The Kansas City Chiefs, winners of the AFC West, are set to host the Houston Texans on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:05 p.n. EST and is set to air on CBS. They last squared off on Oct. 13, 2019, with the Texans winning 31-24 over the Chiefs. The Chiefs would advance to their second consecutive AFC Championship game with a win over the Texans.
It’s no surprise that the Chiefs are the favorite to win the game. When the two teams met earlier this season, Kansas City was working through several injury issues with Sammy Watkins and Patrick Mahomes, as well as Tyreek Hill’s first game back after suffering a broken collarbone in Week 1. They were missing five starters overall against the Texans.
Going into this game, the Chiefs have had a week to rest up, plan, and strategize. They need to take advantage of the long overtime game the Texans played against the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round. After a steady improvement of the defense over the season, they need to show Houston this isn’t the same Chiefs defense they faced in Weeks 6.
Keys to the Game for Chiefs
1. Contain Deshaun Watson
Don’t let him get outside the pocket to create plays like he did against the Bills. With the addition of Terrell Suggs to the roster, he can help bring a look to the defense the Texans didn’t see last time around.
2. Feed Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins the ball
Basically, keep doing what they’ve been doing. The Texans are prepared to cover these two, so a little sleight of hand might be necessary.
3. Defense, defense, and defense
Since Week 6, the Chiefs’ defense has improved immensely. Their rush defense limited opposing teams to 95 rushing yards per game in the last six games of the season, taking away options from the Texans to limit Watson’s ability to deliver the ball.
4. Patrick Mahomes
While his stats have been slightly down after coming back from his injuries, they are still far above average. They just need to stick to what works, which is Patrick Mahomes being Patrick Mahomes.
5. Support from the fanbase
Chiefs fans might be slightly disheartened as they recall the Chiefs are 10-19 in the playoffs, which is the second-lowest among active franchises. However, they can take heart that Andy Reid has a pretty good record when it comes to games after a bye week for both regular (18-3) and post-season (4-2). Never give up and make some noise.
The Chiefs will pull out a victory if they don’t ignore the fact that Deshaun Watson will do whatever it takes to win. We saw that in the game against the Bills when he led them to a comeback win. If they play an entire game and don’t rest on the laurels of any lead they might have, they will show they are the better team this weekend.
Final: Chiefs 24, Texans 17