Texans vs. Chiefs 2013: 5 questions with the enemy

Bob Levey

Ahead of Sunday's Texans-Chiefs game, we talked with Brett over at Battle Red Blog, SB Nation's Texans blog. Read on for a Q&A between Brett and I on the game.

1. Name one player on offense the Chiefs have to watch out for.

Everyone knows Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and Matt Schaub (for the wrong reasons), but there are still plenty of fan bases who have yet to be formally introduced to DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins, the Texans first round pick who inexplicably fell to 27th overall, has been stellar so far in his rookie campaign. However, unfortunately for the rookie receiver, his quarterback(s) have been utterly incompetent in the "get the ball to your play makers" part of the game. No matter how open Hopkins gets on a regular basis, having Matt Schaub at quarterback will only serve to make him look statistically inferior to fellow rookies Keenan Allen and Kenbrell Thompkins (in case you are wondering, the common denominator there is great quarterbacking). This must be what it felt like for Chiefs fans last season while they watched an incredibly talented roster go nowhere with Matt Cassel under center. Matt Schaub is misery incarnate. I hate everything. Please make this stop.

2. Name one player on defense the Chiefs have to watch out for.

J.J. Watt. He seems to get more and more pissed off with each passing loss, and I am genuinely concerned he is about to kill someone. I thought Brian Cushing was the scary rage monster of the Texans defense...and then this happenedEric Fisher is about to get the trial by fire of a lifetime.

3. The Chiefs o-line has struggled this year. Will JJ Watt dominate on Sunday? Does he usually take advantage of suspect o-lines?

Hell, J.J. takes advantage of good o-lines, let alone suspect units. I think their toughest task will be finding a way to double team Watt while still allocating enough resources to block Antonio Smith and Brian Cushing ramrodding their way through the middle of the pocket. Brandon Albert should be able to hold his own on the weak side against Whitney Mercilus, but everyone else along the line should be in for one hell of a wild ride. The Texans front seven is the reason that Houston's opponents are only averaging 131 yards passing per game, and it's one of the few things that Texans fans can hang their hat on in 2013. One can only hope that Watt and crew find the ability to carry Matt Schaub to victory one more time.

4. The Chiefs create a lot of turnovers. Where are the Texans turnovers coming from? What's the problem?

Quarterback, coach, and quarterback in that order. Matt Schaub has a complete inability to throw deep (due to a decline in arm strength, accuracy, and decision making all at the same time), and as a result Gary Kubiak is only able to call short passes. Defenses figured out that Schaub is no longer a threat for deep play action bombs anymore, so they have just sat on underneath routes over and over and waited for the ball to be delivered to them on a silver platter. With no threat of deep passes, defensive coordinators are gleefully loading the box against Arian Foster and daring Matt Schaub to beat their single coverage outside, a task that they know he is no longer adequately equipped to do. With no working run game, Matt Schaub is forced into third and long situations that he simply cannot throw his way out of anymore. The Texans were able to compensate at times by forcing defenses into zone with bunch sets and letting Schaub manipulate the ball into underneath windows or wide open seams that posed smaller risk of interception, but it did not take long for opposing coordinators to adjust. Kubiak, at least in my opinion, might just be out of options at this point. Either the offensive line run blocks like no line has run blocked before to let the ground game do all the work, or the Texans are in trouble.

To put it bluntly, this offense is in need of the old yeller treatment and it's only week seven. Yippee.

5. Your prediction for the game.

Arrowhead is back. Tamba Hali is really freakin' good and still might be the second best pass rusher on the team. Dontari Poe figured out his calling in life is to destroy pocket integrity. Jamaal Charles is one of the most dangerous men in football. Eric Berry is continuing to prove he was completely worth the 5th overall pick. Brandon Flowers and Derrick Johnson are some of the best at their positions. The Chiefs are 6-0 and playing at home. 
Let's just say the odds are a bit stacked. Could the Texans finally pull their heads out of their collective asses and play up to their potential, which is a top 5 NFL football team? Sure. Will they? At this point...probably not. I've been waiting to see the switch turn on for a month now, and it just isn't. No quarterback, no wins. Chiefs fans should know that better than anyone by now.

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