The Houston Texans travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday at 3:25 PM CST. Arrowhead is one of the loudest stadiums in the country and this will be a hard fought contest for a Texans team that is in the midst of a four game losing streak and only two wins this year. Both of which were come from behind victories. The Chiefs have yet to lose in the 2013 NFL Season and currently sit at 6-0 and are the only unbeaten team besides the Denver Broncos.
The Chiefs defense has allowed the fewest points in the NFL by a comfortable margin (10.8 a game), have the most sacks by an even wider gap (31, nine more than Baltimore), and the most takeaways (18). The Oakland Raiders were the third team they’ve held to single-digit points and no opponent has scored more than 17.
Chiefs QB Alex Smith has become an instant leader, passing for 1,330 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, connecting with wide receiver Donnie Avery 18 times for a team-high 310 yards and a touchdown. However, Jamaal Charles has been the top contributor to the offense, rushing for 475 yards and five touchdowns while catching 33 passes for 300 yards and two scores.
The Texans are coming into this game with possibly their worst four game losing streak in their 12 year history. The are in desperate need of some kind of spark. Starting QB Matt Schaub has a lower leg injury and is out for this game. There was QB competition early in the week between T.J. Yates and Case Keenum. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak announced yesterday morning that Case Keenum will have his first NFL start against the red hot Chiefs this weekend.
Keenum’s first NFL start will be at the ultra loud Arrowhead stadium. Is Kubiak serious?
“Case continues to grow, and we’re struggling and looking for a spark,” Kubiak said. “I think he deserves an opportunity to go out there. “I’m not sending him out there by himself, I’m sending him out there with this football team, and the guys understand that.”
Case Keenum’s stats while playing at the University of Houston are impressive. Keenum is the NCAA Football’s all-time leader in passing yards (19,217), touchdowns (155), and completions (1,546). He went undrafted in 2012 and signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent.
The Texans players are also high on their young QB.
Texans WR Andre Johnson is confident in the young signal-caller and lauded him for his work ethic. “He’s been working his butt off,” Johnson said. “It’s an opportunity he’s been waiting for. He has it and I’m sure he’ll do well with it.”
Running back Arian Foster was an undrafted rookie in 2009. Among other things, he’s encouraged by Keenum’s enthusiasm for the game. “He’s a young cat, so he gets real excited out there,” Foster said. “I think he brings another element of his legs to the game. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.”
JJ Watt and Brian Cushing are perhaps coming off their worst game of the season after the Texans lost by a big margin against the St. Louis Rams last Sunday in Houston. Watt’s recent press conference was short and sweet. “Honestly, I don’t have words for y’all. Just work.” Watt said. ‘I’m just going to work and like I said, the fans want results, so that’s what I’m going to try and give them.”
The Texans also announced that starting strong safety Danieal Manning will miss the rest of the season because of a right knee injury. Rookie D. J. Swearinger will replace Manning and Texans Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips said that Swearinger is ready to play.
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs Week 7 Prediction
What is least known is that the Chiefs opponents have compiled a 11-25 record and the Texans opponents are at 21-15. The Texans have played some highly competitive teams including a loss in Baltimore to the Super Bowl Champion, Baltimore Ravens. The Chiefs have played teams like the winless Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants.
While the Chiefs defense recorded 10 sacks last week when they played the Raiders, I don’t see this happening against a better Texans offensive line, anchored by all pro left tackle Duane Brown.
The Texans need to be focused on the task at hand. If they can control the ball, run the ball, and play hard-nosed defense, they can win the game. Arian Foster had 144 all purpose yards last week in a losing effort. Maybe Case Keenum will be the spark that is needed for this Texans team. This should be a very close contest.