The Texans played the Kansas City Chiefs for the third time in about 53 weeks. The two times the Chiefs faced the Texans in the 2015 season, Kansas City handed Houston two losses at home to open and close the season. The most devastating of the losses was the 30-0 shutout in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and NRG Stadium. The week 2 matchup in 2016 was seen as a chance for redemption for the Texans by many, and many would also say that the 19-12 victory was just that
Defense Wins Championships, Right?
Going into the season, the Texans defense was considered to be the strong point of the team with so many new faces and uncertainty on the other side of the ball. Four sacks and three fumbles later, it’s safe to say that if the offense is ever struggling, the defense will be able to keep the team in the game. After all, this defense has not allowed a touchdown since halftime of the Chicago game.
JJ Watt, oh JJ Watt. He says he is still not at 100 percent. The Chiefs would obviously beg to differ after a performance that saw 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery (in which he shoved Alex Smith out of the way with one arm), 2 QB hits, and a TFL. With the combination of John Simon who put up 1.5 sacks with 3 QB hits and Benardrick McKinney registering a sack for himself, Alex Smith came out of the game a bit beat up, to say the least. Oh, and there’s also this guy named Jadeveon Clowney. I’m just going to leave this here and let you see what he offers to this front seven.
How about that pass defense? While there weren’t any interceptions, Alex Smith went for 186 yards on 20 of 37 attempts. To put that into perspective, Osweiler had one less completion, but had 82 more yards. A big reason Smith did not see much success in the air is because of the defense’s ability to slow down Travis Kelce. Big tight ends are usually the Texans’ Kryptonite, but the team managed to keep him in check with only 34 yards on 5 receptions. Day and night from what Kelce did to the defense twice last year.
Kansas City Defense Limits Offense
Although the Chiefs only got to Osweiler twice for sacks, they did pick him off two times. Marcus Peters had his first career interception against the Texans in week one of the 2015 season and picked up where he left off by picking off Osweiler on a poor decision in the red zone. Although surrendering a 27-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins, Marcus Peters gave Nuk a run for his money all day. Yes – Hopkins had 113 yards total, but by no means was it an easy feat. Peters almost had three interceptions, but thanks to Hopkins’ insanely strong right hand, he “only” had two. Otherwise, Kansas City had success in limiting the run game as Lamar Miller posted 83 yards on 25 carries. In general, this was a game all about defense, but one single lapse in the Chiefs defense was the ultimate deciding factor in the game.
Two Headed Monster
Will Fuller just continues to impress. Besides DeSean Jackson, Fuller is the only other rookie to register 100-yards in his first two games. Although his ability to stretch the field is impressive, he really needs to work on his catching. The 53-yard bomb to Fuller would have been a touchdown had he not bobbled the ball. I’m pretty sure my heart stopped beating for the split second that ball was back in the air after making contact with Fuller’s hands.
Like previously mentioned, DeAndre Hopkins registered 113 yards and a touchdown. It would have been 2 touchdowns, but NFL referees don’t know what is and is not a catch nowadays. Everyone and their mother knew that Nuk made an absolutely AMAZING catch in the corner of the endzone on a prayer of a ball by Osweiler in the face of pressure.
The moment it stood as an incomplete catch, I said if the Texans lost by seven or less, I was blaming it on the refs. Nevertheless, #NukCaughtIt https://vine.co/v/5ne793tXAUx
Brian Cushing is still out, for how much longer, we don’t know. He can rest assured McKinney will hold it down in his absence.
Duane Brown is still recovering from his quad injury. Chris Clark has been securing the blind side comfortably in the meantime. No worries in that regard.
Other than that, the only player hurt from this game was Braxton Miller with a hamstring injury. He missed practice on Monday and whether or not he will play Thursday is still up in the air. If it were up to me, play it safe and sit him out. No need to rush him, this receiving core has enough depth to handle a game without Miller.
Consistency seems to be the main concern for offense and special teams. The offense needs to be able to finish drives with touchdowns, Nick Novak cannot be relied on as much as he was this game. Then, there are special teams, who need to improve on their coverage and the return game. Although better than last year, one hiccup could dramatically change the momentum of the game. I’m confident that Larry Izzo can bring it all together for these guys.
The beast (he’s not human) says he is not at 100 percent. I’d be absolutely terrified if I were game planning against this defense as an offensive coordinator. There is literally no telling what JJ Watt can and will do once he claims to be at 100 percent.
Up next is Bill Belichick and his Patriots on Thursday Night at Gillette Stadium. No Tom Brady, probably no Jimmy Garoppolo, so Jacoby Brissett will be handling the rock for the Pats. That means absolutely nothing. As long as Belichick is in charge, the Patriots have a chance at winning. I’m beyond pumped to see how Thursday night plays out.
Two 2-0 teams with outstanding coaching?