyde rushed for 116 yards and 2 TD’s. ADVANTAGE: PUSH
KC OFFENSE vs. HOUSTON DEFENSE (on 3rd Downs): KC Offense (3rd best) vs. Houston Defense (2nd worst). HUGE ADVANTAGE: KC
FACING SIMILAR OPPONENTS THIS YEAR (8 in all): KC went (7-1) and Houston went (5-3). Both played #1 Balty Ravens. KC won 38-28 and Houston lost 41-7.
Houston and QB D. Watson have made 15 comeback wins the past 2 years, so they are never out of it.
MOST UNDER RATED PLAYER ON FIELD TO WATCH:
KC CHIEFS WR MECOLE HARDMAN: Possibly best pick of the Draft last year of the second round and clearly the guy who can change this game in a NY second. I expect him to have a gigantic game (6 TD’s this season) and make at least one huge play either via pass or special teams. The Chiefs simply have too many weapons to cover and he’s almost the #4 option behind Kelce, Watkins and Hill. This Chiefs Offense is truly loaded with talent, but most of all speed, and this kid has blinding speed and Houston Defense will have headaches covering him Sunday.
SHOCKING STAT THAT STUNNED ME MOST:
Houston was out gained in the Passing Yards department 10 if it’s last 11 games. They had a Total Yards Deficit of -65, -166, 206, -58, -172, -259 with only two plus games of +23 and +100.
The weather will be very cold at around 37 kickoff time….and that helps KC as they are used that weather, whereas the Texans play indoors. Texans were fortunate in schedule playing only 2 outdoor games in colder weather cities. They lost @ Baltimore 41-7 but did beat KC at Arrowhead winning 31-24. It’s tough to bet against Reid when he’s facing a weak O’Brien but laying double digits is never a fun bet or a solid bet. Watson has proved he can bring his team back. The real question is can the Texans Defense slow down Mahomes and his loaded arsenal he can use and I just don’t see a second Texans win this season at Arrowhead. Last week we saw all close games. Houston better not start slow again like they have the past two weeks (0 points last week and 7 week before that in first half as this is not the Bills….this is the Chiefs and in end it will be the Chiefs advancing on.
Have a great weekend and enjoy these Final 8 NFL Playoffs. Check back for all 4 NFL Playoff Previews and may all your Wagers be WINNING ones!