The Chiefs have been terrible defending the run and it cost them the game vs the Colts last Sunday and almost allowed the Lions to beat them in Detroit two weeks ago. This is nothing new for Kansas City – they were horrible vs the run all last season and teams have picked up on the fact that if they run the ball successfully, it keeps Patrick Mahomes off the field. Houston has the type of running game to do just that – they average 5.1 yards/carry right now between Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson and Deshaun Watson. Houston’s offensive line still has weaknesses to it, but Watson has made this offense click despite their shortcomings and Kansas City doesn’t have the type of defense to limit them. I’ll put my money on Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Carlos Hyde, and Duke Johnson over the Chiefs defense.
The Chiefs also come into this game with injuries – they left the game vs the Colts banged up on the offensive and defensive line. Houston’s pass rush is not what it once was when they had Jadeveon Clowney, but the Chiefs offensive line just got dominated by Indianapolis and Mercilus, McKinney, and Watt can pressure Mahomes. Sammy Watkins is also hurt. Tyreek Hill might play in this game but I’m betting the Texans regardless because they can keep the ball away from Mahomes and can speed Mahomes up a little. Houston has also won or made several tough road games competitive with Deshaun Watson as the starter – Watson has 10 regular season losses in his career in 27 starts – he’s lost one game in his career by more than a touchdown and his losses have come by a combined 4.2 ppg. He’s lost by 2 at New Orleans, 2 at Philadelphia, 3 at New England his rookie year, and 3 at Seattle his rookie year.
It’s never easy going against Patrick Mahomes, but Deshaun Watson and the Texans look like the right side here in a close game they’ll have a chance to win.