Free NFL Picks Kansas City at Houston 10-17-2010

October 14, 2010


Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

Sunday October 17th, 2010

Line: Houston -4 1/2


Kansas City started off the season 3-0, being the last unbeaten team in the 2010 season. The Chiefs lost last week to the Colts on the road, but have still exceeded expectations to this point. Houston started out with a bang, knocking off the Colts in their season opener. After losing two of their last three, are the Texans losing focus?

Keys to the Game:

  • Branden Albert, meet Mario Williams. Mario Williams, meet Matt Cassel. While the age difference between Albert and Williams is not very large, the talent discrepancy is. The Chiefs chose to pass on a top flight tackle in the draft in order to get a play maker on the defensive side of the ball. Mario Williams probably would have his way with any tackle in this year’s draft, but it would be nice for them to have a solid tackle to slow down Super Mario. The Chiefs only have one running back who is solid in pass protection. Williams faced Trent Williams when the Texans played the Redskins. He had three of his five sacks. While two teams held Williams to no sacks on the day, he is still on pace for sixteen on the year. don’t be surprised if he has a multiple sack day. With Brian Cushing reentering the lineup, the Texans are a nightmare up front.
  • Arian Foster is still the leading rusher in the NFL. He should enjoy this week, because it might be the last time he holds that title in his career. Foster is the breakout player of the year. He has without question, burst onto the scene and turned heads all over the place. He was held to 25 yards on 11 carries last week. While I don’t think he will duplicate his performance, a regression is almost inevitable. The Chiefs are stout against the run. They will surely see what the Giants did to shut down Foster. The Chiefs are not talented enough to expect their defensive backs to cover the Texan’s receivers by themselves. The Chiefs aren’t going to be able to play the run honestly for the entire game unless they want to give up a home run. This is going to give Arian Foster some room to work. It will be interesting to see if he gets anything going.
  • The Texans rely on their offense to win games. It is odd, given that they have a such a solid front seven. Their pass defense is severely lacking, ranking last in the league. While the Chiefs don’t have an offense that can take advantage of their less than stellar pass defense, the Texans still allow a huge amount of points in all of their games. They have given up at least 24 points in every one of their games. In their losses, they can’t get it together offensively. The Texans are never involved in a defensive struggle, so whether they win or lose rests solely upon the shoulders of the offense. Houston has a balanced offense, but it isn’t realistic to think they are going to continue to put up thirty points a game all season long. They have scored thirty in each one of their victories. The Chiefs haven’t allowed thirty points all year long, to anyone. The Texans defense needs to step it up. It could happen any week, but since it hasn’t happened all year, it isn’t realistic to think it will happen now.

Wrap Up:

The Chiefs don’t allow teams to steamroll them. If they can keep the Texans offense in check, they will not only cover, they will come away with a victory. The Chiefs give up 14 points a game, while the Texans give up 27. I expect they will meet somewhere in the middle, but the Chiefs are going to keep it close.

Free NFL Pick: Kansas City +4 1/2

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