With quarterback injuries, poor play and a four-game losing streak, the Houston Texans now must take all that baggage and travel to Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs waiting at the gate.
The seasons of these two teams have been polar opposites. The Texans, well, have underachieved all season long, entering the game with a 2-4 overall record, including losing their past four games by a combined score of 125-45.
Houston is battling quarterback play that makes the Jacksonville Jaguars shake their head, and the play calling by the coaching staff of the two-win Texans has been nothing but boring, to say the least.
On the other hand, the Chiefs are recovering in a big way this season. Last year, they were 2-14 overall, and that seems like years ago. Now, the Chiefs, under new head coach Andy Reid, are 6-0 overall, tied for first place in the AFC West with the Denver Broncos.
The Chiefs have wins against the Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans and most recently a 24-7 win over the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City have scored no less than 17 points in a game this season, outscoring their opponents, 152-65 as they’ve held their opponents to single digits in three of the six games played this season.
One stat that jumps off the page is the sack totals of the Chiefs with 30. They had 10.5 last week, but for the season their average per game is five, which is still a good amount.
Looking at the quarterback play of the Chiefs, Alex Smith has passed for 1,330 yards for seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s completed 56.5 percent of his passes with a QB rating of 79.8.
Jamaal Charles has rushed for 475 yards on 114 rushes (five touchdowns) and also leads the Chiefs in receptions with 300 yards on 33 receptions and two touchdowns.
Just by reading those two stat lines, who the Texans really need to look out for is Charles, because he’s having another great season through six games. Averaging 4.2 yards per game on the ground and 9.1 yards per catch, Houston’s defense must have one, or maybe two, players watching him at all times.
Dwayne Bowe has 20 receptions for 229 yards this season, while Donnie Avery had totaled 310 yards this season on 18 receptions for 17.2 yards per reception.
The Chiefs don’t turn the ball over either, with their turnover ratio at +12, as their average time of possession per game is 32 minutes, while their opponents’ average is 27:59.
Just looking at the stats, the Chiefs are ranked fifth in total defense in yards per game allowed with 306.3, while the Texans are still ranked first at 252.8 yards per game allowed defensively.
Houston is still ranked first in passing yards per game allowed at 131.3 per game while the Chiefs are third at 190.3.
The Texans and Chiefs struggle with their opponents’ rushing attack as the Chiefs have allowed an average of 116 yards per game (23rd in the NFL), and the Texans in the same category are 25th overall at 121.5 yards per game.
Headed into this game, my thoughts are the Chiefs have the advantage. Their offense seems safer than the Texans, and their overall product for the season is much better than the visiting Texans.
Despite all the struggles the Texans have had this season, I still see this game having a chance to be competitive due to the capability and potential of the Texans’ defense being able to compete with the Chiefs’ offense. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much the Texans’ offense can compete with the defense of the Chiefs.
This game will, I believe, will set the tone for the remainder of the season for Houston.