There are a lot of similarities under center for the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, who feature quarterbacks drafted within two spots of each other and born three days apart 24 years ago. Patrick Mahomes and No. 2 seed Kansas City look to avenge an early-season loss to Deshaun Watson and visiting Houston in Sunday's AFC divisional round.
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Mahomes did not match the brilliant numbers of his 2018 MVP-winning campaign, but he returned from a dislocated kneecap and led the Chiefs on a season-ending six-game winning streak en route to their fourth straight AFC West title. "He kept the same attitude, the same work ethic, and he went after it. He had a major injury that he pushed through," coach Andy Reid said of Mahomes, who was hobbled by an ankle injury in a 31-24 home loss to Houston in Week 6. Watson, selected two spots behind Mahomes in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, helped the Texans pull a great escape with a come-from-behind victory over Buffalo last weekend. "He knows how to win and there's not too much more you can say about it," Houston coach Bill O'Brien said after Watson rallied his team from a 16-point second-half deficit in the 22-19 overtime win.
TIME: 3:05 p.m. ET. TV: CBS. LINE: Chiefs -10 O/U: 51
ABOUT THE TEXANS: Watson finished 20 of 25 for 247 yards and a touchdown, capped off by avoiding a sure sack with a highlight-reel play to set up the game-winning field goal against Buffalo, and also rushed for a team-high 55 yards. Watson had a big game at Kansas City on Oct. 13, throwing for 280 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 42 yards and a pair of scores. DeAndre Hopkins had nine of his 107 receptions in that contest while running back Carlos Hyde, traded to Houston by Kansas City just prior to the season, rumbled for 116 yards and a touchdown. J.J. Watt registered a huge sack in his first game since Week 8 for a defense that ranked 29th against the pass (267.3 yards) and 25th versus the run (121.1).
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (12-4): Mahomes dipped from 50 scoring passes in 2018 to 26 this season, throwing for three and an interception versus Houston and recording 11 touchdown passes versus four picks over the final seven games after returning from the knee injury. Travis Kelce, the first tight end with four straight 1,000-yard seasons after hauling in 97 catches, was limited in practice Thursday by a knee injury. Tyreek Hill burned Houston with a pair of scoring receptions in Week 6, while the running game received a boost as Damien Williams rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the regular-season finale. Kansas City limited five of its last six opponents to 17 points or fewer but finished 26th against the rush (128.2 yards).
1. Watson can become the first quarterback with at least 50 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games
2. Chiefs DL Chris Jones (9.0) and Frank Clark combined for 17 sacks.
3. Watt has registered six sacks and nine tackles for loss in seven career postseason games.