The first game of the NFL playoffs this year features the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Houston Texans. The Chiefs are a very unique team, having started the season with a 1-5 record before ripping off 10 straight wins to finish at 11-5. They fell just short of a division title, though, which means they will have to travel to the AFC South Champion Texans. Although the Texans played in a weaker division, they emerged and have been playing complete football games over the past month, despite injuries at the quarterback and running back positions.
Many Browns fans will have an emotional investment in this game because Brian Hoyer, a Cleveland-native who was the team's starting quarterback in 2014, will make his first postseason start. This should be a defense-oriented game, as the Texans are 3rd in the league defensively while the Chiefs are ranked 7th defensively. Kansas City will be getting both of their outside linebackers, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, back for the big game. I think the defensive intensity will balance out, so then I look at which teams has the bigger playmaker on offense. Jeremy Maclin has been having a very good season, but DeAndre Hopkins has been outstanding. Hoyer and Hopkins will connect late on a big play to set up a game-winning field goal to end the Chiefs' winning streak. Texans 20, Chiefs 17
Game: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
Date/Time: Saturday, January 9, 2015 at 4:35 p.m. ET
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Television: ESPN - Jon Gruden & Mike Tirico
NFL Odds: Chiefs by 3.5, Over/Under = 40