For the the season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, Arrowhead Pride contributors all picked the Chiefs to win. No one thought the Chiefs would score fewer than 27 points, but most thought the Chargers wouldn’t score more than 13. Our readers had a similar view. 97% thought the Chiefs would win. 64% thought it would be a blowout.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
As Chiefs fans, I feel like over the next couple of weeks, we are going to pick and choose which regular-season games matter — as will our opponents. The Texans will no doubt have a lot of confidence from the fact that they have already beaten their opponent once this year. But I don’t expect lightning to strike twice. The form of these two teams couldn’t be more contrasting. The Texans limped past the Bills, whilst the Chiefs steamrolled the back end of their schedule. Momentum, rest and coaching wins the day. Chiefs 31, Texans 17
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
I can’t blame anyone who feels uneasy about the Chiefs beginning the playoffs against a team that defeated them at home earlier in the season. But that loss seems like it was months ago. (Come to think of it, it was months ago). The Chiefs should have won that game — and given everything that’s happened since then, they’re likely to win this one, too. The Texans’ main chance is to force — and capitalize upon — Kansas City mistakes. As long as the Chiefs keep playing the way they have been during the second half of the season, they should prevail. But don’t expect the Texans to just lay down; they’re a good, well-coached team — and there’s a reason Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were drafted just two spots away from each other. Chiefs 34, Texans 23
Ethan Douglas (@ChiefsAnalytics)
No matter which way you slice the numbers, the Chiefs are a far superior team to the Texans. It’s the playoffs — where surprising things happen — but Chiefs fans have every right to feel supremely confident about this matchup. Mahomes is going to pick apart the Texans bottom-tier pass defense to the tune of over 300 yards and five (yes, five) touchdowns. The Texans score a couple garbage time scores near the end. Chiefs 42, Texans 28
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
I wanted so badly for this game to be against the Patriots. I wanted the Chiefs to slay the King themselves — and I was very confident they’d get it done. That being said, I may feel even better about them beating the Texans. The offense has a great chance to explode against a soft Houston defense. Their secondary has been turned over since the Week 6 matchup — and is still exploitable. A healthy Chiefs receiving corps should have their way. The Kansas City defense — without Thornhill— could struggle to defend the deep passing game with Hopkins and Fuller, but the pass rush will make up for it by dominating the Texans offensive line. Should be a fun day at Arrowhead. Chiefs 41, Texans 24
Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)
This a a rematch from an early-season game that has about as many similarities as Kent’s hair and Craig’s hair. :-) With the Chiefs’ long laundry list of players returning from injury since then — and the two teams seeming to go in different directions — not much should be gleaned from the earlier game. When the Texans have the ball the key is slowing down wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller — without Juan Thornhill available. If the Chiefs cornerbacks can hold up with less help — and still allow Tyrann Mathieu to hunt all over the field — it’s going to be a long day for Deshaun Watson. When the Chiefs have the ball, they have an alarming advantage with their receiving weapons against the Texans’ secondary. Tyreek Hill’s speed and Demarcus Robinson’s chemistry with Mahomes should lead to them having big game. Chiefs dominate his game from end to end. Chiefs 34, Texans 24
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
There are only three factors that should prevent Chiefs fans from being supremely confident in a victory. First, the Texans quarterback. He’s a winner. He can make plays when it matters. Second, Will Fuller. He’s a speedy receiver who changes their offense. Finally, we’re Chiefs fans. In the past, we have seen some stuff happen that has scarred us for life. We can’t assume it won’t happen again. That being said, EVERYTHING else points to a decisive victory. The bye week, Andy Reid, the pass rush, the Honey Badger, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and — most importantly — Patrick freaking Mahomes. The Chiefs are confident, rested, balanced and healthy. They have leaders on both sides of the ball that can will their team to victory. This is a Super Bowl team, and the Texans are in the way. It shouldn’t be as close as the score indicates. Chiefs 35, Texans 24
Craig Stout (@barleyhop)
The Chiefs are rolling — and healthier than the last time these two teams met. Andy Reid is coming off a bye. The Texans just played a grind-it-out game. While Houston definitely has the offense to keep up in a shootout, I don’t think it’ll get to that point. The Chiefs should score early and often, and the pass rush should be able to pin its ears back. Chris Jones and Frank Clark have big days and the Chiefs roll on to the AFC Championship game. Chiefs 38, Texans 20
Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)
I’m going into Sunday expecting good things to happen. I know this franchise has hurt fans in all kind of different ways. I know the AFC South has been the benefactors of whatever bad juju the Chiefs have had in the past. Not this week. Things are different now in Kansas City. Patrick Lavon Mahomes is here to continue to kill off whatever demons are out to get this football team. The Chiefs are healthy and rested — and Andy Reid had a bye week to prep for a two-game run to get to the Super Bowl. Mahomes is here to remind everyone that he’s the NFL’s generational talent to be reckoned with. Chiefs 42, Texans 20
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
It is well known by now that the Chiefs were a bit shorthanded when they lost to the Texans in Week 6 and their defense had yet to become one of the best units in the league. Entering the playoffs, that has changed — though there is some worthy concern over the status of tight end Travis Kelce and defensive tackle Chris Jones, who both popped up on the injury report this week. The Texans’ Will Fuller, who missed the Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills, is just as important as the Kelce and Jones in this game. I expect all three to play, though I don’t expect the Chiefs to blow the Texans out of the the water. Deshaun Watson showed me enough last week that he won’t allow his team to get blown out at Arrowhead. The Chiefs advance in a grind-it-out effort. Chiefs 31, Texans 24
Which team wins the Chiefs-Texans game?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout
Chiefs in a close game
Texans in a close game
Texans in a blowout
Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
As a group, AP contributors predicted a 24.4-10.7 Chiefs victory over the Chargers in Week 17. Six thought the Chiefs would score between 31 and 35 points — pretty close to what the Chiefs did score — but most underestimated the Chargers offensive output. Four predicted the Chargers would score only 10 points. The composite prediction had 20.6 points of error — right in the middle of the range for the season.
A couple of our writers, however, saw the Chargers coming. Matt Lane had only two points of error in his 31-20 prediction. Craig Stout had just eight in his 31-17 pick.