It’s halftime at NRG Stadium, and the Chiefs trail the Houston Texans 13-3 in their Week 2 tilt. Here are some quick thoughts.
1. Classic Marcus Peters Experience in the first half. Gives up the big throw to Will Fuller — he split the coverage between Peters and Eric Berry — then came right back and intercepted a pass thrown his way. He also surrendered a touchdown, but DeAndre Hopkins might have pushed off. Peters was probably right to be upset, and he was, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid had to calm him down. He was also whistled for a taunting penalty for wagging his finger after an incompletion, another curious call. Peters, by the way, did not raise his fist during the anthem, but he stood behind his teammates on the sideline, sipping out of a cup.
2. This game certainly feels different than the Chiefs’ Wild Card Game win. Brock Osweiler is a major upgrade at quarterback over Brian Hoyer, and his ability to stretch the field with his strong arm and speedy band of receivers has changed the complexion of the game. The Chiefs have done a nice job stopping the run, but the problem is the Texans’ receivers are getting behind the receivers just enough to cause some consternation, which was not the case in January.
3. The Chiefs’ passing offense has been poor. Quarterback Alex Smith has been sacked a few times, but he’s been holding the ball too long. J.J. Watt even got a sack during a three-man rush in which he got chipped and Smith stepped up in the pocket, creating a direct lane for a sack. Based on Smith’s history, I’d assume he’s holding the ball too long because the Texans have their routes covered (which is a coaching issue) but I’d have to see the tape first.
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4. The Chiefs have been able to move the ball a bit on the ground — Spencer Ware is averaging nearly 7 yards a carry in seven carries (despite his disastrous fumble that turned into a Texans score) — so maybe they’ll try to establish the run more in the second half. They get the ball to start the third quarter.
5. Nice half for fifth-round rookie Tyreek Hill, who has returned two punts for 48 yards. That’s not a huge surprise; the Texans like to take advantage of Shane Lechler’s huge leg by letting him boom punts, but they started kicking out of bounds after Hill’s second big return.