With the 2015-16 NFL Regular Season finished, we move on into the Playoffs and the first games are the AFC Wildcard games on the 9th and 10th of January 2016. Thus we begin with the 1st AFC Wildcard Game that is to be played on Saturday the 9th of January 2016 with the 11-5 Kansas City Chiefs (AFC-West) playing the 9-7 Houston Texans (AFC-South) with the game being played at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas with the kick-off scheduled for 4:35 PM ET and seen on ABC TV.
For those Wildcard fans that Bet on NFL football the betting odds for this game have the Kansas City Chiefs. favored at -3 (-120) with the Over/under at 40 ½ and -175 on the Money Line, while the Texans are the underdogs at +3 (EV) and +155 on the ML.
This was 2 teams that most experts would pick as playoff picks since the Chiefs started their season at 1-5, but then won 10 straight games, their franchise record. Meanwhile the Houston team lost their 1st regular season game to the Chiefs 27-20 and then battled injuries but survived to host this Wild Card playoff game on Saturday. Yes, this game should provide some interesting and exciting scenarios!
The fans of the 11-5 Kansas City Chiefs know that their teams win over the Raiders of Oakland this past Sunday surged them into the playoffs after a 10 game winning streak to end the season, and that included them beating the AFC No. 1 team the Broncos of Denver 29-13. Yes your Wildcard team can thank their defense for the streak of 10 victories. A defense that only twice in that 10 games win streak, allowed the opponents to score more than 17 total points.
Yes the opposing teams have plenty of cause for concern of the Chiefs defense who is getting healthier as each day passes, since their top rusher for the pass T. Hali returned and J. Houston returns after missing 5 games. But even without Hali and Houston the Chiefs pass rush has been feared in 2015. That same defensive unit in the season final game with the Raiders created some 6 sacks in the game.
Their defense is not all about the pass rush since their rookie CB Peters has been a key component of the defense, as he leads the team with 8 interceptions of which 2 were turned into touchdowns. Plus this 2015 season the Chiefs accumulated 22 interceptions where in 2014 they only manage 6 intercepts for that season.
This strong defense should make up for their QB A. Smith’s lack of stunning performances, since he has been unable to surpass 190 yards passing in their ultimate 5 games this season. However, his best game in 2015 was in their win over the Texans as he passed for 3 touchdowns and some 245 yards.
Thankful for the success of the K.C. running backs, they have not missed their QB’s mere performances, since the RB duo of S. Ware and C. West have been stars in the rushing game as of late. In the Oakland game they combined for 150 yards rushing. However for RB’s Ware and West the defensive front 7 of the Texans may prove to be challenging for these 2 running backs, and especially if their QB Smith finds it difficult achieving yardage via his passing game. The Chiefs have won their ultimate 4 road game and against the spread.
If you’re a fan of the 9-7 Houston Texans, your team on Sunday clinched their AFC South Wildcard as the routed the Jaguars 30-6. Not only did they win and enter the wildcard playoffs at home, but also saw the return of their star TE defensively in J.J. Watt and created nightmares for the opposing offenses.
Their star Watt had some 2 sacks and managed to bat down 2 pass attempts, had 8 tackles and forced 1 fumble and recovered on fumble in that game. He was not alone in defense as W. Mercilus also had 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and recovered 1 fumble. J. Joseph had 4 passed blocked and K. Johnson had an interception for a score and A. Hal had 1 interception.
Offensively the Texans have been short of playmakers, but WR D. Hopkins has assured his teammates he will be there for receptions since he is 3rd in the NFL with 11 touchdowns and 1,522 reception yards and in their last game with K.C. he had 2 touchdowns and 99 yards on receptions.
The experts think that the QB Hoyer should be the starter for Houston even after missing the past 2 games with a concussion, but in their final game he passed for 1 TD and 250 yards with just 1 interception. Then they think he should be more mobile in this game since his OT D. Brown had an injury in their final season game and is out for this playoff game. In their 8 games at home the season the Texans won 5 and lost 3 straight up!
The online sportsbook prediction for this AFC Wild Card game is that the Houston Texans and their defense end the winning streak of the Chief of Kansas City and the Texans are victorious and advance to the Divisional Round coming up next.