Former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston returned to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Houston had spent eight years with the Chiefs before the club released him this past offseason.
The veteran linebacker acknowledged he would have some feelings about returning to the stadium prior to the game. But when he celebrated his seemingly game-clinching tackle for loss on fourth down in the fourth quarter, nothing else needed to be said; it was easy to see Houston’s emotion as he turned to the Chiefs sideline shouting and pounding his chest.
“I said some of everything; I don’t know what I said,” Houston told reporters after the game. “I was mic’d up. So, you all probably have got to check the mic on that one. I don’t even know what I was saying.”
On third-and-28 with less than six minutes to go, Patrick Mahomes converted a pass to Byron Pringle for 27 yards, one yard shy of the first-down marker. Facing fourth-and-1 at the Kansas City 34 and his Chiefs trailing 16-10, Reid opted to keep the offense on the field. Mahomes handed it off to running back Damien Williams, who was tackled by Houston.
“We thought we needed to go for it right there first of all,” Reid said. “Then on the backside, Justin made a nice play — he came off the backside and made the play. We need to do a better job blocking that and working through it. You give him credit. He made a nice play.”
“They actually let me free,” Houston added. “Glory be to God that they put me in a position to make a play and I made it.”
The Chiefs turned the ball over on downs and the Colts added another field goal to make it a two-possession game. After the eventual 19-13 Colts upset was in the books, Houston admitted there was extra motivation in the victory.
“I’d be lying to say there wasn’t,” he said. “It’s like your old girlfriend. If you get a new girlfriend, you want to show her off. To come here and get a win, it means a lot to me – and to the team as well.”
Houston, who had four tackles (three solo) and a sack in the game, explained that the win probably meant the most to his son, Junior.
“I know he felt some type of way when the Chiefs released me,” Houston added. “For us to come here and beat them, I know it means a lot to him. So, I’m happy I could put a smile on his face.”