It’s been a terrible four weeks for the Texans and they may be headed for another long week. The Texans stand at 2-4 after the disaster against the Rams and now head to Arrowhead Stadium to face the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Here is my preview and predictions for today’s game.
3:25 PM CT, October 20, 2013
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Case Keenum makes his NFL debut today in what should be one of his toughest matchups for a Texans QB this season. Keenum replaces an injured Schaub and catapulted over T.J. Yates on the depth chart to earn his start this week.
The Texans will need to help Keenum out with an above average run game performance this week. Arian Foster had his best game of the season last week rushing for 141 yards on just 20 attempts. The Chiefs allow just 116 rushing yards per game due to the strong front-seven. If the Texans can excel in the run game early, that should give Keenum some open room in the secondary to make his throws.
However, Keenum may have a tough time getting rid of the ball. Justin Houston, Tomba Hali, and Dontari Poe are just three members of the ferocious front-seven that will hope to disrupt any flow for Keenum. The Chiefs have 31 sacks this season with 10 of them coming just last week against the Raiders. The Texans should be fully healthy on the offensive line minus tight end Owen Daniels who is out another 7 weeks. Keenum is the most mobile of the three Texans quarterbacks and will need to be ready to scramble this week against the Chiefs defense.
It’s been a tough few weeks for the Texans defensive unit. The unit as a whole ranks 1st in Total Defense yet has been inconsistent at times. Last week against the Rams there was no pass-rush and they made several penalties to keep drives alive. The Texans offense hasn’t helped them as they have put the defense in several terrible situations. A squeaky clean performance will be needed today against Alex Smith and the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are led on offense by running back Jamal Charles. Charles has 475 rushing yards through six games but also has 300 receiving yards on 33 receptions. Charles is a dual-threat on offense and the Texans linebackers need to be prepared. J.J. Watt, Earl Mitchell, and Antonio Smith need to get a good push up front and hope to stop Charles in the backfield.
When Alex Smith was available via trade several Texans fans expressed a desire to acquire the quarterback. Smith has had a respectable season so far leading the Chiefs to a 6-0 record. Smith doesn’t do much in the air as the team averages just 207 passing yards per game. Dwayne Bowe signed a big contract but doesn’t seem to be Smith’s favorite target. Donnie Avery leads the team with 310 receiving yards and Charles leads the team with 33 receptions. The Chiefs like to move the ball slowly down field evidenced by Alex Smith’s league low 6.16 yards per attempt. The slow and methodical approach has been working so far and expect it to continue against the Texans secondary. The secondary has allowed just 131 yards per game but will be without Daniel Manning for the rest of the season. Rookie D.J. Swearinger will take his place and may spend most of the day up in the box.
The Score: Texans – 20 Chiefs – 13
- Keenum has a good game and throws his first career TD
- The defense causes two TO’s
- Bullock goes 2-2 with a 32-yard FG and a 41-yard FG
- Foster scores 1 TD and he gets 150+ total yards
- J.J. Watt has a 2-sack game
What do you think Texans fans? Sound off in the comments below or tweet me @YoniPollak.