Five keys for Kansas City Chiefs to defeat the Houston Texans
Get off to a fast start
If you watched the Texans first round game against the Bills you know that Houston got off to a horrific start. They were down 13-0 at halftime and didn’t really turn things on until the fourth quarter. This wasn’t the first time they’ve struggled like that in the playoffs. Just last season the Texans were equally bad in the first half of their eventual first-round loss to the Indianapolis Colts. They were outscored 21-0 in the first half of that game.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and quarterback Deshaun Watson have two playoff games together and have been outscored a combined 34-0 in the first halves of those games. O’Brien actually had a third bad start to a playoff game back in 2015 when the Chiefs went into Houston and jumped out early on their way to a shutout win in Houston that snapped Kansas City’s playoff win drought. During his tenure in Houston. O’Brien is just 1-4 in the playoffs overall, with his team being shut out in the first half of three of those games.
Andy Reid is known for being great with extra time to prepare. The Chiefs had a bye in the Wild Card round and, despite not knowing their opponent until Saturday, his staff has enjoyed time to prepare a game plan to attack this Texans’ defense. The fact that they have already faced them this season is just an added bonus. When you have a coach that is known for coming up with great game plans when given extra time to prepare facing a coach that has had teams come out flat multiple times in the playoffs, the Chiefs have to take advantage.
Is it impossible for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to mount a late comeback in this game? Of course not, but the last thing you want to do is give Deshaun Watson a lead before he really starts warming up late in the game. The Chiefs need to come out aggressively on both sides of the ball—more on the specifics of that in a second—and get the home field crowd rocking.
The Chiefs are the better team, they are the more rested team, and they have a clear coaching advantage. If the Chiefs want to ensure they win this game they need to come out firing on all cylinders and get the early lead in this game. Now let’s talk a little bit about how they should do that on offense.