After one of the worst statistical performances ever from a Chiefs offense under Patrick Mahomes, let’s take a look at five key stats for what we hope is a redemption game.
426 yards and five touchdowns
It’s bad enough the Chiefs are headed into Sunday’s matchup in a bit of a slump on both sides of the ball — but the situation is made entirely worse when you consider Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is fresh off one of the best performances of any player this season.
Watson threw for 426 yards and five touchdowns in the Texans 53-32 win over the Atlanta Falcons, giving him plenty of positive momentum entering this week’s game. Hopefully, Bob Sutton took all the blown coverages with him when he went to Atlanta, allowing the Chiefs to repeat what they did against the Colts: hold quarterback Jacoby Brissett to only 151 yards passing.
129.4 yards per game, 5.1 yards per carry
The Texans are tied for seventh in the league in rushing, gaining over 129 yards per game and over five yards a carry. That — combined with the Chiefs averaging over 155 rushing yards per game and 5.3 yards a carry — is a bad sign for the home team. The Texans can move the ball well through the air and on the ground, which is extremely bad for a struggling defense dealing with injuries.
That was the score when the Chiefs defeated the Texans in 2017; Chiefs fans can hang onto that one for dear life. The Chiefs had a pretty convincing lead until Watson scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to make the game as close as it was.
Watson did throw five touchdown passes in that game, but the Chiefs managed to get to him with their pass rush, allowing Watson to complete only 16 of his 31 passes. While Watson won’t be fooled as easily as he was his rookie season, getting pressure with four rushers — and forcing errant passes — is never a bad idea.
58 quarterback hits
One thing that both teams have struggled to do this season is protect their respective franchise quarterbacks; the teams have combined to allow 58 quarterbacks hits. The Chiefs have allowed 25 and the Texans have allowed 33. That can’t continue if either team wants to continue to have success. The Chiefs have lost Chris Jones — arguably their best pass rusher — so don’t be surprised if safety Tyrann Mathieu gets a couple of shots at Watson with safety blitzes.
According to the latest FanPulse results, the confidence of Chiefs fans is at a season-low headed into Week 6. After only the first loss of the season, fans’ confidence in the direction of the team fell from 94% all the way down to 55%.
A win against a tough team like the Texans should do a lot to boost that confidence, but back-to-back losses at home might do irreversible damage.