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Texans Look to Rebound against Chiefs in Week Six

Football players have short memories, and the 3-2 Houston Texans are no different.  Coming off a hard-felt Week 5 loss against the New York Giants at home, the Texans will face the 3-1 Kansas City Chiefs.  Last week, the Chiefs took their first loss of the season to the Indianapolis Colts.   The Chiefs were unable to develop their pass game, something that has haunted them all season long.  However, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said he’s standing by his quarterback and will stay dedicated to his gameplan.  Look for the Texans to exploit that gameplan and get back on track this week over the Chiefs.

What to Look For

The Houston Texans’ 2010 season is taking form, and its becoming obvious that the pass blocking, pass game and secondary are areas of immediate concern.  So when going forward, it would be ignorant not to examine the Texans’ future opponents as they will examine the Texans.  So will the Texans be attacked in the air this week?  Will the Chiefs look to rush their ends and outside linebackers to keep Matt Schaub in his 2010 funk?  Or will the Texans’ pass rush and run game make a return to keep the pressure off the secondary?  Here’s your Week 6 Houston Texans v. Kansas City Chiefs What to Look For.

Houston Texans

Bernard Pollard. If you don’t remember, the Texans signed Pollard in Week 3 of the 2009 season.  That was two or so weeks after the Kansas City Chiefs underwent roster cuts and cut their starting third year safety, Bernard Pollard.  Pollard, via, claimed he was blackballed by the Chiefs went cut in 2009:

“I’m not going to sit here and lie to you,” he said, “I don’t know why I was cut. I can’t do anything but assume. I know what was said about me. The things they said about me weren’t right and they know they weren’t right.”

Pollard went into more detail on the things he claims someone from the Chiefs said about him after he was released.

“I don’t know who said them. The one thing that disappointed me – I’m not going to go into everything that was said because there were a lot of things that were said but it hurt me – it said I was argumentative and disrespectful to my teammates.”

Look for Pollard to give the Chiefs what they deserve for letting go such a good, determined player.  Pollard’s a natural beast of an athlete that shouldn’t let his neck/shoulder stinger keep him out of this game.  He leads the Texans in tackles and that shouldn’t stop Sunday.

Andre Johnson. Johnson and the Texans’ coaching staff would be wise not to forget about how good is third year cornerback Brandon Flowers.  Flowers has been a solid second round corner back for the Chiefs.  Out of Virginia Tech, he was on my list of players the Texans needed to draft back in 2008.  He’s proved his worth, and Johnson will have to utilize his speed and size to beat Flowers.  Flowers is 5’9″ and 187 lbs but plays like he’s six foot.  Schaub has to be on or he should expect at least a pick from Flowers.

Arian Foster. If Gary Kubiak abandons the run like he did last week (until the end of the game), expect a loss.  Minus last week’s abandonment disaster, the Texans’ run game has been their identity this season.  Foster still leads the NFL in rushing with 564 yards, 79 yards over the Tennessee Titan’s Chris Johnson.  The Texans will look to open run lanes against the Chiefs’ suspect rush defense, and if they do so Foster will be back on fire.

Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles & Thomas Jones. These two haven’t been nicknamed a duo yet, and the Texans defense better do their homework so it stays that way until another week.  The Texans Week 6’s success will directly come off their ability to stop the run.  The Chiefs’ starting quarterback, Matt Cassel, has only 650 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.  Last week, his leading receiver in yards was his tight end, Tony Moeaki, with 50 yards.

Chiefs Offensive Line. The Chiefs have only allowed three sacks on Matt Cassel.   After five games it appears that the Texans can beat a team with (a) a quarterback without a cannon of an arm and (b) whose offensive line isn’t great.  For the Chiefs, they don’t have the quarterback but they have the offensive line.  That means it will be up to Mario Williams, Antonio Smith, Shaun Cody and Amobi Okoye to keep the Chiefs’ underestimated offensive line busy and on their heels.

Eric Berry. The former Tennessee Volunteer and first round pick has 22 tackles a zero interception, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, or other big plays.  However, the Texans shouldn’t take his presence too lightly.  He was Tennessee’s best defender in three years as a volunteer.  He’s a natural ballhawk and a talented tackler.  Matt Schaub hasn’t been his best this season, but he’ll be going to the air against Kansas City’s 25th worst league pass defense.  And by doing so, Schaub should watch for Berry’s presence; no need to let the rookie make his first big play against the Texans.

Editor’s Take

Reliant Stadium home field advantage hasn’t had the same effect as it did against the rival Colts, but that doesn’t mean it could be a factor Sunday.  Besides the Texans being at home, head coach Gary Kubiak will want to turn the Texans back around to its winning ways.  Look for the Texans to run Foster and Ward at the Chiefs’ 16th worst rush defense.  The defense should also get back on track by slowing Cassel and stopping the run.  The defense should produce many Chiefs three-and-outs and turnovers to the tune of a 24-13 Texans win.

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