Chiefs 42, Texans 34: Five takeaways from the game plus your questions and comments.Posted by Arrowhead Pride: For Kansas City Chiefs Fans on Sunday, October 8, 2017
The Kansas City Chiefs stayed perfect on Sunday Night Football by defeating the Houston Texans, 42-34. The Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL at 5-0.
Here are the game’s winners and losers:
Winner: Alex Smith (again)
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith continues to do. it. all.
One of the best aspects of Smith’s game back in 2015 was his ability to run the football when he needed to, and it appeared tonight he continues to tap back into that.
Smith had five rushes for 19 yards and used his legs to extend plays that would have otherwise been over.
Through the air, Smith was 29 of 37 for 324 yards and three touchdowns and he hit 10 different receivers on the night. It hasn’t mattered what kind of pass it is either. Smith is throwing short bullets, intermediate and deep passes accurately, and in fact, more accurately than any other quarterback in the league.
Alex Smith has a 76.6% completion percentage on the season. That is 5% higher than any other QB— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) October 9, 2017
What may have been most impressive about Smith on Sunday night specifically was Kansas City’s third-down efficiency. Faced with 16 third-down plays, the Chiefs converted nine times. That’s 56 percent.
Smith is the MVP of the National Football League through five weeks. I just typed that. Smith is the MVP of the National Football League through five weeks. There I typed it again.
Winner: Travis Kelce
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Travis Kelce makes the winners list for the second week in a row after a game in which he again showcased his yards-after-the-catch ability, cleanly HURDLING a Texans defender in the process.
He was Smith’s No. 1 targeted receiver on the night, compiling 98 yards. Early in the second quarter, Kelce had a 4-yard catch where he didn’t appear to be down on the replay, but he was ruled so, meaning his yardage output could have been even greater.
Near the end of the second quarter, Kelce looked to have bounced his head very hard on the NRG Stadium turf, and he did not return for the second half.
The Chiefs said Kelce was being evaluated for a concussion.
Winner: Charcandrick West
His game won’t make many fantasy owners happy, but Chiefs fans will be.
Charcandrick West got his first touchdown since Week 1 with just under six minutes to go in the second quarter when he made a nice catch with Bernardrick McKinney following closely behind.
West also didn’t mind doing the dirty work on the Chiefs’ final drive of the quarter with a great block on cornerback Kareem Jackson. Jackson actually flipped in the air as a result of the block on a play that should have running backs coach Eric Bieniemy howling in the film room this week.
Later in the drive, West scored ANOTHER touchdown after a nasty juke.
Don’t forget—West led the Chiefs in rushing in 2015 after Jamaal Charles went down. If he can get it going again behind Kareem Hunt as Kansas City’s change-of-pace back, the Chiefs’ rushing game gets even scarier.
Winner: Kareem Hunt
Speaking of RB No. 1, the only type of game Kareem Hunt knows in the NFL is one in which he rushes for 100 yards or more, and he did it again Sunday night with 107 despite finishing the first half with only 24.
Hunt also had three catches for nine yards.
Winner: Chris Jones
Chris Jones caused a fumble late in the second quarter with a nice tackle of D’Onta Foreman, and veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson picked the ball up, giving the Chiefs a short field and an eventual field goal to extend the lead to 16-0.
Jones was a problem for Deshaun Watson all night:
Chris Jones tonight— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) October 9, 2017
His most pressures in a game this season
Winner: Chiefs as a whole, when it came to penalties
The Chiefs came into the weekend taking a third-to-last 9.0 penalties per game, and we talked a lot this week about how it could eventually cost them a game.
The Chiefs played a much cleaner game penalty-wise against the Texans, taking just six for 64 yards.
That average that needed to come down came down some more on Sunday night.
Winner: Harrison Butker
After missing the first field goal of his career last week that probably made you nervous, Harrison Butker (in Kareem Hunt fashion) has been a perfect 8-for-8 since.
When the Chiefs offense was struggling to get in the end zone against the Texans, he was automatic, making kicks from 35, 42, 41, 35 and 49.
UPDATE: The web address, harrisonbuttkicker.com actually exists.
Winner: Justin Houston
Justin Houston registered 1.5 sacks in this game as he continues to look like the old version of himself, but I want to draw attention more so to an off-the-field moment.
Marcus Peters lost his cool with Bob Sutton during this game, and Houston quickly ran over to calm him down.
More than just his on-the-field play, he’s ramped up his leadership in the absence of Eric Berry, and that is important for teams that could go on deep runs.
Winner: Tyreek Hill
It had been a while.
In the fourth quarter with the Chiefs already up 32-20, Tyreek Hill fielded a punt and went the distance for an 82-yard touchdown.
There are two key parts to this play:
- The juke to get behind the Frank Zombo block that led to the score.
- The peace sign...at the 20-yard line.
Loser: Football fans, in general
The Houston Texans lost two key players to injury almost immediately in this game in linebacker Whitney Mercilus (chest) and defensive end JJ Watt (knee).
As a Chiefs supporter, you root to see the Chiefs outplay the other team’s best players, but when they go out like Mercilus and Watt did, everyone loses.
Have to hope Mercilus and Watt recover quickly.
Loser: The aerial ambulance shot
I never expected to be adding a camera angle to the winners and losers list, but here we are.
JJ Watt may be the only player in the NFL that gets the Monday Night Raw-style injury coverage https://t.co/O2T0WTtWEt— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) October 9, 2017
Did we need the ambulance shot of JJ Watt? Did we need to see aerial coverage of the ambulance like it was a car chase?
Loser: The Chiefs wide receiving corps
The Houston Texans went for an onside kick after cutting the Chiefs’ lead to 39-26, and Chris Conley recovered the football with a wide open field in front of him. As Conley for the end zone, his leg popped, and untouched, he fell to the ground. The Chiefs think Conley ruptured his Achilles tendon.
Reid stops slightly short of saying Conley has ruptured Achilles, says "looks like" it is from what told on sideline, most likely is— Vahe Gregorian (@vgregorian) October 9, 2017
If that is the case, he’s done for the season.
Loser: Terrance Mitchell
Cornerback Terrance Mitchell looked good early in this game, so much so that Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth began praising him in the middle of the Sunday Night Football broadcast.
Then, not so much.
Uh-oh, right after they praise Terrance Mitchell he gives up a 48-yard TD. Texans within a score— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) October 9, 2017
It looked like Mitchell gave up at least another two touchdowns before the game’s end.
Loser: Andre Hal
Welcome to the wrong side of a highlight reel forever, Andre.