The NFL playoffs begin this weekend with the Wild Card round. I say this every year, but the season absolutely flew by, it feels like the opener was just last week. College football is down to the National Championship, and we are already at the Wild Card round in the NFL. On the first day of playoff action in the NFL, the AFC takes the field to get things started. In the first game of Wild Card Weekend, the sizzling hot Kansas City Chiefs travel to Texas where the Houston Texans will be waiting. The Chiefs have won ten straight games, dating back to October 25th against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s a big turnaround for the Chiefs who lost five in a row before starting their big run. The Chiefs started the season out with a 1-5 record. Things were looking a little dire before they went in the other direction, in a big way. Nobody could have predicted the romp the Chiefs were going to go on with no loss since October. Andy Reid will try and reach the Super Bowl since he did it with Philadelphia Eagles. Reid, since that loss against the Patriots over a decade ago has failed to reach the Super Bowl again. He’s had talented teams to get there, but his failures to get back to the Super Bowl led to his demise in Philadelphia.
The Chiefs haven’t won the Super Bowl since 1970. They failed to reach the playoffs last season in 9-7 season. In 2013 the Chiefs improved to 11-5 but suffered one of the biggest collapses in playoff history, allowing the Indianapolis Colts to comeback from 38-10 down. With a 28 point lead at halftime, the Chiefs coughed it all away to lose by a point, 54-44. It summed up the way the postseason has gone for Andy Reid in his career. The loss was pretty inexcusable, carrying over to the next season where they missed the playoffs altogether.
It hasn’t been the most satisfying feeling for Chiefs’ fans having to endure the roller coaster that is the Kansas City Chiefs. They can really be Jekyll and Hyde. However, all they’ve been doing is going up this season, there have been no drops on this roller coaster. After ten straight wins, we can comfortably say that there haven’t been any bumps since really early in the season. The Chiefs catch a first round matchup with the Houston Texans. For a team that was weeks into the season without a clear starting quarterback, this year has turned out just fine for the Texans. It doesn’t feel long ago that Ryan Mallett was walking off the field in disgust after he was benched. Well, Mallett exited with a very minor injury, was cleared to return, but was never granted the approval to go back into the game by the coaching staff. The rest is history, as Brian Hoyer took over as the starter, with Mallett getting cut and ending up in Baltimore late in the season. Hoyer looks to earn his first playoff win in the NFL today. Let’s get right to the pick for game 1 of Wild Card Weekend.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans NFL Wild Card Round Betting Odds:
vs. Texans +3(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chiefs vs. Texans Pick:
The Texans are a relative baby compared to the rest of the NFL. An expansion team in 2002, the Texans have been to the playoffs three times, but have yet to make it to the Super Bowl. Their most recent appearance came in 2012, where they forced the Cincinnati Bengals out of the postseason again, a feat they did in 2011 as well. The Texans haven’t been back until today. They will seek a 3-0 record in the Wild Card round with a win today. The ever dominant J.J. Watt is in the prime of his career and needs to take advantage of his opportunity now. He cannot do it alone, though. The Texans’ defense finished in 3rd with 310.2 yards allowed per game. Houston is particularly stingy against the pass, as they gave up only 210 yards through the air, a 3rd spot in the defensive rankings. The Texans allowed just 19.6 points per game.
It is quite astonishing the things the Chiefs did this season without Jamaal Charles. And they are actually producing points. 25.3 points per game to be exact, a number which puts them at 9th in the NFL. The Texans are 21st in the NFL offensively. The Chiefs are 6th in the NFL running the football, all without Jamaal Charles. You can see what a good offensive line can do for a team. A freighting stat is going against the Chiefs in this game, however. Teams that have won eight or more straight games heading into the playoffs are 0-13 ATS. Additionally, the end of their schedule was quite lax. They played the Chargers x2, Raiders x2, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Baltimore. How many of them are in the postseason? Zero. I see the Texans’ defense making life hard on Alex Smith and company. The Texas should ride their defense to the next round today against the Chiefs.
PICK: TEXANS +3 (-110)