Let’s be real. This is the game of the week in the NFL because it’s Patrick Mahomes vs. Deshaun Watson. It’s two of the game’s best young quarterbacks going head to head for the first time ever. It’s a marquee matchup with huge playoff implications for both the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward.
While all eyes will be on both quarterbacks, this game could come down to the men blocking for them. ESPN recently noted that the primary difference between Watson and Mahomes is that Mahomes has had a much better offensive line, whereas Watson has taken a load of hits over the last few seasons. In 2018, Watson was sacked 62 times compared to Mahomes, who was sacked 26 times. That’s quite a stark difference, and it shows that quarterback protection will be one of several keys to this game. Here’s a breakdown:
Will Mahomes’ Ankle Injury Affect His Play?
Defense will be huge in this game, as well. The Texans have a slightly better defense statistically speaking. Houston is much better at stopping the run than the Chiefs have been so far this season (Houston is giving up 95 yards rushing per game, while Kansas City is giving up 155).
Watson and the Texans offense are coming off a huge game in which they carved up the Atlanta Falcons for 592 total yards. Watson threw for five touchdowns and no picks and had a perfect quarterback rating over 158.
The Chiefs are coming off their first loss of the season, a tough game at Arrowhead that saw Mahomes re-aggravate the ankle that he sprained week 1. While both coach Andy Reid and Mahomes say he is fine, and that his mobility won’t be limited, Mahomes’ ankle still bears watching. This game will likely come down to which defensive unit plays better, and whichever offensive line can protect their quarterback the best.
Chiefs vs. Texans: Trends, Pick & Prediction
The Chiefs are four-point favorites at home, with the over / under total score projected at 55 points. Odds Shark has Kansas City winning and covering the spread by a predicted score of 30-20, which is also a projected under.
Some trends to note regarding the game:
• The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 7 games.
• Houston is 14-5 SU in their last 19 games.
• The Texans are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games against Kansas City.
• The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games on the road.
• The total has gone OVER in 9 of Kansas City’s last 13 games.
• Kansas City is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.
• The Chiefs are 12-4 SU in their last 16 games at home.
Bottom line: Kansas City and Mahomes will likely come out fired up at home after just losing there Sunday night. The Chiefs don’t lose much, and losing back-to-back games would be an anomaly for them.
That said, this has all the makings of a shootout, and neither defense is a top 15 unit overall. Watson vs. Mahomes should be a high-scoring affair with both quarterbacks having ample opportunity to score a ton of points. Look for the Chiefs to win at home in a high-scoring affair.
Pick: Kansas City by 7, OVER (55.5)