3 Things for the Chiefs to Win
1. Make certain you get a couple hats on #99. The 2014 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt is a one man wrecking crew. Chip, double, triple, chop, cut whatever it takes keep him out of your backfield.
2. Get Jeremy Maclin involved early and often. The Chiefs’ ineptitude at the receiver position last season is well documented but Maclin is the most talented wideout the Chiefs have had since quarterback Alex Smith took the reigns in Kansas City. Head coach and offensive play caller Andy Reid did a terrific job of finding ways to get the ball into Maclin’s hands during the preseason. Although, the defenses were fairly vanilla it behooves the Chiefs to target Maclin when they go to the air. Short, intermediate or deep it doesn’t matter.
3. Get Jamaal Charles to the second level. Of course that means neutralizing Watt and BIG Vince Wilfork but by his own admission Charles believes this offensive line is improved from a year ago, a year in which he averaged a stellar 5.0 yards per carry. Charles racks up rushing yardage in bunches and if the offensive line can get a push allowing Charles to get to the second level it could be SIX in a hurry.
3 Things for the Texans to Win
1. DeAndre Hopkins. Make no mistake Andre Johnson is a Texans legend but DeAndre Hopkins is the superior player at this juncture of his career and Hopkins has barely scratched the surface. Head coach Bill O’Brien would like to establish the running game but Hopkins is far and away your best offensive player with Arian Foster sidelined. If Brian Hoyer can get the football in Hopkins’ vicinity chances are Hopkins is coming down with it. Target him heavy.
2. Help Brian Hoyer with shrewd play-calling. Draw plays, traps, screens, slants, timing patterns in the short-to-intermediate passing game because Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are coming. Get the ball out of Hoyer’s hands quickly. The Texans boast a solid offensive line but Justin Houston is a dominant force and Hali is no slouch in terms of getting to the passer. I mentioned targeting Hopkins, but Alfred Blue or whoever the Texans consider their “receiving” back with Arian Foster out needs his fair share of looks via the passing game as well.
3. Make Alex Smith beat you with his arm. The Chiefs will look for balance but would LOVE to simply hand the ball off to Charles and Knile Davis. Alex Smith is average at best as a passer and well below average if the Chiefs cannot be balanced. Watt and company could be in for a big game if the Texans’ D can shutdown the Chiefs’ rushing attack.
What to watch for…
Justin Houston and J.J. Watt. Truly must see T.V. Whether it be rushing the passer, setting the edge against the run, making plays sideline-to-sideline, or catching touchdowns as exciting as Jamaal Charles is I am tuning into this one to watch this pair on the defensive side of the ball.
Front Office Says…
The Kansas City Chiefs win.