NFL 2017 Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans preview and prediction

The Chiefs put their unbeaten streak on the line against the Texans, who are home again after a blowout win.

The Chiefs escaped with a hard-fought 29-20 victory at home over the game Redskins, moving their record to 4-0 with the win. Kansas City overcame a 10-0 first-quarter deficit with a grinding, ball-control, offense that kept the Redskins off the field. Alex Smith threw for a score to Travis Kelce, who caught seven passes for 111 yards, and ran for 56 yards and a touchdown. After the Redskins tied it at 20 with under a minute to play, Kansas City drove 50 yards in 43 seconds to set up rookie Harrison Butker for the go-ahead 43 yard field goal.

Every facet of the game came together in the Texans 57-14 blowout win at home over the division rival Titans. The Texans moved their record to 2-2 with the win. Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson had a coming-out party with over 300 yards of total offense and five combined touchdowns running and passing. The defense hounded Tennessee into five turnovers, with two interceptions by Dylan Hal and a pick-six by Dylan Cole. Lamar Miller picked up 131 yards rushing and receiving with two touchdowns.

Another encore

Deshaun Watson has made three starts so far in the NFL. In the first, he made a spectacular run for the game’s only touchdown; in the second he threw for over 300 yards against the league’s defending champions; and in the third, he accounted for five touchdowns on the ground and through the air. This week, in his fourth start, he faces the league’s lone unbeaten team. Should be fun to watch.

All cylinders

When a team is on an offensive run like the Chiefs are to start the season, it can be  a thrill to witness. This is a pick-your-poison type of team. Try to shut down Kareem Hunt with an extra defender in the box, and Alex Smith will hurt you with his passing or his scrambles. Take away Travis Kelce in the middle of the field, and they can hit a big play to Tyreek Hill. The Texans defense just put up its best performance of the season, but they haven’t faced an offense like this one yet.

Pounding with the run

One way to keep the Chiefs offense from doing damage is to keep them off the field. The team’s run defense has been solid so far this season, however, with veteran Derrick Johnson as the anchor at linebacker. The Texans present an interesting challenge though. They won’t go away from the run so easily, with their tandem of Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman battering away. In addition, Watson can make things happen with the occasional run as well.

Matchup to watch: Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. Chiefs CB Marcus Peters

After a couple years when he suffered along with the team’s poor quarterback play, Hopkins has been rejuvenated this season. Through four weeks he leads the NFL with 31 receptions. Watson will look to him often, but he’ll need to be careful with Peters, who is one of the NFL’s most prolific ball-hawks and can turn the game with a key interception or two.

Fantasy football tip: Texans WR Will Fuller

Fuller didn’t waste any time getting his feet wet last week. In his first game back from a preseason injury, he nabbed two touchdown passes from Watson. He can light it up with his deep speed or do damage in the red zone because of his ability in tight spaces. Plus the Chiefs sometimes struggle when people throw away from Peters.

Betting line

This line has moved in Houston’s favor since it opened. The wise guys say Houston, and that’s the play plus 1.5.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 17-27 Houston Texans

The legend of the rookie grows as Watson knocks off the league’s last unbeaten.

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Jim Beviglia


Jim is a freelance writer concentrating on music and sports. He is the author of four books and writes for several online and print publications. He lives in Old Forge, Pennsylvania with his wife Marie and his daughter Daniele.