Chiefs Prevail at Home Despite Texans’ Strong Start
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; The Kansas City Chiefs celebrate the win over the Houston Texans in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Texans traveled to Kansas City, Mo. on Sunday, Jan. 12 for the AFC Divisional Playoff Game after finishing the regular season 10-6 and defeating the Buffalo Bills in overtime in the AFC Wild Card game. The Chiefs were highly favored to win this game and it looked like the Texans might pull off an upset when they scored three unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter, but the Chiefs had a four-point lead at halftime and were relentless on both sides of the field, defeating the Texans, 51-21.
Houston started the game with possession of the ball and converted the opening drive into a touchdown score after Deshaun Watson connected with Kenny Stills for a 54-yard pass and the first points on the board. Kansas City was unable to convert their first possession into any points as Houston blocked the punt kick and Lonnie Johnson, Jr. recovered the ball and took it into the end zone for a touchdown, claiming a 14-point lead over the Chiefs.
Houston took the next opportunity to score after Tyreek Hill muffed a punt, allowing Keion Crossen to recover it at the Chiefs’ six-yard line. Watson hit Darren Fells for a four-yard touchdown pass and the Texans led, 21-0, to close out the first quarter.
The Texans were in possession of the ball when the second quarter began and they finished the drive with a 31-yard field goal kick by Kai Fairbairn to extend the lead by three more points, 24-0. That would be the last time Houston scored in the first half.
The Chiefs finally got on the board as Patrick Mahomes connected with Damien Williams for a 17-yard touchdown pass and the first score of the game, making it 21-7.
In their next possession, Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce for a five-yard touchdown pass and then again in the next drive when Kelce and Mahomes connected for six yards. With six-and-a-half minutes left in the first half, the Chiefs only trailed by three points, 24-21, and then in the next possession, they scored again when Mahomes connected with Kelce for another touchdown and took the lead for the first time with 44 seconds left on the clock.
Fairbairn missed a 51-yard field goal attempt in Houston’s last possession and the Chiefs kept the lead going into halftime, 28-24.
Kansas City kept the momentum in the second half and Williams posted another touchdown, this time rushing the ball one yard for the score. In rare form, Harrison Butker missed the extra point and the Chiefs still had the 10-point lead, 34-24. Houston went three-and-out in their opening possession and in the next drive, Williams rushed the ball into the end zone again, this time from five yards.
In Houston’s second possession of the half, Watson rushed the ball five yards to put another Texans touchdown on the board and close the lead to 10 points, 41-31. However, this would be the last score for the Texans as their offense was unable to break through the Kansas City defense and the Chiefs would finish out the third quarter with the lead and possession of the ball.
Kansas City converted the first drive of the fourth quarter into another touchdown, which was the seventh in as many drives, after Mahomes nailed a deep pass to Sammy Watkins for 28 yards and then connected with Blake Bell for an eight-yard touchdown in the next play. The Chiefs converted their next drive into points when Butker put the ball through the posts from 24 yards out.
In the final Houston possessions, the team didn’t punt, which was part of the game plan Coach O’Brien laid out for the remainder of the game. They went six, nine, and 13 plays, respectively, in their final three drives and were unable to add any more points on the board. The game remained scoreless for the last three-and-a-half minutes and the Kansas City Chiefs kept the Houston Texans from advancing to the next round, which would have been the first time the Texans advanced past this round.
The Chiefs will face the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game next Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2:05 p.m. EST on CBS.
For the energy, the passion and the support.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) January 13, 2020