The Kansas City Chiefs face-off against the Houston Texans on Sunday in a rematch from week 6 that saw the Texans hand the Chiefs their second straight home loss, 31-24. However, in this game, the loser will be sent packing as their season will come to a close following Sunday’s AFC divisional round playoff matchup. The Chiefs come into this game a much different team than they were back in week 6. Unlike last post-season, the Chiefs have themselves a defense that they have packed to carry with them on this playoff run. For those of you that remember the 1996 film Happy Gilmore and the line, “Happy learned how to putt, uh oh” we can apply that to this years Chiefs team, “The Chiefs learned how to play defense, uh oh.”
Chiefs vs. Texans Playoff Hype 2019
What the Chiefs were in week 6
When the Chiefs took the field against the Texans back in week 6 they were without DT Chris Jones, WR Sammy Watkins, LT Eric Fisher, LG Andrew Wylie, and LB Anthony Hitchens. Also, Tyreek Hill only played around 50% of the snaps that day while Patrick Mahomes was still dealing with his lingering ankle injury that got stepped on again the prior week against Indianapolis as well as that day against the Texans. The Chiefs were an absolute sieve against the run allowing the Texans to dominate time of possession 39:48 to 20:12! Who could forget the disappearance of the pass interference penalty when Travis Kelce was tackled which led Patrick Mahomes to believe he had a free play which ended in an interception. The refs inexplicably picked up the flag and the interception stood which was a huge swing in that game.
What the Chiefs are now
Now, the Chiefs have found themselves on defense, Frank Clark is no longer dealing with any of his early season ailments, Terrell Suggs has been added to the mix, and while the Chiefs will miss Juan Thornhill they are relatively healthy and at full strength heading into this game with the Texans. Patrick Mahomes looks like he’s back to the 2018 healthy version even without the gaudy numbers. The Chiefs are playing a complimentary brand of football trying to possess the football and move the chains instead of scoring quickly which ultimately leave the defense out to dry. Tyrann Mathieu has become the unquestioned leader of this defense and may already find himself in the running for top 5 off-season acquisition (free agent/trade) the Chiefs have ever made along with Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and Willie Roaf. The Chiefs have improved vastly since week 6 and I’m not sure anyone can say the Texans are a better team than they were back then.
Chiefs 2018 vs. Chiefs 2019: By the Numbers
- Scoring: 2018 (34.8 – 1st) 2019 (28.2 – 5th)
- Passing Yards: 2018 (303.2 – 3rd) 2019 (281.1 – 5th)
- Rushing Yards: 2018 (115.3 – 15th) 2019 (98.1 – 23rd)
- Total Yards: 2018 (418.5 – 1st) 2019 (379.2 – 6th)
- Offense by qtr: 2019 (1st qtr – 7th) (2nd qtr – 1st) (3rd qtr – 8th) (4th qtr – 28th)
- Opp Scoring: 2018 (26.2 – 24th) 2019 (19.2 – 7th)
- Opp Passing Yards: 2018 (272.3 – 31st) 2019 (221.4 – 8th)
- Opp Rushing Yards: 2018 (132.1 – 27th) 2019 128.2 (26th)
- Opp Total Yards: 2018 (404.3 – 31st) 2019 (349.6 – 17th)