Corralling the Texans Offense

After suffering their first loss of the season, the Chiefs head down to their former stomping grounds to take on the Texans. But with Houston's finely balanced attack and tough offensive line, Romeo Crennel's defense could be up for their most challenging opponent to date.

Peyton Manning is no patsy, but the Colts' offense is dictated by the passing game. And when looking at the Texans offensive success, you see a mixed bag of stellar passing performances and record shattering days rushing the ball.

In Week 1, the Texans rode Arian Foster to a 34-24 victory over the Colts as the undrafted second-year running back rushed 33 times for 231 yards. Starting QB Matt Schaub completed only 9 passes that day, but in Week 2 he got his chance to shine. Schaub went 38-52 for 497 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 30-27 win over Washington.

The stark difference in the Houston's attack had to of been keeping Crennel up this week in preparation for Sunday's contest. But that's not to say Crennel is not up to the task after pestering Manning in a way we have rarely seen in his 12-year Pro Bowl career.

The Texans have a lot of talent with WRs Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, and TE Owen Daniels. But the Chiefs have some playmakers in the defensive backfield that are up to the challenge of shutting down the Houston passing attack.

For me, the battle of Andre Johnson vs. Brandon Flowers is worthy of pay-per-view status. No cornerback in the NFL is having a better year than Flowers, and Johnson is as big and fast as they come. These two should put on a show but ultimately I think they will cancel each other out, and neither will be a factor in the end.

I would expect the Texans to test the waters early, possibly picking on rookie safety Eric Berry over the middle of the field. But Berry and Brandon Carr, along with the rest of the young secondary, have proven they can hold their own after their head turning performance last week in Indy.

This leaves the Chiefs big boys up front to dictate the outcome.

The Texans front five has been revamped by offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who has transformed them into a reincarnate of the Denver Broncos line that the Chiefs grew to despise during his years in the Mile High City. Aided by the addition of former Chief Wade Smith, the Houston line is quickly growing a reputation for being physical and nasty.

But the Chiefs are bringing the wood in 2010 in their own right. Ron Edwards, Glenn Dorsey, and the "Nutcracker" Shaun Smith have been borderline dominant through 4 weeks, and with the addition of the returning Tyson Jackson, I expect them to have another statement performance this week.

The Chiefs ultimately need to dictate the game to the Texans, not the other way around. They have too many weapons and can very easily through a curveball in the mix. The Chiefs' secondary is very talented but also is very young in the middle and will get exposed if Schaub gets 10 seconds in the pocket on each drop back.

The Chiefs are going to have to get Schaub off his game early and force the Texans to become one-dimensional. The Houston offensive line has allowed 14 sacks and 26 hits on the QB – both stats are in the top ten worst respectively. So the Chiefs will get their licks in.

Kansas City is allowing an average of 14.2 points per game against two of the top three most productive offenses in the NFL in San Diego (2) and Indy (3). In the Texans' three victories, they averaged nearly 32 points per game. In two losses at home, they averaged only 11.5. If the Chiefs can keep to their status quo, they should leave the lone star state with a victory. Top Stories