Game Balls: Chiefs vs. Texans

The Kansas City Chiefs dropped their second game in as many weeks with a 35-31 heartbreaking loss to the Texans in Houston on Sunday afternoon.  Losing to a tough opponent on the road normally doesn’t sting nearly as bad, but this is one that the Chiefs gave away down the stretch.

In a game that the offense finally showed up and put points on the board early, the Kansas City defense looked like an old school Greg Robinson unit in the fourth quarter.  The Texans put 21 points on the board in the final quarter, marching down the field each time with ease against a defense that had yet to give up more than 19 in a game.

While the Chiefs offense did score 31 points, it was the rushing game that was the most impressive.  228 yards with a 6 yard average helped propel Kansas City for most of the game.  Unfortunately, when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter, Matt Cassel and the offense failed to get the job done.  On a crucial third and 2, the Chiefs decided to try and throw the ball and Cassel threw a terrible pass across the field that fell incomplete.

The Texans got the ball back after that failed third down conversion and the rest, as they say, is history.

Last week could be chalked up as a moral victory, going toe-to-toe with the defending AFC champions.  This time around?  There’s nothing to take away from this game other than disappointment.

Here are the best from offense, defense and special teams.

Offense: Dwayne Bowe

After costing his team a touchdown, and possibly a victory, last week against the Colts, Bowe bounced back as well as anyone could have ever predicted.

Not only did Bowe hold onto the ball, but he did it in big ways.  He caught a pass down the middle from Cassel in the endzone, took a pop from former teammate Bernard Pollard and managed to hold on to give Kansas City a 14-7 lead.  Later in the game he caught a short pass and took it all the way to the house for 42 yards.

On the game, Bowe had 6 catches for 108 yards and the two touchdowns.  As has been the case for most of the year, he could also be found in the middle of the longer Chiefs runs staying on his block.

If he can bottle this effort and break it out every Sunday for the rest of the season, maybe Todd Haley will have enough confidence to open up his playbook.

Defense: Brandon Flowers

All he does is continue to prove he belongs in the conversation as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

It’s just unfortunate that Flowers’ coaching staff doesn’t utilize his talents as much as they should.  Instead of taking out the Texans best receiver throughout the game, they stick him on one side of the field and let the offense dictate who was covering Andre Johnson.

One of the most crucial plays of the game was a pass interference call against Flowers while covering Johnson, but replays showed the flag should have gone the other way.  The fact that one of the best receivers in the league needed to push off just to make a play, should have been one more sign that Flowers deserved to be a shadow on Johnson.

When Flowers was given the chance to make a play, he did, something you can’t say about anyone else on the Chiefs defense.

Special Teams: Javier Arenas

For the second week in a row, the Chiefs special teams were quite ordinary.

Succop made his only field goal attempt and four extra points, but nothing above and beyond.  Meanwhile, Dustin Colquitt put up a nice 50.5 yard average but had two touchbacks that cut a huge chunk out of his net.

Areans returned 7 kicks without any that were “one block away” but did give the Chiefs a chance in the final seconds.  That is when the Texans squibbed the kickoff following Johnson’s go-ahead touchdown and took the ball 19 yards to set up a potential game-winning hail mary.

After opening the season with a bang, the Chiefs return game has stalled and will need to turn things around if Kansas City plans to stake their claim to the AFC West.

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