Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs Preview and Predictions 01-12-2020

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.


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Last Injuries

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Juan Thornhill

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Thornill has been placed on the active PUP list after ACL surgery, and he will miss an extended period.

  • Martinas Rankin

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Rankin has been designated for the active PUP list with a patella injury. It is up in the air when he will be activated.

  • James O'Shaughnessy

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    O'Shaughnessy has been shifted to the active PUP list as he rehabs from a torn ACL, and it is unknown when he will be ready to make his debut.

  • Damien Williams

    I-R | I-R

    Williams will not compete during the entire 2020 season as he has decided to sit out due to a personal reason. The team has put him on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

    I-R | I-R

    Duvernay-Tardif has wound up on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list as he will sit out the entire 2020 season due to a personal reason.

  • De'Anthony Thomas

    I-R | I-R

    Thomas has been placed on the Injured Reserve/Voluntary Opt-Out list after informing the organization that he is sitting out of the 2020 season.

  • Aleva Hifo

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Hifo has been placed on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list due to the virus. There is no timetable for return.

Houston Texans

  • Dylan Cole

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Cole has been placed on the active PUP list after having surgery on his right ACL. There is no timetable for recovery.

  • Gareon Conley

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Conley has been designated for the active PUP list after ankle surgery. It is up in the air when he will be activated.

  • Xavier Su'a-Filo

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Su'a-Filo will spend an undetermined length of time on the active PUP list while healing from a knee injury that ended his 2019 season.

  • Eddie Vanderdoes

    I-R | I-R

    Vanderdoes has announced that he will sit out the duration of the 2020 season due to a personal reason. The team has put him on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list as a result.

  • Ira Lewis

    I-R | I-R

    Lewis has reverted to the Injured Reserve/Non-Football Injury list after clearing waivers with back injury.