To the Houston Texans’ credit, this was a football game that could have been far more lopsided in score.
The Houston Texans fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 20-27 to start the 2015 season, joining the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars at 0-1 in the AFC South.
The Chiefs came to play at the start of the season and jumped out to an early 13-6 lead in the first quarter. They followed it up with a 14-3 second quarter and could afford to sit on their laurels for the rest of the game, playing ball control while the Texans struggled. The Houston Texans didn’t even score again until the fourth quarter.
Tight end Travis Kelce was the big play maker for the Chiefs, putting together a six reception (on six targets, 106 yard, two touchdown performance. His long 42-yarder was particularly demoralizing.
With Kelce lighting it up, quarterback Alexis Smith strolled to a beautiful stat line of 22/33 (66.7%) for 243 yards and three touchdowns.
On the Texans’ side of the ball, quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer struggled. Combined they were 26 of 47 (55.3%) for 334 yards with three two touchdowns and one interception. Mallett looked sharper, completing eight of his 13 attempts (61.5%) for 98 yards and a score.
The running game was effective for the Houston Texans, with Chris Polk, Alfred Blue, and Jonathan Grimes amassing 92 yards on 20 attempts. They averaged a combined 4.6 yards per carry.
Unfortunately for the Houston Texans, they were playing from behind and had to rely on the passing game to catch back up.
Wide receivers Nate Washington and DeAndre Hopkins couldn’t bail them out, however. Despite finishing with with a combined 15 receptions for 203 yards and two touchdowns (both by Hopkins), it wasn’t enough. Their 15 receptions came off of 25 targets.
J.J. Watt (nine tackles, two sacks) and company just couldn’t keep the Kansas City Chiefs offense in check enough to play toward the stronger running game in the second half. The Chiefs were able to keep the ball for over 35 minutes in the game, putting added pressure on the Texans.
The Texans can take some comfort in knowing they aren’t alone at the bottom of the AFC South.
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