When a game starts with a 106-yard kick return for a touchdown, it is easy to think that perhaps the rest of the game will continue in a similar fashion. Oddly enough, it kind of did, but it also kind of didn't. Sure, Kansas City may have won the game 30-0, but it was a Texas-sized miracle that Houston was only down 13 at halftime, especially with the stupidity that was plaguing Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, Tom Brady's former backup in New England.
Knile Davis kickstarted the 2015 NFL Playoff festivities in a way that had never been done before. According to Pro Football Reference, this was the first time the playoffs were started with a kickoff return for a touchdown. After Cairo Santos put the extra point through and placed the Chiefs in the lead, the assault on the eyes of the viewers began.
Brian Hoyer played football on Saturday afternoon like he was a high schooler that was starting his first game on Varsity. Hoyer was visibly nervous in the pocket, and that reflected in his stat line. He completed only 15 of his 34 passing attempts for just 136 yards, while throwing 4 interceptions. As multiple people stated in various ways on social media during and after the game, I know he did not learn any of that from Tom Brady.
The Chiefs offense didn't necessarily run on all cylinders all game either.
The only other points they could muster in the first half were two 49-yard field goals by Cairo Santos. Alex Smith had a chance to throw a long touchdown on the Chiefs first real possession, but he overthrew his receiver by about a step and a half. Smith finished the game with only 190 yards passing, but he did complete 17 of 22 attempted passes. He also had 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
There were a couple of injuries in this game to big name players. J.J. Watt messed up his groin in the 3rd quarter, and apparently is going in to surgery for it on Tuesday. Chiefs Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin also went down during the game and by his facial expressions shown, it looked like his season was going to be over. But, it turns out the potential 3rd ACL tear for Maclin was simply a high-ankle sprain, which is really odd based on his expressions and where the injury appeared to occur. Whatever the case may be, he will not be close to as effective as he has been all season for the divisional matchup against the Patriots, that is if he can play at all.
The Chiefs proved absolutely nothing to me. Their defense was able to stop a lackluster offense with only one real weapon, Deandre Hopkins, and without a real quarterback. Their offense has a huge weapon in Travis Kelce and a couple of decent backs, but that is nothing that cannot be game- planned for. Looking at this from a Patriots perspective, although this may be their toughest matchup, with all the players that are set to return, the Patriots should be very confident next Saturday at Gillette.
And just as an aside, the Chiefs are on an 11-game winning streak. However, only 3 of those teams were playoff teams. Those three: Landry Jones and the Steelers, Peyton Manning's last start with the Broncos, and this last game, the AFC South Champion Texans. Winning games is important, but being able to win big game is a whole other animal.
By Andrew Carlson