NFL Games of the Week: Chiefs look to stay undefeated

By Joseph Fazio

Sports Blogger

@JosephDFazio

 

Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) at Houston Texans (2-2) (7:30 P.M., Sunday, NBC)

(Dave Kopp, Flickr)

The Kansas City Chiefs are now the lone undefeated team in the NFL. If the Houston Texans want to stop the Chiefs’ offense, they will have to find a way to deal with running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt, a rookie out of Toledo, has become the premier running back in the league. Hunt leads the NFL with 502 rushing yards and is tied for second in rushing touchdowns with four. Combined with the Chiefs’ offense, outside linebacker Justin Houston leads a stellar defense. Houston and the Chiefs’ defense rank second in forced fumbles and sixth in interceptions. Sunday, the Chiefs’ defense will be going up against a dual-threat quarterback in Deshaun Watson and a number of weapons the Texans supply on offense.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson was given the keys to the Texans’ offense only four gams into his NFL career. Watson leads quarterbacks in QBR with a rating of 79.1, almost four points above Tom Brady. Watson can credit his statistics from the his viable weapons on offense, including wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and running back Lamar Miller. On the defensive side, Houston boasts one of the best defensive lines in the league, including defensive ends J.J. Watt, and Jadeveon Clowney, as well as defensive tackle Whitney Mercilus. The Chiefs’ offensive line is tough but also young, so wait for the Texans to try and run through and sack Alex Smith.

Kansas City 24, Houston 20

 

Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Dallas Cowboys (2-2) (3:25 P.M., Sunday, FOX)

Once again, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has shown why he is one of the most dominant quarterbacks of the decade. Rodgers, along with Brady, leads the NFL with 10 passing touchdowns. Rodgers has also thrown for 1,146 yards, which is third best. With a strong start to the season, going 3-1, the Packers are looking to push past their opponents for a hopeful playoff spot. Although the Packers’ offense normally gets the job done, the defense has been lagging. The Packers’ defense sits 20th for total tackles, 14th in sacks and 21st in interceptions. In games against the Bengals and Falcons, the defense looked invisible and will need to get its act together when going up against the Cowboy’s offense.

It seems as if Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott is looking to avoid the sophomore slump. After four games, Prescott has accounted for eight touchdowns and 941 passing yards, both statistics that rank in the top seven for quarterbacks. Running back Ezekiel Elliott cannot say the same. Elliott accounted for 412 rushing yards through four games last year. Although he is still ranked ninth in rushing yards, Elliott has rushed for only 277 yards. Tight end Jason Witten has hidden the fact he is 35, catching 19 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is still the No. 1 threat on the Cowboys’ defense. With 7.5 sacks, Lawrence is on pace to come close to Michael Strahan’s record of 22.5 sacks. The only problem for the Cowboys’ defense is pushing through Green Bay’s offensive line, which boasts arguably the two best pass protectors in the league in Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari.

Green Bay 31, Dallas 24

 

Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Los Angeles Rams (3-1) (3:05 P.M., Sunday, CBS)

The Seahawks are going through a tough week with injuries. Defensive end Cliff Avril, left tackle Rees Odhiambo and cornerback Jeremy Lane are listed as either out or unlikely to play against the Rams on Sunday. Running back Chris Carson suffered a leg injury Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Carson was placed on injured reserve Monday and is unlikely to play the rest of the season. With all of the injuries, fans will likely see many players stepping up. Running back Eddie Lacy is expected to receive most of the rushes for the Seahawks. Quarterback Russell Wilson will have to greatly step up in the accuracy of his passes, completing only 61.7 percent thus far.

The Los Angeles Rams have shocked the NFL through the first four games. Running back Todd Gurley has made an argument as the best running back in the league, sitting second in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams’ offense have become the most dominant in the league, averaging 35.5 points a game. The Rams’ defense has made a name for themselves as one of the best pass-rushing defenses but still cannot stop allowing other teams to score. The defense sits 28th in points allowed. If Wilson is able to get his act together, it may cause great problems for the Rams’ defense.

Los Angeles 37, Seattle 20

ozone@ocolly.com

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