The cameras are gone, but the lights are still bright.
The Houston Texans have been the Hard Knocks darling this summer, but they put that chapter to bed as they welcome Kansas City Chiefs team to NRG Stadium. Both teams are led by pass-rushing pros, with J.J. Watt lining up for the Texans and Justin Houston for the Chiefs. Sunday expect to see both in the highlights, as both offenses have been known to struggle.
For Houston, it’s a new era led by QB Brian Hoyer. Hoyer won the job over Ryan Mallett during training camp, but didn’t blow Mallett away. The job is not cemented, and that’ll be worth noting if the Texans struggle to move the ball without Arian Foster.
The Chiefs will begin 2015 having escaped the preseason without any major injuries. Their injury report is mostly clean, and an ankle injury to OT Eric Fisher shouldn’t keep him out of Sunday’s contest.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
Sunday, September 13 at 1 p.m. ET
The game will be broadcast on CBS with Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon on the call. Most of the nation will get this as their early CBS game. Click here to see a full broadcast map and find out if the game is being shown in your area.
NRG Stadium, Houston TX
Even via Oddsshark
Chiefs 17, Texans 16 on October 20, 2013 in KC
Scouting the Chiefs
Kansas City’s offense had little to no pop last season, other than the occasional breakaway from Jamaal Charles. Charles is still one of the league’s best rushers, but the Chiefs attempted to add firepower by signing Jeremy Maclin from Philadelphia. Andy Reid drafted Maclin as coach of the Eagles, and now the two reunite to give Alex Smith better options on the outside.
On defense, the Chiefs didn’t make many moves this summer, but got back one of their key pieces. Eric Berry, one of the league’s best safeties, is back in uniform after an offseason of recovery. Berry has already missed one season with a torn ACL, but he was forced to shut it down in November last season after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Berry completed chemo and still participated in training camp, an exhausting feat for anyone. The Chiefs were a different team without Berry, and now that he’s back and inspired his city, the Chiefs will be a different team once again.
Scouting the Texans
With HBO off their backs, the Texans head into 2015 with all the expectations that come with a summer under the microscope. They will be a dangerous team, and made nice additions this offseason to help them get back into the playoffs.
The most noticeable change will be Hoyer under center. Hoyer led the Browns to a 6-3 start in 2014, but he was propped up by a strong running game and faltered in the second half of the season. He doesn’t have Foster to start this year, but will have threats on the outside in DeAndre Hopkins and Cecil Shorts.
On defense, it’s all about the front seven for Houston. J.J. Watt is the league’s best lineman, and this year he gets support in the middle from veteran DT Vince Wilfork. With Wilfork pushing the middle of the line, Watt should have his best season yet on the outside.