KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – WEEK 1 MATCH-UP
The Houston Texans (9-7) open up their 2015 campaign with a great match-up against the Kansas City Chiefs (9-7).
Bear Goggles On
Eyes will definitely be focused on the front seven of each of these defenses. They boast the top two sack leaders in the NFL from the 2014 season, Justin Houston and J.J. Watt, respectively. There is not a word in the English language that can completely describe Watt’s level of greatness; he can simply do it all. Houston is nothing short of spectacular either, coming within one quarterback take-down from setting a new NFL record for sacks in a single season.
It should be fun to watch these two defenses operate at full intensity. Watt will be surrounded by a plethora of capable defenders, and these players will make up the best defense the Houston Texans have fielded in their short tenure as a franchise. Kansas City’s front seven will be focused on improving their 7th overall ranking in total sacks last season (49). The Texan’s offensive line will have a lot on their plate heading into game one.
Houston’s front seven will likely exploit the Chief’s offensive line, as they were one of the worst units in the NFL last season. If Jadeveon Clowney can realistically contribute week one, then this should be entertaining.
The Texan’s secondary figures to match up well with Kansas City’s wide receiving core. Headlined by Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson, this unit has the tools to effectively shut down the likes of Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and De’Anthony Thomas. If the two rookie draft picks face off, Kevin Johnson of the Houston Texans and Chris Conley of the Chiefs, it will make for an intriguing battle.
The winner may be ultimately determined by which team’s running back outperforms the other. Two of the NFL’s best backs square off in a game that could be one hell of an opener. Arian Foster is always a threat to break a big play on the ground or through the air with his immaculate hands, and the same can be said for Chief’s running back Jamaal Charles. Going into the 2014 season, many considered Charles to be the best ball carrier in the league.
In the grand scheme of this matchup, the quarterback position could actually be the least important. Ryan Mallett (predicted starter) squaring off against Alex Smith, in what may boil down to who can make the least number of mistakes. Given two of the best running backs in the game, and two of the most heavily run oriented teams, these quarterbacks shouldn’t be expected to blow anyone away with multi-touchdown performances.
Prediction: Houston Texans 27 – Kansas City Chiefs 14
Watt scores his first touchdown of the season on a 91 yard strip sack fumble return, and the Chief’s wide receiving corps fail to get in the end zone for the 20th straight game.