Houston Texans Passing Attack vs. Kansas City Chiefs Pass Defense
Here comes the heat. Full disclosure: I have absolutely no idea how Case Keenum is going to do in his debut, and I highly doubt most people do anyway. I have no idea how his skills translate, how ready he is, or how he is going to respond to the Chiefs pass rush. What I do know is that the Chiefs pass defense is the best in the NFL, and that their only bad starter is Dunta Robinson- and he’s not even that bad. This defense has 31 sacks on the season, and the emergence of Dontari Poe in his second season in the league has me barfing at the sheer amount of crow I am indulging.
Keenum is going up against a really good secondary, too, because they have some top notch corners. Brandon Flowers is a legit shutdown CB, Sean Smith looks inspired with his new team, and Marcus Cooper is almost as big of a breakout star as Poe. It’s hard to think that he was only a seventh-round pick out of Rutgers, and it’s even crazier to think that Bill Belichick missed out on that guy. There is no doubt that the Chiefs can lock down the pass better than anyone, and it’s up to Keenum to make the smart reads. It takes so much football IQ to top those guys, and we’ll see if this young passer is up to the task.
Texans Rushing Offense vs. Chiefs Run Defense
If you look at the raw data, you would get the impression that the Chiefs struggle in run defense. After all, who the heck allows 5.1 yards per carry? I mean, that’s 31st in the league. But that’s skewed, and the only running back who has actually given them fits this year is LeSean McCoy- and he gives everyone fits. Mike DeVito, Tyson Jackson, and Poe form a formidable defensive line against the run, and that one Derrick Johnson guy is pretty good too.
That said, the Texans best chance of winning this game is by running the football, and it’s going to take a heavy dose of Arian Foster to win this one. He will need to be at his best, and the Texans will also have to get Ben Tate involved to change the pace. It is so tough to score on the Chiefs defense, but this Texans offense does average about 137 rushing yards per game. Foster? He already has 531 rushing yards this season.
This is going to be an ugly, low-scoring game. The only way either of these two teams has success on offense is with the ground game, and I’ll take the Chiefs in this one. They are the better team, and Keenum is a bigger question mark than Smith. The Chiefs may be undefeated and the Texans may be 2-4, but the Chiefs aren’t going to blow these guys out. Expect this game to end up something like 17-7 in favor of Kansas City, with Justin Houston wreaking havoc.