Chiefs vs. Texans: Three Key Matchups in Week 1

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Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Phillip Gaines vs. DeAndre Hopkins

I’m expecting Gaines to get the first crack at shutting down the Texans’ only legitimate offensive weapon this Sunday, and it’s the matchup I’m most looking forward to. Hopkins has become one of the game’s most promising young receivers due to his size, explosive leaping ability, and insane hands – evidenced by this stat. That is why I love this matchup; Gaines has all the physical tools needed to go toe-to-toe with Hopkins.

As alluded to earlier, the Texans aren’t the most intimidating team on offense with Andre Johnson now a Colt, and Arian Foster dealing with injuries. If Gaines can corral Hopkins and consistently force Hoyer to look for his second and third options, that gives the best pass-rushing duo in the NFL an extra second or two to wreak havoc in the Texans’ backfield.

One side note: I’ll be curious to see if Gaines will draw the assignment the entire game or if we will see Marcus Peters get his shot as well. Typically, I’d be staunchly against the idea of a rookie corner going up against an upper-echelon wide receiver, but Peters isn’t your typical rookie corner. Based on college scouting reports and his preseason play, the man already has all the makings of a shutdown corner and is undoubtedly up to the task.

Edge: Tie – Expect an intense, physical battle all game long between these two.

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