KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a game featuring two of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL in Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, it was the Houston Texans‘ running game that stole the show in their 31-24 victory over the Chiefs.
Led by running back Carlos Hyde, who spent the offseason and training camp with the Chiefs, the Texans’ offense ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns on 41 carries. By running the ball well, Houston was able to keep the dangerous Chiefs offense off the field, winning the battle for time of possession, 39:15-20:12, following a similar blueprint the Colts used a week ago when they handed Kansas City their first loss of the season.
Hyde overcame a fumble on the Texans’ first drive that put the Chiefs in field goal range, to run for 116 yards on 26 attempts and a touchdown. It was Hyde’s first 100-yard rushing game since Week 2 of the 2017 season against the Seahawks, a span of 33 games with four teams, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
QB breakdown: Watson completed 30 of 42 passes for 280 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 42 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Watson was also not sacked for the second week in a row.
Promising trend: Tashaun Gipson held tight end Travis Kelce — someone head coach Bill O’Brien called one of the best tight ends in the league — to four catches for 58 yards. He did not have a catch in the fourth quarter. One of the reasons Houston signed Gipson this offseason was because of the success he had against tight ends in his career, including Kelce last season when he was with the Jaguars. Gipson and the Texans did a good job against Panthers tight end Greg Olsen earlier this season, holding him to two catches for 5 yards.
Troubling trend: Ka’imi Fairbairn has now missed four extra points in the last four games, including one in the second quarter on Sunday. He is now tied with the injured Stephen Gostkowski for the most in the NFL in 2019. Fairbairn only missed two all of last season. After Fairbairn missed two last week against the Falcons, O’Brien said he was “pushing a little bit,” and that “he has to make the kicks.” Fairbairn also missed a 46-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Injury update: Right tackle Tytus Howard was carted off the field with a knee injury in the third quarter. Entering the game, Howard had the third-best Pass Block Win Rate among OTs, according to ESPN metrics powered by NFL Next Gen Stats data. Cornerback Bradley Roby was taken to the locker room later in the quarter with a hamstring injury. Houston was already without starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who injured his hamstring last week in practice, leaving Lonnie Johnson, Phillip Gaines and Keion Crossen as the Texans’ available corners.