Texans Have A Blueprint For Winning In Kansas City

It's about forcing the Chiefs to respect every aspect of the offense

Brandon Scott
January 09, 2020 - 3:28 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- Players and coaches for both teams have been answering questions all week about their regular season matchup in Kansas City.

The Texans overcame a 17-3 first quarter deficit to beat the Chiefs back in October -- what is still one of Houston's most impressive showings of 2019. 

Some of them have dismissed the game's significance, while others have acknowledged it could inform the game plans for Sunday's divisional round matchup. 

"Honestly, it’s a blur," Deshaun Watson said when asked to recall the first half comeback.

A lot has changed since these teams last met. 

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and defensive end Terrell Suggs didn't play in the first game -- Jones due to injury and Suggs had not yet been acquired by the team.

Both could present some challenges for the Texans' offensive line. 

The Texans will boast an entirely different looking secondary with Bradley Roby, Gareon Conley and Vernon Hargreaves featured in the mix.

Roby, who had been playing well, left the first matchup with an injury.

Conley and Hargreaves did not join the team until weeks later and now play a lot of snaps for the Texans. 

Only time will tell who gets the advantage from these changes.

There still appears to be a blueprint for how the Texans can beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. 

Afternoon host Clint Stoerner -- who breaks down game film as well as anyone -- said this was the Texans' best offensive game plan of the season, likening it to the win over New England being their best defensively. 

The Texans implemented early zone read options with Deshaun Watson keeping it to run. These didn't necessarily result in big plays, but it forced the Chiefs defense to respect the threat as they mixed up the look with Watson and Carlos Hyde. 

Hyde had a big day, running it for 116 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. 

Then the Texans used run-pass option plays throughout the first half. They'd have one of the tight ends flanked outside of a defensive end and pick up yards. 

"Now they've got to adjust to have answers for the quarterback run game and the RPO game," Clint said on his show Wednesday. "And then everything else opens itself up. Everything else becomes significantly easier if that's the case. So the blueprint offensively, regardless of who’s coming back, is in place. They’ve seen it versus this opponent. They’ve seen it in this stadium. And they’ve seen it executed to the point where they come out with a victory. … It’s right there for the taking."

Wade Smith followed this up by mentioning how this keeps the Chiefs defense off-balance and in one-on-one situations.

With all of the backfield attention, the eyes of the defense fixed on the quarterback and running backs, it presents downfield opportunities to guys like DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Kenny Stills.

"If you force them to defend those things early, it opens up everything else and that's why we've been clamoring for this the entire year," said Wade, who played on the Texans offensive line from 2010 to 2013. "So this is the time to implement it and make it happen. And you've seen yourself do it against this particular team and this particular defense this season."

Something else Wade talked about was changing tempo within drives and keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field, which the Texans were able to do in Week 6. 

The Texans won the time of possession battle 39:48 to 20:12.

Their game-winning touchdown drive took 8 minutes and 32 seconds, before the Texans ended the game with a 5-minute kneel-down drive.

Watson was asked directly if we can expect to see more of the run-pass option against the Chiefs after the success against them last time. 

He grinned, but wouldn't budge.

"Maybe. I can't give you too much information."

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