For Pete's Sake

Five things to know about the Chiefs’ next opponent: Houston Texans

Another AFC South opponent will be coming to Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday.

The Chiefs, coming off a 19-13 loss to the Colts, will play host to the Houston Texans, who are tied with Indianapolis atop the South division.

Each week I take an early look at the Chiefs’ next opponent, and here are five things to know about the Texans (3-2) ahead of Sunday’s game, which kicks off at noon and will be broadcast on CBS (Ch. 5):

1. Deshaun Watson

It’s still early in the careers of the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Texans’ Deshaun Watson, but it certainly appears these are the top quarterbacks from the 2017 NFL Draft class.

After suffering an injury in his rookie season, Watson made the Pro Bowl last season and helped the Texans win the AFC South.

In Houston’s 53-32 win over the Falcons on Sunday, Watson completed 28 of 33 passes for 426 yards and five touchdowns. That was a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. According to the Houston Chronicle, Watson was the first NFL quarterback to throw for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five or fewer incompletions.

This was one of the touchdown passes:

For the season, Watson has completed 69.2 percent of his passes this season for 1,364 yards with 11 touchdowns and one interception.

2. More than Hopkins

The Texans have one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins, but Will Fuller had a huge game Sunday. Fuller was targeted 16 times and made 14 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns.

Here is one of those TD catches:

For the season Fuller has 28 catches for 400 yards, while Hopkins has 31 receptions for 347 yards and four scores.

3. Remember Carlos Hyde?

Houston’s leading rusher is a player who went to training camp with the Chiefs: Carlos Hyde. He signed with the Chiefs in March, but was traded to the Texans in late August. Hyde has run for 310 yards in 73 attempts (4.2 yards per rush).

Hyde had a touchdown run Sunday:

Duke Johnson has 205 yards on the ground in 32 carries, while Watson has run the ball 22 times for 122 yards.

No one would be surprised if the Texans test the Chiefs’ run defense, which is ranked 30th in the NFL (allowing 155.8 yards per game).

4. Defensive numbers

The Houston defense is ranked 20th in the NFL in total yards allowed (365.4 yards) and 25th in passing yards allowed (270.4).

While Atlanta’s Matt Ryan threw for 316 yards on Sunday, the Texans’ Tashaun Gipson III scored the final touchdown of the blowout win on a 79-yard interception return:

It was just the second interception of the season by the Texans. Houston is tied for eighth in the NFL with 15 sacks. Whitney Mercilus has five and J.J. Watt has four.

5. Extra point troubles

Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has missed three extra points this season, including one Sunday. Fairbairn is 5 of 7 on field-goal attempts and the two misses have been from beyond 50 yards.

DeAndre Carter is ranked 13th in the NFL, averaging 9.9 yards per punt return. The Texans have returned just two kickoffs for a total of 34 yards.

Don't have a KC Star subscription? Help support our sports coverage

If you already subscribe to The Star, thanks for your support. If not, our digital sports-only subscription is just $30 per year. It's your ticket to everything sports in Kansas City ... and beyond, and supports our award-winning coverage.