While the fact that Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu will be facing his former team when the Houston Texans come to Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday doesn’t carry quite the juice of Justin Houston’s return to Kansas City last Sunday, it doesn’t mean the press won’t ask Mathieu about his former teammates.
”1-A and 1-B, in my humble opinion,” he said of Mahomes and Watson. “His everyday approach [and] his consistency reminds me a lot of Patrick. [Doesn’t] get too high, doesn’t get too low. Never looks at the scoreboard. Always feels like he’s capable of getting his team back into the game. Definitely a very good quarterback.”
Mathieu acknowledged that the Chiefs will have to keep a close eye on Watson — and the weapons in his arsenal.
”Any time you play a dual-threat quarterback, that’s always an emphasis,” he noted. “We’ve got to understand: they’ve got a healthy team this year — which they didn’t necessarily have last year. They’ve got options — you know, weapons — all over the field; they present a challenge from that as well.”
Mathieu has that right. Watson has completed passes to nine different Texans so far this season. In comparison, Mahomes has completed passes to 14 different Chiefs — largely because he’s has had more receivers on the field with him because of injuries. But Watson is a threat on the ground, too. While Mahomes will more often scramble until he can find an open receiver, Watson will just take off.
“We’ve got to do a good job of keeping him in the pocket,” Mathieu said. “We’ve got to play physical press-man on the outside and just compete with those guys through the ground — especially DeAndre Hopkins. He’s going to be in a position to catch most balls. The attitude we’ve got to have is to take him to the ground with the ball — to finish every play.”
Even though he spent only a single year with the Texans, Mathieu said he still keeps up with them.
”I’ve got a great relationship with a few of the guys that are still there,” he said. “[But] for me it will be another football game. I spent the year with them — and I kind of know the head coach thinks, so I’m expecting him to throw at me early on [to] kind of get in my head. So I’m looking forward to it.”