We get another playoff rematch in Week 2 with the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Texans are certainly hoping it goes better than their last encounter.
Houston managed to win a weak AFC South with a 9-7 record, despite a revolving door at quarterback. In the Wild Card round, the Chiefs gladly exposed that weakness -- Brian Hoyer tossed four interceptions as Kansas City cruised in a 30-0 rout.
After that humiliation, the Texans went into the offseason with one goal: find a quarterback and fix the offense. To that end, they threw a $72 million contract at Brock Osweiler and surrounded him with new weapons like running back Lamar Miller and first-round receiver Will Fuller.
It was a lot of risky moves, but the early returns are promising so far. Osweiler acquitted himself well against the Chicago Bears, shaking off an early interception to finish with 231 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-35 passing. Miller looked like a worthy successor to Arian Foster, rushing for 106 yards on 28 carries. And Fuller made the Bears' defense look silly at times, showing off his impressive open-field athleticism en route to 107 receiving yards and a touchdown. Oh, and they still have DeAndre Hopkins, who also hit paydirt in the 23-14 win.
Another encouraging sign for Houston was the return of J.J. Watt. Despite multiple offseason surgeries, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year came back in time for Week 1 and played 49 of 55 defensive snaps. He was quiet in the game, but Watt should round into form sooner rather than later. With Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus by his side, Houston has one of the best front sevens in football.
The Chiefs looked like they were headed for disaster in Week 1. The defense looked lost without Justin Houston, the offense was hurt by the absence of Jamaal Charles and the team fell behind early to the San Diego Chargers, 24-3. Then Alex Smith put the Chiefs on his back, making a furious fourth-quarter rally to tie the game and later win it in overtime. Smith finished with 363 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 34-of-48 passing, winning the game with a goal-line plunge.
It was the biggest comeback in franchise history, but the Chiefs have to be worried about the state of their defense, which was getting ripped up by Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen before Allen suffered a torn ACL. Now they have to contend with Hopkins and also plan for Fuller, who looms as a game-breaking threat if he finds open space.
If Charles misses another week (he's listed as doubtful on the injury report), the Chiefs at least know they can rely on Spencer Ware, who played the workhorse role last week with 11 carries and nine receptions for 199 total yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce remain Smith's best weapons in the passing game and he figures to keep them involved, as well.
With a new-look Texans offense and a Chiefs team that came way too close to starting the year 0-1, this week's result probably won't resemble anything we saw in the Wild Card round last season. That's a good thing for both Texans fans and neutral viewers hoping for an entertaining contest.
How to watch
When: 1 p.m. ET
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots