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Chiefs Must Run Ball, Stop J.J. Watt In Order To Beat Texans

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Watt may not be having a defensive MVP-like year in 2013, but that does not mean the Texan’s defensive end is any less dangerous for the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.

Watt, simply put, is a beast.

In 2012, his second year in the league mind you, Watt went out and four forced fumbles, snagged two fumble recoveries and notched 20.5 sacks. You read that right, 20.5.

He was a dominant force for the Texans, and in fact, his performance was good enough to see him win the 2012 AP NFL Defensive Player Of The Year award.

Some would say the Chiefs’ Justin Houston is on track for that honor in 2013, but for now, Watt is the reigning defensive MVP in the NFL.

The Chiefs offensive line will be tasked with stopping him this Sunday at Arrowhead.

Per a press release, Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith talked about Watt and Houton’s defense in general:

“They have a lot of good players on defense, a lot of good players. He’s certainly one of them. He’s the reigning defensive MVP, player of the year or whatever, an elite player up front, he is. They have a lot of them. They have a lot of good players across the board, but I think it starts with those guys up front, they do a great job of playing run and the pass and especially him. I think most guys get credit for sacks, but you see him do a great job against the run. They create pressure in the pocket there’s a reason statistically why they’ve been doing so well.”

Tight end Sean McGrath also discussed the Texans:

We know our challenge this week is the Texans and we have a challenge in front of us. They’re great up front, from their d-lineman. Number 99 (J.J. Watt) isn’t a bad player. It’s the linebackers and the secondary, so I mean we have to come out and be prepared to execute the game plan on Sunday.”

According to ESPN, Houston’s defense is first in the league in net passing yards allowed and second in total defense. The Texans are only giving up 131.3 passing payers per game, but they are 25th in the league in rushing yards allowed with 121.5 per.

That means one of the keys of this game will be running the ball, and thankfully for the Chiefs, that’s something they do well. Jamaal Charles is one of the best all-around running backs in the game, and he’s spearheaded a Kansas City rushing attack that’s 12th in the NFL, putting up 119 yards a game.

The Chiefs will also have to stop Watt though, and that could prove to be a task for an offensive line that has struggled in pass protection at times. Kansas City has allowed 16 sacks so far this season, according to

While he hasn’t had a tremendous season—he’s only notched 3.5 sacks  and he didn’t even get onto the box score last weekend against the Rams—he’s still a player that the Chiefs will have to find before every snap.

After all, he’s still a player who can do this:

At least for his part though, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid doesn’t seem to be all that worried. When asked if he does anything different when going up against a guy like Watt, Reid responded with a joke:

“If I have to go up against JJ Watt, we’re in trouble,” Reid said. “He’d slam me all over the field.”

“He’s the defensive player of the year, reining defensive player of the year, well deserved. He’s a great football player. We understand that and respect him for that. We’ll study him and come out and we’ll play.”

Note that the joke came with a tremendous amount of respect afterward though, and that’s exactly how the Chiefs are going to have to approach Watt’s abilities this weekend.

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Tags: Alex Smith Andy Reid J.J. Watt Jamaal Charles Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs Sean McGrath

  • tm1946

    Side issue could use anyone’s comments:
    Matt Williamson, ESPN said today – Bowe is playing at a slower speed than last year. Nothing to do with Smith or OL, film shows Bowe, never a speed demon, is slower. – I paraphrase.
    Welcome anyone who knows about Bowe this year compared to last. Do not know Williamson or even have any real opinion.

    • Davé

      Williamson has been the AFC West fat blogger for a while now. Of course ESPN gives us the worst of the bloggers because the AFC West has been a joke for the better part of a decade. Personally I think the problem with Bowe is the guy throwing to him. Alex takes no chances and throwing to the guy with the top coverage on him is a risk. We have already seen that Bowe wins battles; he has never been a speed demon. Alex however is not accurate so throwing into tight spots, where only the receiver can catch it, is not something he can do and he certainly knows that so he avoids that trow altogether. Alex is what he is though and that is an upgrade over anyone we had since Trent Green. The only thing that really gets me is Smith’s horrible down field throws. If he could hit someone in stride I think both AJ Green and Donnie Avery would be getting quite a few touch downs. They are fast and can beat single coverage down the field and get separation. All for nothing though because Alex would hit them only 1/10 times beyond ten yards.

      • berttheclock

        er, you are confusing Matt Williamson with Bill Williamson, who was the AFC West blogger, but, now, only blogs about the Chargers. Bill has used comments by Matt at times in his blog. Matt W does ESPN radio work and has been involved with Flores on one the TV gigs. The ESPN blogger for the Chiefs, at the moment is Adam Teicher, formerly with the Star. For whatever reasons, he appears to be despised by fans of the Chiefs who read his ESPN work. They keep saying he is too negative about the Chiefs. BTW, today, he wrote that both Fasano and Commings practiced and Fasano said he believes he will play Sunday.

        • Davé

          You are right I did confuse the two. I never liked Teicher when we wrote for the Star and I do even less now he works for ESPN covering the Chiefs. The promotion to me was completely unwarranted. Not because we was negative but because we was and is a pussy unable to write with any feelings. I prefer my beat writer to also be a fan of the team and that is not something I get from Teicher. I also preferred the works of Witten and now Mellinger to Teicher. Remember his Video Blogs? What a joke.

          • berttheclock

            I am going to drop my monthly online subscription to the Star because I abhor their demand for posters to sign in with Face Book. However, one new Chiefs writer I will miss is the fellow promoted from covering Mizzou. As a Jayhawk, I rarely read him, but, he does excellent film breakdown work following the Chiefs. Paylor? He put up the best film of Poe sacking Romo I have seen. I thought the work of Teicher suffered when he covered the Chiefs because Pioli kept him under wraps and would only allow him to print what the front office allowed. One thing I liked about Babbs is he spoke from the hip.

          • Davé

            Yea like I said Teicher toted the company line and got a promotion out of it. He probably relished covering the chiefs under pioli because it allowed him to be the pansy writer he loved to be,

          • KCMikeG

            IMO Teicher used the division of the fan base by the SOC as a vehicle to launch his career. Makes me puke in my mouth a whole f’ing bunch just thinking of it. He was always negative in KC which helped too as that’s what ESPN was looking for.

            I don’t get the KC media period. Sunday I floated out of Arrowhead on a wave in the Sea of Red and relishing in the Chiefs war chant echoing over the ringing in my nearly deaf ears. Greatest day EVER at Arrowhead. The CHIEFS ARE BACK! One of only two undefeated teams, faiders curse broken, a team victory, the players crediting the fans’ part in the win, Guinness World Record, 17 point victory when our games vs them are almost always decided by a TD or less, TEN sacks and THREE TURNOVERS, the reunification of the fan base and a struggling Texans team and their back up QB are on the way to face THE BEST DEFENSE IN THE NFL in the LOUDEST stadium in the world! I’m high 5′ing and doing the war chant all the way out to the truck.

            I turn on the radio as we wait in line to leave and so much of what I hear coming from the radio nearly made me sick. “You can’t win championships with this offense”. “Our offense sucks” “Alex Smith is terrible/maybe we should be giving Daniels some 1st team snaps (Really?)” “Bowe is losing a step – got paid – isn’t being thrown to enough – can’t break press coverage” “We can’t depend on our defense or ST’s to win every game” and even “Defenses don’t win championships any more”. What on earth is wrong with these fans? How could you not want to savor one of the greatest days in our history? I just don’t get why some fans just have to complain about any flaw they can find. Last I checked nobody is perfect. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could take a break from the negativity and look at where we are and how far we have come in such a short time and find the pleasure in these moments. The future is so very bright!

          • Davé

            Agreed man. 6-0 and everyone still shitting on us. They say we are second in the power rankings but do so criticizing us the whole time and saying we can’t beat the teams that are behind us in those same power rankings. 6-0 and all media coverage is focused on Manning or Gronk or Brady with a couple seconds to talk about Freeman getting the start in Minnesota. When we win there is an excuse for why we won. It’s likely we will be 9-0 before we meet Manning and we will still be discounted as not doing anything special. As if 2-14 to 9-0 is not the most insane turnaround ever. Nobody trusts us because we do not have a gaudy passer, instead we have an insane defense. Oh well F em all.

          • KCMikeG

            Amen brother! Testify! We need to revel in the moment for we know what all those outsiders don’t – the Chiefs are for REAL! This team can beat anyone – and EVERYONE at home.

      • Patrick Allen

        I always found Teicher to be extremely pragmatic when talking about the Chiefs. Fans just don’t like it when you tell them the truth or what they don’t want to hear. I recall getting torn apart in early 2010 for saying Matt Cassel was playing like crap. Because the Chiefs were winning, everyone was mad at me. He began playing better as the season went on, which I admitted but in the end he proved the criticisms were warranted.

        Teicher is a pro. His job isn’t to spew rainbows and flowers, it is to cover the team and when appropriate, give his honest opinion of them. The vitriol and anger directed his was for daring to suggest the Chiefs might not be as great as everyone wants them to be is disappointing from what I consider to be a generally intelligent and informed fan base.

        • Davé

          I remember his writing as completely different. What you view as pragmatic I view as detached. I loved Witten writing on the Chiefs. I now only look forward to KC articles by Mellinger. Teicher is a robot man, which is why he now works as a 200 character blogger for ESPN.

      • cd3382

        I actually couldn’t agree with you more! We all have seen Bowe’s talent and we know what he can do with the pill when given the opportunity…I knew what we were getting in Alex Smith when we got him, but he needs to hits those wide open throws when available. There’s no doubt in my mind that Bowe and Avery should have multiple TD’s this season already.

    • Tarkus

      Several times LAST year I noted that he looked like he was running in quicksand, so I don’t think this is a new development. Granted, he’s not getting any younger, and his money belt is a little heavier now, so he may be a bit slower than a year ago, but I just think some people are just now noticing, because his stats are so down this year.

      • KCMikeG

        Quicksand is exactly what I said to my son about him. He has never been a speed demon but IMO the double and triple teaming has gotten him down and we aren’t seeing the best he can give. Plus the way Reid wants AS11 to mange the game is to always throw to the open man which doesn’t take advantage of Bowe’s strength of using his body to create space and fighting for the ball. Getting the OL & TE’s healthy will make a big difference for Bowe & AS11 both. I really hope Reid will allow a little more risk with throwing to Bowe. I’m proud of the maturity and sacrifice for the greater good of the team Bowe has made displayed on & off the field. Blocking and being a decoy won’t garner any Pro Bowls or FF scoring but it has been a significant contributing factor to our being 6 – 0. Maybe Bowe knows that a Super Bowl ring is worth more than the limelight and big stats.

        • Tanner Cobb

          I agree 100%.
          Bowe Knows

  • Blake Molina

    I expect a tight, defensive battle, unless KC can nab a pick six, which Houston’s very prone to this year, or a ST touchdown.

    13-10 KC, Succop hits a late FG to put it away (unless the aforementioned non-offense TD happens)

    • BWrangler

      I think KC puts some on the board, 27-14.

      • Michael Shaw


        • jacati

          with the last 21 pts scored in the last 4 minutes of the game… lol

  • berttheclock

    Fasano returning this Sunday might make a big difference.

  • Jim Harper

    I expect the Chiefs to put up some nice numbers in this game. The defense will have a field day with Schaub out, and Yates splitting time with Keenum for snaps so far. Both Foster and Tate are a little banged up and the receiving corps of Andre Johnson and Keshawn Martin both saw only limited time on Wednesdays practice. When the defense gives AS11 good field position after a turnover he usually comes through with points and I see that happening frequently on Sunday. Go Chiefs!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Having Fasano should help us quite a bit. I’ve been waiting for the Chiefs to establish the run early in a game all season.

    • ArrowFan

      That is the major missing component to our offense. The O line would look allot better when the play action takes more of a bite out of a teams pass rush.

  • meatcutter

    What makes me nervous is if we have to leave a back in the backfield to help stem the pass rush. More times than not that would be Jamal. Which means the player that has been one of our more dependable receivers will not be going out on pass routes. Bowe and Avery need to find some seperation and come up big in this game.