Chiefs vs. Texans: Three Key Matchups in Week 1

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Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) celebrates after a sack against the San Diego Chargers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Houston vs. Derek Newton

Many non-Texans fans are most likely aware they have one of the better left tackles in Duane Brown, but not many of them will know of his bookend compatriot: Derek Newton. Newton, a seventh-round pick in 2011, finished last season as PFF’s sixth-best overall right tackle and their best run-blocker at the position. Just imagine the Chiefs having a rock like that on the right side…

Given those rankings, you can bet the Texans are going to try and run behind that man. I say try because Justin Houston is not just a one-dimensional pass rusher, he’s one of the best run-stuffing 3-4 OLBs in the game. It will be interesting to see how often the Texans run it in Houston’s direction, and if Newton is able to prevent him from blowing runs up.

Oh, there’s also the small matter of Justin Houston being an absolute monster pass-rusher. Just like Watt, Houston has the ability to single-handedly derail an opponent’s passing game, regardless of the tackle lining up against him. If Houston picks up right where he left off last season (four sacks against the Chargers), Hoyer is going to be in for an incredibly long and painful Sunday.

Houston – Hard not to see Houston coming out in Week 1 and showing exactly why he deserved every penny of his new contract.