Chiefs vs. Texans: Five reasons why K.C. will win


Leading into Week 1 of the National Football League season, there has been plenty of talk about the Kansas City Chiefs. Many expect them to win the AFC West for the first time since 2010, while others see them as a middling franchise. Come Sunday, we will have our first glimpse of what the reality is.

Frankly, Kansas City should win this game. It’s opponent, the Houston Texans, are decent but without much explosion offensively. This is not going to be a cake walk, but it should not be a death match either. Here are five reasons to relax before the season opener:

1. Brian Hoyer

Hoyer is going to have a very tough team beating the Chiefs with or without Dontari Poe. The suspension of Sean Smith hurts, but Hoyer isn’t the type if quarterback who picks apart secondaries.

Here are some facts: Hoyer threw multiple touchdowns only twice last year, and those games were against the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hoyer also threw for 300+ yards three times, coming against the Atlanta Falcons, Buccaneers and … the Texans. His QBR was 39.8 in 2014, and he tossed 12 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. His completion percentage was 55.3, ranking him above Drew Stanton, and nobody else.

2. Offensive weapons

With Arian Foster out for the game, the Texans are relying heavily on DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins is a terrific young receiver who caught 76 passes for 1,210 yards in 2014. However, he also faced second-tier corners while Andre Johnson drew the toughest assignment. I believe Hopkins is a very dangerous player, but the Chiefs know that he’s it.

The rest of the starters at skill positions are Alfred Blue, Nate Washington, Cecil Shorts III and Garrett Graham. Last year, that quartet went for 2,042 all-purpose yards … combined. Blue rushed for 3.1 yards per carry and Washington, who played in Week 1 against Kansas City last year, caught four passes for 59 yards and no touchdowns. This isn’t exactly the Greatest Show On Turf.

3. Pass rush?

J.J. Watt is an incredible player, and he showed that again last year with 20.5 sacks. Watt was only second to Justin Houston in that department, who finished with 22. However, there is not much going on outside of Watt. Brian Cushing is a good player, but he’s not a sack artist, registering one last year. The top sack number other than Watt was Whitney Mercilus with five.

While Jadeveon Clowney comes back, he has proven nothing at the NFL level. In four games last year, Clowney had seven tackles and no sacks. Clowney is also on a snap limit this Sunday. If Kansas City doesn’t allow Watt to completely destroy the game, it should be fine.

4. Andy Reid

The Chiefs are not going to score 30 points in this game. Kansas City is facing a good defense with three solid corners and playmakers in the front seven. However, look for Reid to scheme the hell out of this contest. It will be a game to feature Travis Kelce and De’Anthony Thomas utilizing their speed in the middle of the field.

Reid understands how to call an offense as well as anybody in the league. The Chiefs are going to move the ball with quick screens, combination routes with Kelce as the target and Jamaal Charles. Speaking of Charles…

5. Charles in Charge

How many times have a team shut down Charles? Zero ring a bell? Charles is one of the most complete players in the NFL and has shown for years that he will find yardage. Last time Kansas City and Houston played, Charles scored a touchdown and unfortunately, injured Cushing with a clean block.

Charles should be featured early and often, slowing down the pass rush and getting a rhythm. It would be stunning if Charles does not at least touch the ball 20 times in this game.