Drum Beats: Houston Grades

Well, that's it. If this is a better team, it was tough to tell. The Chiefs did the best impression of a bad team I've seen in a while. They started strong on their opening drive, but struggled for much of the game after. Sunday was fraught with missed opportunities and inconsistent play.

Pass Offense

Chiefs Quarterback Line: 22/33 170 Yards 0 Touchdowns 2 Interceptions

The Chiefs didn't protect quarterback Damon Huard well. The receivers couldn't get open regularly, and the few times when they did they dropped the ball. Overall, the Chiefs weren't in sync at all, and by the third quarter Houston knew what was coming, teeing off on a Chiefs team playing catch up. The result was three sacks. Wide receiver Samie Parker started strong with a pair of big catches, but the Chiefs couldn't find him down the stretch. The loss of receiver Eddie Kennison to injury on the first play didn't help, and rookie Dwayne Bowe had mixed results filling in. Tight end Tony Gonzalez had a couple of catches but was largely a non factor.

Grade: D

Run Offense

Chiefs Running Back Line: 17 Carries 72 Yards 4.2 Yards Per Rush

Early on, the Chiefs were able to run the football, but had to just about abandon the running game after falling behind by two scores. Larry Johnson looked strong, even though the Chiefs wanted to limit his touches. Changeup back Michael Bennett moved the ball fluidly, and looks to be a nice option to spell Johnson, but with the team falling behind and unable to get anything going in the passing game, they couldn't use what looks to be their best option offensively.

Grade: C

Pass Defense

Texans Quarterback Line: 16/22 225 Yards 1 Touchdown 1 Interception

Let's talk about the good things first. The Chiefs got two sacks, one from linebacker Donnie Edwards on a blitz in the third quarter, and one from Alfonso Boone. Safety Jarrad Page got a big interception in the end zone. Other than that, there wasn't much for the Chiefs to hang their collective hat on.

The bottom line is the Chiefs allowed wide receiver Andre Johnson to rack up 142 yards on seven catches. That's inexcusable. The defense was able to confuse and pressure Texans quarterback Matt Schaub early but grew more ineffective as the game wore on. Schaub settled into the flow of the game and began dissecting the team, particularly on third down. On Houston's first scoring play, Schaub executed a flawless play action fake and found Johnson streaking down the field for a 77-yard touchdown.

After a while, the Chiefs just broke down defensively, unable to get to the quarterback, and unable to hold contain when he moved around in the pocket. The Chiefs need to keep their intensity through the game. Plays were made, but never consistently enough to shut down the Texans' offense.

Grade: F

Run Defense

Running Back Line: 31 Carries 109 Yards 3.5 Yards Per Carry

The Chiefs were largely stout against the run, but the Texans eventually wore them down. In the second half, when the team needed to keep the Texans off the field, they couldn't do it, thanks to some grind-it-out running from Ahman Green and Ron Dayne. Give credit to the Texans for sticking with the run late when they needed it.

Grade: D

Special Teams

The only thing that keeps this from being a failing grade is the stellar play of punter Dustin Colquitt and some big coverage plays. Colquitt hit some booming punts, and even saved disaster, making a great catch on an errant snap.

Kicker Justin Medlock missed a field goal early in the first quarter, wasting a nice 15-play, 76-yard drive. The Chiefs tried to help Medlock overcome his kicking issues by getting the ball close, but to no avail. That play may have taken the wind out of the team's sails early. It's tough to tell which play was more damaging, that miss or kick returner Eddie Drummond's fumbled punt return. Either way, both were momentum killers and negated positive series for the Chiefs.

Grade: D

Stat Of The Game

While it's tempting to point to four turnovers, the Houston Texans were 9 for 14 on third down conversions. When it came down to it, the Chiefs couldn't get the Texans off the field and the get ball back for the offense.

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