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Week Five Preview: Spoiler Alert

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Hey guys, I've got a knock knock jokes for you. Knock knock.

Who's there?

Foreign.

Foreign who?

Foreign Oh!

The Chiefs took the closest game of the season so far against the Washington Redskins, gaining the lead on a Harrison Butker field goal with four seconds left, and then recovering a fumble on Washington's last minute desperation play and turning it into six. Final score: Chiefs win, 29-20.

The game started terribly, and after Kirk Cousins and Terrelle Pryor illegally pushed off torched Marcus Peters, the Redskins took a first possession 7-0 lead. The Chiefs went three and out, and the Skins promptly added a field goal to stretch their lead to 10-0.

The Chiefs then lost star OG Laurent Duvarney-Tardif to a knee injury, and as of press time we had not learned just how bad it was yet. Jordan Devey came in relief, and proceeded to get bullied by the Skins DL most of the game.

The injuries did not stop there. Josh Norman, Josh Doctson, Rob Kelley, Montae Nicholson, Trent Williams, and a few others I'm sure I missed all left the game at some point, and the game quickly became a war of attrition; the Skins D wreaked havoc on the Chiefs OL all day, but as the defenders themselves began to drop one by one, the Chiefs began to strike back.

Travis Kelce had a big day, as did Albert Wilson, whose late-game catch and run for 37 yards was the big factor in getting the Chiefs into field goal range. Wilson had a banner day, not only collecting 69 yards from scrimmage (nice) but also saving a sure INT.

The game was sloppy at times, and downright ugly some other times, but it was the most exciting finish the Chiefs have had in a while, and improving to 4-0 and remaining the only unbeaten team in the league is oh, so sweet.

Kirk Cousins had a good day, repeatedly throwing at Marcus Peters (who had a very rough game against some strong receivers when the KC pass rush could not get any pressure on Cousins) and collecting a pair of touchdowns, as well as leading the team in rushing with 38 yards. That's a lot more sad to type out than I thought it would be. Oh well.

Kareem the Dream had another huge game, despite a slow start. He racked up 101 rushing yards on 21 carries, a relatively paltry 4.8 yards per carry, as well as adding 4 catches for 20 yards. He may not have scored (which might be the most surprising result of his monster day) but he did reach 639 yards from scrimmage in total, which means he ranks second all time in yards from scrimmage through the first four games of the season, trailing only Billy Sims' 745 (for comparison, third place is Eric Dickerson's 567 yards). I'm beginning to think he's legit, ladies and gentlemen.

Well, enough patting ourselves on the back. Sunday Night Football against the Houston Texans is less than a week away, and we've got a lot of games to get to in this column. Let's get started.

Week 4 Review

Thursday Night Football

Bears (1-2) @ Packers (2-1)

My Pick: Bears 13, Packers 28
Actual Outcome: Bears 14, Packers 35
Fantasy play of the Game: Davante Adams, 7.3 pts.

The Bears got smacked in Lambeau, who woulda guessed it? Only good thing to come out of this game is we get to see Mitch Trubisky next week. Also, Davante Adams almost died and Ty Montgomery got hurt too. Jeez.

Sunday, 8:30 Arrowhead Time

Saints (1-2) @ Dolphins (1-1) (London)

My Pick: Saints 14, Dolphins 16
Actual Outcome: Saints 20, Dolphins 0
Fantasy play of the Game: Jay Ajayi, 5.4 pts.

Well, Jay Cutler did try to retire. I think the Dolphins should have let him. Also, despite the score, it was indeed a truly awful day for both offenses, and I am firm in my belief that Drew Brees is washed. He had absolutely no zip on his throws, and I think he knows it too.

Sunday, Noon Arrowhead Time

Panthers (2-1) @ Patriots (2-1)

My Pick: Panthers 20, Patriots 24
Actual Outcome: Panthers 33, Patriots 30
Fantasy play of the Game: Curtis Samuel, OUT

So that's that, the Patriots have fallen to 2-2 (2 more games than most of the football cognoscenti predicted them to lose this year). If you guys would like, I can do a column with a full examination of their problems later. Props to the Panther offense, which woke up at just the right time to steal a victory in Foxborough.

Jaguars (2-1) @ Jets (1-2)

My Pick: Jags 30, Jets 12
Actual Outcome: Jags 20, Jets 23
Fantasy play of the Game: Allen Hurns, 4.2 pts

So the Jets have somehow stumbled into two wins this year. That's amazing, I'm stunned. And that might be a good thing, as they guy they were "tanking" for, Sam Darnold, is reported to be staying in school next year. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have taken a poo all over any goodwill they earned by getting to 2-1. I think they drop 10 of the next 12.

Titans (2-1) @ Texans (1-2)

My Pick: Titans 24, Texans 21
Actual Outcome: Titans 14, Texans 57 (!)
Fantasy play of the Game: Marcus Mariota, 17.74 pts.

The Texans shellacked the Titans, and Marcus Mariota got hurt again. Deshaun Watson is looking really, really good, and it's confusing as hell that Bill O'Brien, the "QB whisperer" thought Tom Savage was a better option than him. Baffling. Deandre Hopkins showed that he's still a dominant WR when his QB isn't huffing glue on the sidelines, which is nice to know.

Steelers (2-1) @ Ravens (2-1)

My Pick: Steelers 20, Ravens 21
Actual Outcome: Steelers 26, Ravens 9
Fantasy play of the Game: Breshad Perriman, 0.6 pts

Alright, the Ravens actually suck. Their defense is good enough, but the offense is bad to a level where their defense won't save them. The Steelers, who still don't look right, managed to get a key divisional win, improve to 3-1, and could be the biggest rival for the Chiefs in the AFC next to the Broncos.

Bengals (0-3) @ Browns (0-3)

My Pick: Bengals 14, Browns 24
Actual Outcome: Bengals 31, Browns 7
Fantasy play of the Game: Isaiah Crowell, 2.7 pts

Alright, I give up Cleveland. You're hopeless. I'll be sad when you blow up your coaching staff halfway through this season and waste another year. The Bengals are still bad, by the way.

Lions (2-1) @ Vikings (2-1)

My Pick: Lions 29, Vikings 24
Actual Outcome: Lions 14, Vikings 7
Fantasy play of the Game: Stefon Diggs, 9.8 pts

I thought this one would be exciting (it wasn't) but it did decide the course of who would finish second to the Packers this year; Vikings rookie RB Dalvin Cook tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. With Sam Bradford possibly dead and Dalvin Cook confirmed dead, the Vikings season is pretty much over. If Diggs and Thielen can carry the team, it might be possible to get a wild card, but Bradford has to return soon for that to happen.

Rams (2-1) @ Cowboys (2-1)

My Pick: Rams 24, Cowboys 27
Actual Outcome: Rams 35, Cowboys 30
Fantasy play of the Game: Gerald Everett, 0.8 pts

Hahahaha the Cowboys choked and lost to the Rams. Honestly, though, this was a good game, and Jared Goff, under proper offensive coaching, looks like who we thought we would be coming out of Cal. Todd Gurley has re-emerged as a dominant force in the running game, and if Wade Phillips' defense can figure itself out, I think the Rams have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC West, especially with Seattle looking vulnerable.

Bills (2-1) @ Falcons (3-0)

My Pick: Bills 19, Falcons 27
Actual Outcome: Bills 23, Falcons 17
Fantasy play of the Game: Austin Hooper, 5.0 pts

I did a quick search, and couldn't find anyone who wasn't a Bills fansite that picked the Bills to win this game. If you find someone that did, they're lying to you after the fact. The Bills played the Falcons tough, so credit where it's due; the Buffalo Bills lead the AFC East for a fourth straight week. Fun fact: because the Jets beat the Dolphins, the Pats are in third place in the division. What on earth is happening.

Sunday, 3:05 Arrowhead Time

Eagles (2-1) @ Chargers (0-3)

My Pick: Eagles 19, Chargers 17
Actual Outcome: Eagles 26, Chargers 24
Fantasy play of the Game: Nelson Agholor, 5.8 pts

The Chargers drop their fourth game in a row, and another one in heartbreaking fashion as they allow a rookie kicker, Jake Elliott, to make a 60 yard FG as time expires. I think that, as the year goes on, that win for the Chiefs against the Eagles will show to be an important one, as they look like the team to beat in the NFC East so far.

49ers (0-3) @ Cardinals (1-2)

My Pick: 49ers 21, Cardinals 16
Actual Outcome: 49ers 15, Cardinals 18 (OT)
Fantasy play of the Game: Pierre Garçon, 3.6 pts

Hoo boy, was this one ugly. Nine field goals were the only scoring by either team until the literal final minute of OT, where Carson Palmer found the immortal Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone for the game-winning score. The 9ers look convinced that they're as bad as their record is, and Kyle Shanahan's offense has not translated to the bay like most said it would. Perhaps he looked good last year by directing the league's most stacked offense?

Giants (0-3) @ Buccaneers (1-1)

My Pick: Giants 14, Bucs 10
Actual Outcome: Giants 23, Bucs 25
Fantasy play of the Game: Giants D, 1.0 pt

Alright, I'm done picking the Giants. They shouldn't be this bad, but they are. The Bucs haven't found their rhythm offensively yet, but as they get running back Doug Martin back from suspension, they should be able to levy a more balanced offensive game plan, taking pressure off of Jameis Winston.

Sunday, 3:25 Arrowhead Time

Raiders (2-1) @ Broncos (2-1)

My Pick: Raiders 20, Broncos 27
Actual Outcome: Raiders 10, Broncos 16
Fantasy play of the Game: Jamaal Charles, 4.7 pts.

The Raiders lost Derek Carr to a back fracture (ouch) which could keep him out from 2-6 weeks. The Chiefs play the Raiders in week 7 on Thursday Night Football, so it's a real possibility that they face the Carr-less Raiders in the Black Hole. The Broncos didn't look great in this game, but they got the win, improving to 3-1 and sole possession of second place in the division.

Sunday, 7:30 Arrowhead Time

Colts (1-2) @ Seahawks (1-2)

My Pick: Colts 14, Seahawks 17
Actual Outcome: Colts 18, Seahawks 46
Fantasy play of the Game: Blair Walsh, 9.0 pts

The Colts kept it tight and played well throughout the first half, but as soon as halftime was over, the Seahawks made it clear they were intent on making the game a snuff film. Seattle dominated from there on. This game epitomizes how teams with the same record can be on entirely different levels, with the Colts never really standing a chance without Andrew Luck. The Hawks OL will be their Achilles heel, but they improved to 2-2 in spite of it.

Week 4 Pick Results: 6-10

Year to Date Results: 31-32

The Playoffs As Of The Quarter Pole

AFC

  1. Chiefs (bye)
  2. Bills (bye)
  3. Steelers
  4. Jaguars
  5. Broncos
  6. Raiders

NFC

  1. Eagles (bye)
  2. Lions (bye)
  3. Rams
  4. Panthers
  5. Falcons
  6. Packers

Week 5 Preview

From Primetime to Primetime, the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs head to Arrowhead South in Houston to take on the Houston Texans, our old friends and, shall I say, one of our most exciting new rivals. Those Houston Texans, whose very angry fans can be found at BattleRedBlog.com, are 2-2 and very much in contention in the weak AFC South.

The Chiefs and Texans will be linked for a long time, and this rivalry could turn into a very exciting and long-lived one, pending on the development of the two young QBs on these teams; Deshaun Watson, who the Texans drafted 12th overall after trading up to get him, and the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes II, drafted 10th overall. Watson has already begun starting for the Texans, and hasn't looked bad doing it; he has a 2-1 record as a starter after pitching in relief during their opener's second half, and nearly outdueled the Patriots in a narrow loss. He's completing 64% of his passes for 811 yards, 7 TDs, and 4 INTs so far, solid numbers for a young rookie making his first few starts. He's also been a factor running the ball, with 19 rushes for 148 yards and two more scores. With Mahomes on the bench behind Alex Smith, we won't see the first match of the fated two QBs until next year, but if both QBs develop into long-term starters, they will be discussed as a pair similarly to how Brady and Manning were.

As far as the Texans team, there's a lot that we'll be familiar with and some that we won't. Just like the last few times the Chiefs and Texans have met, the Texans have a strong defense lead by three good pass-rushers in JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus. They have a strong CB group, despite the loss of AJ Bouye, in the Mighty J's (trademark pending); Kareem Jackson, Kevin Johnson, and Johnathan Joseph. They lost NT Vince Wilfork to retirement last year, replacing him with second year man DJ Reader, the former Clemson Tiger who became infamous on Hard Knocks last year for not believing that dinosaurs are real. Come on, man.

The offense looks close enough to what it was last year; former Dolphin Lamar Miller leads the backfield, backed up by rookie RB Donta Foreman, with Deandre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and former 49er Bruce Ellington at WR. Adding in a functional QB in Watson has made the Texans offense a lot more dangerous than it ever was under Brock Osweiler last year. (Man, that loss from last year stings.) However, veteran LT Duane Brown has held out of the season thus far, demanding a pay raise, which has forced the Texans to play their RT Chris Clark at LT and elevate Breno Giacomini to their RT spot, and their OL, which was solid last year, has regressed in a major way; they allowed ten sacks to the Jacksonville defense in week one. This quote, from Battle Red Blog's article on Pro Football Focus' rating of the team's week 4 win, is illuminating:

The offensive line was better in pass protection allowing two sacks and 10 additional pressures, but they are still the lowest rated line in the league in terms of pass blocking efficiency at 66.0 after allowing 67 total pressures (including 10 sacks) on 155 passing plays.

They've allowed pressure on over one-third of their passing plays so far. That is not good. Despite what you may think of PFF, it's difficult to imagine anyone ranking this OL highly.

Nuk Hopkins is the biggest threat on the field every time the Texans are on offense. He and Watson have built a good connection so far, hooking up 31 times for 311 yards and 2 scores, putting him on pace for 1244 yards and 8 TDs. While "on pace" is a bogus thing, Nuk has returned to being a safety valve for the Texans QB the way that Andre Johnson once was, able to out-muscle most CBs for the ball. With Marcus Peters having a rough game against the speedy Washington WRs, this looks to be the kind of matchup Peters lives for, a big-bodied, not as fast WR who he can battle with.

Outside of Nuk on offense, however, the Texans lack a difference maker. Watson has been very good at distributing the ball evenly, which means that, while his stats look good and the offense moves, nobody outside of Nuk has eye-popping numbers; Will Fuller V had 2 TDs against the Titans, but his 4 catches in that game are all he's gotten all year. Bruce Ellington has 7 catches all year. Lamar Miller, the Texans leading rusher, is averaging 3.8 yards per carry, and only has 257 yards on the ground this year. Looking at this offense, the way to shut down the Texans is to put pressure on Watson, keep him from scrambling, and to bracket coverage to Nuk Hopkins. Bob Sutton's love of three man rushes does not seem like a winning strategy against this Texans team.

On defense, the Texans have depth and strengths on all levels of the defense. While JJ Watt has yet to collect his first sack this year, Jadeveon Clowney has collected three so far. The front seven has been a source of strength this year, with ILBs Bernardrick McKinney and rookie Zach Cunningham both playing well in the absence of roided-out monster Brian Cushing. The youth in their front seven helps this, as all the players should continue to grow and get better; Clowney, DE Joel Heath, Cunningham, McKinney and DJ Reader are all 24 or younger.

The secondary is also strong, with three former first round picks at CB in Joseph, Jackson, and Johnson. Safeties Andre Hal and Corey Moore are also strong in the back half of the field, which means it could be difficult for the Chiefs to pass on the Texans. However, no one in the secondary has the speed to keep up with Tyreek Hill (I feel like I type this sentence every week) so if the Chiefs OL can block long enough to open up the deep ball, Hill could take advantage of the Texans corners.

Chiefs Offense V Texans Defense

I think I'm going to call this a push. The Chiefs offense has been very good this year, but if LDT misses time with Mitch Morse already out and Eric Fisher playing hurt, that could be a very bad sign against a strong front seven. I think that this matchup depends on how healthy the OL is; if LDT is okay and returns, Fisher (AKA JJ Watt's Daddy) heals up well, and Parker Ehinger rejoins the starting lineup instead of the struggling Bryan Witzmann, then the Chiefs could continue their dominance. I don't think the Texans have what it takes to hold Kareem Hunt under a hundred rushing yards, after both the Eagles and Redskins failed to do it.

Texans Offense V Chiefs Defense

I'm going to give the edge here to the Chiefs. Marcus Peters will be angry and looking to make a statement against the Texans, and both Mitchell and Gaines have been playing well the last two weeks, which bodes well against a Texans offense that only has the one good (albeit an elite one at that) receiver. The tight ends, Ryan Griffin and CJ Fiedorowicz, are not world-beaters, and the three headed monster of Chiefs safeties should be able to hold them in check. The Chiefs rushing defense, which looked shaky against the strong Washington OL, should bounce back against the Texans as well.

Special Teams

The Chiefs have Dave Toub, I'm not worried about STs.

Coaching

Andy Reid > Bill O'Buttchin, and I don't think that's a hot take at all.

How the Chiefs Can Win

Feed the ball to Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce. Marcus Peters collects an INT of Deshaun Watson and holds Nuk Hopkins to a below-average game. Alex Smith continues to play the best ball of his career, and the Chiefs defense collects three sacks of Deshaun Watson.

How the Texans Can Win

Watson uses his elusiveness to buy time to attack the defense, both with scrambling down the field and throwing the ball to Nuk Hopkins. Lamar Miller has a big game, rumbling for 80 yards and a score. LDT and Morse do not return for this game, letting JJ Watt find a way to collect his first sack of the season. Alex Smith struggles against a strong defense, throwing his first interception of 2017.

My Prediction

I think that the Chiefs grind out another primetime win, 24-20. I don't think this will be a blowout, by any means.

The Rest of the NFL

Teams On Bye

Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington

Thursday Night Football

Patriots (2-2) @ Buccaneers (2-1): Patriots 31, Bucs 14

I don't really buy the "Patriots aren't good" narrative. Sure, the defense is struggling (mainly due to having exactly one OK linebacker) but they're still the frigging Patriots, for crying out loud. Tom Brady bounces back in a big way after getting his second loss at home, tossing four touchdowns in a laugher. Fantasy play of the Game: Chris Hogan.

Sunday, Noon Arrowhead Time

49ers (0-4) @ Colts (1-3): 49ers 12, Colts 14

Prepare yourself for some terrible football in the noon slot. The miserable 49ers travel to Indy to face the slightly-less bad Colts, who I think will edge it out in a total snoozer. Don't bother waking up for this one. Fantasy play of the Game: Frank Gore.

Jets (2-2) @ Browns (0-4): Jets 21, Browns 14

Somehow the Jets, who I thought would be a lock for the number one overall pick, are at .500 four games into the season. While I don't expect them to finish with more than 5 wins at most, they should collect another one here. The Browns are still the Browns. Fantasy play of the Game: Robbie Anderson.

Jaguars (2-2) @ Steelers (3-1): Jags 13, Steelers 29

Ben Roethlisberger should get on track at home against the Jaguars, and the Steelers defense should be enough to befuddle Blake Bortles. Fantasy play of the Game: Martavis Bryant.

Chargers (0-4) @ Giants (0-4): Chargers 17, Giants 19

Ugh, the Toilet Bowl of the early slot, the winless Chargers head to the Meadowlands to face the winless New York Football Giants. Rivers and Manning are both over the hill at this point, although Rivers hides it better than Manning does, which means that it'll be a defensive battle. I expect the Giants D to reign supreme. Fantasy play of the Game: Travis Benjamin.

Bills (3-1) @ Bengals (1-3): Bills 24, Bengals 21

If you had asked me to talk about this game before the season, after giving you a weird look I would have told you that the Bengals would have the better record and the Bills would be circling the drain. Now, it looks like the opposite. I think that Tyrod Taylor picks apart the Bengals defense for two passing TDs and a rushing TD, and the Bengals score in garbage time to make it look closer than it really was. Fantasy play of the Game: Tyrod Taylor.

Panthers (3-1) @ Lions (3-1): Panthers 14, Lions 20

I really don't think the Panthers are as good as their record. Their win over the Patriots was huge, however, and I will always love them for beating the Pats (and giving us a little breathing room in the hunt for the #1 seed). The Lions, however, I'm buying in on, and think that they can be a very good team this year. With Jairus Byrd recently signed to their defense to fill in for Kurt Coleman, I think the Panthers hang around but ultimately lose on a 4th quarter drive by Matt Stafford. Fantasy play of the Game: Eric Ebron.

Titans (2-2) @ Dolphins (1-2): Titans 21, Dolphins 6

The Titans got mollywhopped by the Texans last week, and take out their frustration on a hapless Jay Cutler and the Dolphins. Of course, this hinges on Marcus Mariota being healthy, as Matt Cassel, who is somehow still in the league, is a bad, bad quarterback. The Dolphins probably lose either way, however. Fantasy play of the Game: Delanie Walker.

Cardinals (2-2) @ Eagles (3-1): Cardinals 13, Eagles 24

The Cardinals struggled mightily against the 0-4 49ers, and while that may be a division game which are always weird, the Eagles are much, much better than the 49ers. Look for Carson Wentz to make some noise and some plays against Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Fantasy play of the Game: Zach Ertz.

Sunday, 3:05 Arrowhead Time

Ravens (2-2) @ Raiders (2-2): Ravens 14, Raiders 10

The Ravens may be bad, but EJ Manuel is such a step down from Derek Carr that I cannot pick him to win his first start in relief. I think that the struggling Ravens offense only scores one TD, but the Ravens D picks off EJ Manuel and takes it to the house to seal the game. Fantasy play of the Game: Jeremy Maclin.

Seahawks (2-2) @ Rams (3-1): Seahawks 17, Rams 22

This is a really difficult game to pick. For one, the Rams have been a very good team this year, and have recently played the Seahawks tough. On the other hand, the Seahawks are still the Seahawks, and Russel Wilson is a better QB than Jared Goff is right now. I think this could be an exciting one to watch in the afternoon slot, especially with the other game being the Carr-less Raiders and the Ravens. I like the Rams to edge out the Seahawks, but it's not a confident pick. Fantasy play of the Game: Cooper Kupp.

Sunday, 3:25 Arrowhead Time

Packers (3-1) @ Cowboys (2-2): Packers 27, Cowboys 21

The Packers travel to Big D to take on t he Cowboys, coming off of being stunned by the Rams. The Packers are currently a bit banged up, with Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery both going down with injuries against the Bears on Thursday. However, the Cowboys look like they've really regressed from last year, and I will always take Aaron Rodgers against the Cowboys. Fantasy play of the Game: Geronimo Allison.

Monday, 7:30 Arrowhead Time

Vikings (2-2) @ Bears (1-3): VIkings 14, Bears 17

I'm buying big on Mitch Trubisky, and think he leads the Bears to a win in his first start. The Vikigns defense is frisky, but after losing two starters at QB in successive years and the second best rookie RB, they need to rely on their two wideouts and Case Keenum to carry them, which doesn't seem like a reasonable path to success. The Bears edge the Vikes out, and Drew Magary drinks himself to death as a result.

Final Thoughts

It's become kind of cool to pile on Peters, but stop it. He had one bad game against a talented offense. It happens, he'll move past it. Don't be like Bob Fescoe. Be better than that. The Chiefs are on the warpath, enjoy the games.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.