Chiefs at Texans – NFL Pick for Sunday, October 8th
One of the most highly-anticipated games of the early stages of the NFL season will go down on Sunday night in Houston when the undefeated Chiefs take on the 2-2 Texans. While the Chiefs would seem to be clear-cut favorites based on these teams’ respective records thus far, the Texans come into this one riding a good amount of momentum.
It’s early, but rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson sure does look like the real deal. Houston has gone 2-1 in games started by Watson to this point, and he’s spent the last two weeks lighting the Patriots and Titans on fire. Through three-and-a-half games, Watson has completed 64.9 percent of his throws for 811 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions.
Against New England and Tennessee, Watson racked up 584 yards through the air with six touchdown passes. He’s also rushed the ball 19 times for 148 yards with another two scores on the ground to this point. One of those was a scintillating 49-yard TD run that proved to be the difference in a 13-9 win over the Bengals in Week 2.
Watson plays with poise beyond his years, which has helped the Texans’ offense look legitimately potent. Houston has never had a QB capable of changing a game with his legs the way Watson can, which has certainly been a welcome sight for long-suffering Texans fans.
He’ll have his work cut out for him against these Chiefs, though. While KC’s defense has given up plenty of yards to this point, they’ve been a true “bend but don’t break” unit so far. They punched the Patriots in the mouth in Week 1 on the road, and they’ve followed that up with quality wins over the Eagles, Chargers and Redskins.
The Chiefs defense is allowing just 19.2 points per game so far, and they’ve already racked up 11 sacks along with another six fumbles forced.
This game has an over/under of 45 ½ points, which looks a little low. Houston’s games have easily topped that in two straight weeks. Last week, they scored 57 points of their own. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have had all four of their games go over 45 ½ points so far this season.
These are two high-caliber defenses going up against a couple of high-octane offenses. It’s going to be fascinating to see which defense steps up and makes plays when it matters most.
Alex Smith isn’t ready to give his job to rookie Pat Mahomes just yet. Through the first four games of the season, the 33-year-old veteran has been outstanding. He’s completed a whopping 76 percent of his passes to this point, and he’s also tossed eight touchdowns against no interceptions. That’ll do.
It’s a bit surprising to see the Chiefs listed as slight favorites on the road in prime time. The Texans obviously don’t have a proven track record, especially with a rookie quarterback, but we’re really liking the value on Houston as a home ‘dog.