By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
It was a rocky first quarter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Down 21-0, it looked like the underdog Houston Texans were going to destroy the home team. That wasn’t to be the case as the Chiefs took the game over, beating the Texans 51-31. This loss brings up a lot of questions for the Texans coaching staff’s future.
Not many people gave the Texans a chance to win in Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs and their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes were slated to march right through anything the Texans defense could give them. But in that first quarter, the Chiefs looked lost, confused, and like they had completely underestimated their opponents. Kansas City receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball. Their special teams were a disaster, giving up 2 touchdowns. It was ugly.
But, and this is where championship teams stand out from others, the Chiefs flipped the switch. Where other teams may let a disastrous first quarter get into their heads, taking them completely out of the game, Kansas City did the exact opposite. They stuck to their game plan, leaned on their stars, and crushed the Texans for the next 3 quarters.
Mahomes was on fire, throwing 5 touchdowns and running for 53 yards. Tight end Travis Kelce had 3 of those touchdowns and had 134 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Frank Clark sacked Texans QB Deshaun Watson 3 times. It makes you wonder what the score would have been had the Chiefs been in full force in the 1st quarter. Unlike last year, this team now seems balanced on both sides of the ball and ready to handle anything that is thrown at them.
As for the Texans, crushing is the only word I can think of. Although Watson had a strong day, with 388 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, the rest of the team could not keep it together. And as many have said, a lot of that has to do with their coaching and play calling.
Houston head coach Bill O’Brien has a history of playoff meltdowns, and this game takes the cake. In O’Brien’s tenure with the Texans, they have won the AFC South four times, yet have never been able to make it past the divisional round in the playoffs. With this game being one of the worst collapses in playoff history, one has to start wondering if the team may think its time to move on from O’Brien and other coaches.
The worst playoff loss in #Texans history and the worst meltdown in franchise history, all in the same game. Crennel a likely fall guy. The Texans should aim higher and remove their king’s crown.
— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) January 12, 2020
As for the Kansas City Chiefs, they will now face the league’s current kingslayers, the insanely hot Tennessee Titans team. This could be one of the most fun AFC Championships we’ve seen in a number of years. With two fantastic QBs, a running back who can destroy defenses, this game is the future of the AFC. However, the Chiefs cannot have another disastrous quarter as they did in the divisional game, because I’m not sure the Titans would let them come back from it as the Texans did.
But that’s a conversation for later in the week…
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG