The Houston Texans played as advertised in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. The defense did their part, and the offense was able to dictate the game with Brock Osweiler at quarterback. Osweiler didn’t have to do too much, but he didn’t allow the Bears to frustrate and get to him. There is going to come a time where Osweiler is going to need to take games over, if the Texans want to move up a tier in the NFL. They didn’t need him to light it up against the Bears, and that is just fine for now, but against better teams they will need him to make a few plays here and there. The Texans have a solid defense, but they are not on the level of the Broncos or the 2000 Ravens, where they can simply lean on the defense every game.
Osweiler passed for 231 yards, 2 touchdowns, with an interception on the day. That’s about all the Texans asked of him, so there really wasn’t an opportunity to see much of him. The Texans really want to find a franchise quarterback, dating all the way back to when they drafted David Carr in the 2002 NFL Draft, their first year in the league. For the greater part since it’s been Matt Schaub, who was about as average as they come. Andre Johnson made that offense. And now they are looking at Osweiler to elevate this offense to the next level. In any event, the defense still has to be the identity of the Texans. When you have J.J. Watt lining up on the defensive line, there is no escaping the fact that defense is your forte.
While the Texans only won 23-14, it felt like the win was by a much larger margin. That is what happens when you have a good defense, the close wins look better than they appear on the scoreboard. Sort of like a baseball team with an elite pitcher on the mound. We can all agree that the Kansas City Chiefs need to get better on defense from last week. They let a bad San Diego Chargers team come to Kansas City and bring it to them. It made for a crazy ending, with the Chiefs escaping 33-27. They got the win, but it wasn’t the start the Chiefs were looking for. They’re going to have to play better football on the road in Texas on Sunday afternoon.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Houston Texans NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Texans -1(-115)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chiefs vs. Texans Pick:
The key to the Chargers’ success last week was that they didn’t make any mistakes. Likewise, the Chiefs couldn’t force Philip Rivers and company into an interception or fumble. Rivers finished with 243 yards and a touchdown. Most concerning for the Chiefs though, was how easily the Chargers could run the ball. San Diego is not a ground team, yet still managed to rush for 155 yards. 155 yards allowed ranked 29th in the NFL against the run in Week 1. Like the Texans, the Chiefs need a quality defense if they want to compete for the postseason this season. There could be a reason for the Chiefs’ slow start defensively. Could it be that Justin Houston is that important to their defense? Yeah, if any team loses a premier defender, then the defense is going to feel some pain. The Chiefs do not expect to have Houston back until November.
Jamaal Charles will be sitting this week out as well. He is still recovering from the ACL he tore last season, and figures to make a return soon, but it won’t be in Week 2 vs the Texans. Offensive line depth is being pushed early in the year for the Chiefs, too. Both starting guards are going to be absent on Sunday, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Parker Ehinger. They only have one other offensive lineman on the active roster, tackle Witzmann. If a lineman goes down this afternoon, they’re going to have to do some emergency patch work along the line.
The last time these two hooked up was in the Wild Card Round this past winter. The Chiefs put on a hurting on the Texas in a 30-0 game in Houston. The Texans have had this one circled on their calendars throughout the offseason. I think they bring it to Kansas City, after they were caught napping in Week 1, but were able to escape the Chargers. This week they come into Week 2 to play a top-5 defensive unit with a banged up offensive line on the road. The Texans shouldn’t blow this one open or anything, but I see them getting a 4 or 6 point win.
PICK: TEXANS -1 (-115)