The Houston Texans are moving on to the second round of the NFL Playoffs after their thrilling overtime comeback victory over the Buffalo Bills, and their reward is a trip to hostile Arrowhead Stadium to play the Kansas City Chiefs. This marks their second meeting this season after the Texans knocked off the Chiefs 31-24 at Arrowhead in October. The Chiefs will look for revenge this week. Here are some bold predictions for what should be an entertaining divisional matchup.
1. Patrick Mahomes will go off in the first half
While the Texans deserve credit for reaching the second round of the playoffs, by no means are they a flawless team. Far from it - they easily have the worst passing defense of any team left in the Super Bowl hunt. Only three teams - Tampa Bay, Arizona, and Detroit - allowed more passing yards than the Texans. This makes them putty in Patrick Mahomes' hands - even in defeat earlier this year, he threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns.
2. Carlos Hyde will be a difference-maker
Yes, Carlos Hyde. The same Carlos Hyde who picked up only 48 yards last night in the Texans' victory over the Bills. While he did cross over 1,000 yards in 2019, he did so at a slow and steady pace, only reaching the century mark in three games. One of those was against the Chiefs in October, when he rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown. Run defense is not one of the Chiefs' strengths - they finished 26th in rushing yards allowed.
3. The Chiefs will find a way to blow it
Hey, it's my list, so it's my rules. And this one just feels right.
For all its energy and noise, Arrowhead Stadium hasn't exactly been an invincible fortress for the Chiefs in the playoffs. Time and again, Kansas City has brought much stronger teams into January games at Arrowhead, only to come up short in heartbreaking circumstances. There's nothing to suggest that this season's team, who - let's not forget - lost to Houston at home in October with a healthy Patrick Mahomes, should be impervious to such heartbreak.