Betting on the over is always fun because that means the scoreboard is turning at lightning speed if you’re right. That should be the case here when the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs meet at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
The Texans exploded for 53 points at home against Atlanta last week, with Deshaun Watson throwing for five touchdown passes all by himself. The Chiefs are just as capable of putting up points, but they are coming off a season low 13 points after the Indianapolis Colts frustrated Patrick Mahomes and a banged up Kansas City offense.
The odds of Kansas City putting up that kind of dud again are very low, especially with the potential return of Tyreek Hill this week. Neither team can play very good defense, so expect a barn burner and throw down some money on the over.
Mahomes is on pace to smash the single-season passing yard record, even without Tyreek Hill, one of the most explosive offensive weapons in the league. Entering this past weekend, Football Outsiders ranked the Chiefs as the best offense in the NFL. So, I’d say things were going how they should be in 2019, until the loss to the Colts.
But look at the circumstances: The offensive line, down Eric Fisher and Andrew Wylie, didn’t play well. The receivers, down their two best options (Hill and Sammy Watkins) against man coverage, couldn’t get open. Sure-handed tight end Travis Kelce let a few slip through his hands. The run game, which hasn’t been ideal this season, continued to struggle. Running back LeSean McCoy had a costly fumble that turned the game toward the Colts.
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The commercial features scenes of Berry as he battled to return from cancer, including some when he had no hair, which was a side effect of the chemotherapy treatments.
3. Wisniewski has experience at both left guard and center during his career
Wisniewski has been versatile along the offensive line throughout his time in the league, lining up at both center (63 starts) and left guard (38 starts).
He played primarily at guard during his rookie year before making the switch to center, where he remained during the rest of his time with Oakland and in his one-year stint with the Jaguars. Wisniewski then moved back to primarily playing guard when he joined the Eagles.
If the Texans can follow the Colts’ blueprint from last Sunday night and take advantage of Chiefs’ injuries, this immediately becomes a very winnable game. Especially with Deshaun Watson, Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V all turning in anything remotely resembling last week’s performance against the Falcons. Granted, the Andy Reid led Chiefs are Super Bowl favorites in some circles and the Falcons are being circled by buzzards, but at least there’s hope for Houston.
The weekend’s festivities were all in celebration of the NFL’s 100th season - which coincides with the Chiefs’ 60th campaign as a franchise – and there was no shortage of excitement throughout as the organization honored its great tradition while inspiring others to reach their full potential.
It all began with a visit to the Chiefs’ original home at the corner of 22nd and Brooklyn, where old Municipal Stadium once stood. The franchise played within the confines of Municipal from 1963-71, winning multiple American Football League championships while endearing itself to Kansas City for generations to come.
1. Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Even after two “down” weeks by Mahomes’ lofty standards, he’s on pace to throw for a tick more than 5,859 yards, which would smash the all-time record. It’s worth remembering that Mahomes is operating within an offense that is shorthanded and that he’s dealing with an ankle injury that has limited his mobility.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
Previous Rank: 2
He’s no Tyreek Hill, but Mecole Hardman has stretched defenses with his speed while Cheetah’s been sidelined due to injury. The rookie wideout has racked up 246 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and his explosiveness fits perfectly in Andy Reid’s dynamic offense.
Sunday 1:00 ET: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts (CBS Regional)
Around the league
Receiver A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: Teams are bound to come calling about Green. While trading a “career Bengal” like Green, drafted fourth overall by the team in 2011, is anathema to president Mike Brown, Green could be the exception that proves the rule. He’s struggled to stay healthy for three years running, having played in just nine games last season and zero so far in 2019, and he’s in the last year of his contract. Green could still reportedly fetch a first-round pick, presumably in a deal with a team confident it could sign Green long-term, presuming he’s recovered from an ankle injury.
A trade of Green would be a surprise, but these are dark times in Cincinnati. The Bengals fell to 0-5 on Sunday after being thoroughly dominated for three-and-a-half quarters by the Cardinals, another previously winless team. Andy Dalton rallied with two late fourth-quarter touchdowns before the Bengals’ defense caved in and gave up a game-ending field-goal drive. The announced attendance in Cincinnati included almost 20,000 empty seats, and many of those fans left before Dalton got the team moving.
Joining Barkley on the sideline with an out designation is tight end Evan Engram, whose knee continues to be problematic.
Barkley’s backup, Wayne Gallman (concussion) has likewise been ruled out, so the Giants will lean on Jon Hilliman and Elijhaa Penny in the running game.
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The Chiefs defense was awful in the first quarter, allowing a long touchdown drive. However, the more concerning point for me was the abysmal first and second-down defense. The Chiefs were rarely in third-down situations — only getting to third down five times in the first half — and it had to do with the terrible early-down defense.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs signed veteran defensive tackle Terrell McClain in order to make up for the injuries to Williams and his fellow defensive tackle Chris Jones, who was also injured on Sunday. The full extent of Jones’ injury is not yet known.
Williams will have to miss at least eight games before being allowed to return to the roster. However, the Chiefs may only return two players from injured reserve during the season. Quarterback Chad Henne and wide receiver Felton Davis are will also be eligible to return from injured reserve once they have missed eight games, and will be in the mix as the Chiefs decide how to use their two opportunities to return players from IR.
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