By Trey Huguley
After a very frustrating loss last week against the New York Giants, the Houston Texans face a “must win” situation hosting the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. At 3-2 and first in the AFC South, the Texans are having a decent year, but the negative aspects of their games make that winning record look like it doesn’t mean that much.
If the Texans can beat the Chiefs this weekend and go into the bye Week 4-2, things would definitely be looking up. Not only would it help the Texans maintain their top positioning in the Division, but it would also help them go into the break with some real momentum. Then the bye week will give them time to fix the problems that have been plaguing the Texans defense all year long….pass coverage and pass rush.
Ironically, in order to beat the Chiefs though, they’ll need to correct those issues a week sooner than the bye; or at the very least, put a metaphorical “band-aid” over them. Luckily, Matt Cassell doesn’t lead a very powerful passing game, but the Chiefs offensive line has been top notch – only allowing 3 sacks so far this season. The Texans defensive line will have to do all they can to put pressure on Cassell and disrupt his passes.
The even more difficult challenge for the Texans defense, however, is the fact that they will have to be on the look out for the Chiefs decent running game as well. The line should be able to handle this, but the Texans secondary better be on their toes so they aren’t caught out of position. Often in the games where quarterbacks have thrown for over 300 yards against the Texans secondary, it was because Safeties Eugene Wilson or Bernard Pollard were caught out of position in zone coverage. They better be paying attention this week’s “must win.”
If the Texans were to lose this game, half of their fan base would jump ship. This could be really bad considering that the Texans are finally getting national media attention and expanding their fan base. The last thing they want to do is turn that around and start losing fans again.
Perhaps the biggest issue that makes this game a “must win” is the remaining schedule. Throughout the rest of the season the Texans will face the Colts, Titans (twice), Ravens, Jets, Eagles and Chargers – all of which they could lose. They’ll pick up a few wins against the Jaguars and Broncos. Most likely they’ll pick up one against the Titans and the Chargers game too. The Eagles and other Colts game are a toss up. All in all, the Texans could realistically be looking at losing five more games -even if they get better over the bye. If they beat the Chiefs and go into the rest of the season at 4-2, they have a better chance of taking 5 losses and maybe making the wildcard at 9-7. On the flip-side, if they take a loss against the Chiefs and drop to 3-3, they’d need a miracle to have a winning season. And that hurts to even think about.
The Texans SHOULD win this game without too many difficulties, but usually when I feel that way they end up losing. Let’s hope that isn’t the case this week.