The divisional round matches in the NFL Playoffs end on Sunday night when the two remaining games are played, and we get underway over at the Arrowhead Stadium where the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Houston Texans for the right to host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game next week.
We saw a seismic shock when the Titans took care of the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night and the Houston Texans will be looking to do the same to the Chiefs, to set up an all-AFC South clash next week.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs had the week off last week courtesy of pipping the New England Patriots to the number two seed in the AFC and now they will look to make full use of that by going over the Houston Texans to get themselves another shot at the Conference crown, after agonisingly losing out on that title to the aforementioned Patriots in a cracking game last year. The Chiefs are now the favourites to make the Super Bowl from the AFC, but as we saw on Saturday night, that brings with it its own pressure.
We know all too well that the strength of the Kansas City outfit is their offense. It is powerful and spectacular and led by Patrick Mahomes who will be desperate to get to the Super Bowl. What we also know is that they are vulnerable defensively and that might need to change here if they are to be guaranteed of their passage into the Championship game. That old adage that defence wins Championships certainly rang true on Saturday.
Courtesy of only being the number four seeds the Houston Texans had to come through a cracking encounter with the Buffalo Bills last week to make it here, and despite being 16-0 down at one point deep in the third quarter, and needing a fair amount of overtime, they got the job done and went on to head to Kansas City for this game. I said it about the Titans on Saturday and I’ll say it again, there is little substitute for winning a playoff game to build confidence.
The thing Houston have that could give them an advantage in this match is a strong pass rush and if they can get to Patrick Mahomes and keep him relatively under control, even if it is only for a few plays, it could make all the difference. The other thing they have is a dynamic quarterback of their own who has probably been waiting for this sort of platform to perform on and if Deshaun Watson is on it the Texans have a right chance.
The Houston Texans are getting a 10 point start in this match and that just feels too much here. When you match the two sides up you would give Kansas City Chiefs the edge on offense but the Texans would have the better of things on defence and we’ve seen already this week that defence can be the difference in these things and both sides will have seen those matches play out for certain.
I think it will be very difficult for the Houston Texans to win this match given that they effectively played five quarters last week, but staying within 10 points is a different prospect in particular. Houston have the players to keep the Chiefs off the field for long periods and chew up the clock and the defence to contain as much as possible. I’ll be honest I expect Kansas City to win but 10pts feels a lot to cover.
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