With head coach Andy Reid at the helm, the Kansas City Chiefs are gearing up for their second postseason appearance since the new regime took office. The Houston Texans play host to the Chiefs on Saturday, January 9 at 3:35pm in NRG Stadium. Albeit less impressive, the No. 4-seeded Texans faced similarly insurmountable odds heading into their Week 6 game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They stumbled out of the gate much like Kansas City, losing four of their first five games. Though, down the stretch, they won 8-of-11 to claim the top spot in the AFC South. The teams meet for the second time in 2015. Kansas City won the first matchup 27-20.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the Chiefs’ last postseason victory, 22 some odd years ago, came over another Houston-based, but now-defunct NFL team (the Oilers). Let’s put that drought in perspective, shall we? The last time the Chiefs won a postseason game was January 16, 1994. Mariah Carey’s “Hero’ was the No. 1 song in the country, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was nearly three years shy of his first professional bout, and former president Bill Clinton was roughly 12 months into his first term. It was a long time ago.
Past playoff futility aside, the Chiefs do have a favorable matchup on Saturday afternoon. Houston’s a good football team, but they might be the weakest qualifier in either conference. The Texans did boast a top-10 defense in points allowed (7th in the NFL), but they were bottom-third in the league offensively. Houston averaged just 21.2 points per game on offense in 2015. Brian Hoyer has been serviceable under center, but apart from budding star DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans have precious few offensive weapons.
The Chiefs aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, but they are a more balanced team than the Texans. Kansas City finished the regular season with the league’s ninth-best scoring offense. They were No. 3 in the league in scoring defense (surrendering just 17.9 points per game). Kansas City’s a more complete team where it concerns offensive and defensive play makers, but it’s possible they don’t have a single player as dynamic as either DeAndre Hopkins or reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. Fortunately for Kansas City, it’s team play that makes for success in the NFL playoffs.
Next: Assessing Saturday's matchup...