Chiefs @ Texans
Final Score: Chiefs 30, Texans 24 (OT)
Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)
This was a surprisingly competitive game, especially in the first half. The Chiefs played sloppy – Patrick Mahomes wasn’t his usual accurate self, Isaiah Pacheco lost a fumble, and even Mahomes dropped a shotgun snap (that he then recovered). Houston took a 14-13 lead into the 2nd half after a last-minute touchdown grab by Marquez Valdes-Scantling and a missed extra point.
Both teams traded touchdowns and field goals in the second half, and Harrison Butker missed a field goal with under a minute to play to send it to OT. In OT, the Texans forced the Chiefs to punt, immediately coughed the ball up on their first play, then Jerick McKinnon ended it with a 26-yard run. It was a wild finish to a surprisingly competitive game.
Didn’t know Bill Burr was the punter for the Texans. pic.twitter.com/Yat6RaFmGt
— Thomas Carrieri (@Thomas_Carrieri) December 18, 2022
— Bills Stats & More (@Tickets_Buffalo) December 18, 2022
AFC WEST CHAMPIONS 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Uwqe6YvcJ5
— PFF (@PFF) December 18, 2022
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes: 36/41, 336 Yards, 2 TD | 5 Carries, 33 Yards, TD, 1 Fumble (Recovered)
On Kansas City’s first drive, Mahomes and Travis Kelce took the Chiefs to midfield, and on a third down play, Mahomes underthrew Marquez Valdes-Scantling on what easily could have been a long touchdown. When I mentioned in the opening blurb that Mahomes “wasn’t his accurate self” in the first half, it was because of this play and another misthrow to Justin Watson. Yes, Mahomes was 17-22 in the 1st half, but most of that was on short/intermediate throws. The long ball is where Mahomes has differentiated himself over the years, and he just wasn’t as sharp on those early on.
It really didn’t end up mattering in the long run, though. Mahomes was money in the second half and scrambled for a score on the ground. It was the kind of big game you’d expect out of the league’s best QB during fantasy playoffs.
Isiah Pacheco: 15 Carries, 86 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 11 Yards | 1 Fumble (Lost)
Jerick McKinnon: 10 Carries, 52 Yards, TD | 8 Targets, 8 Receptions, 70 Yards, TD
Ronald Jones: 1 Carry, 6 Yards
Isaiah Pacheco lost a fumble near the end of the first half and took a seat for a couple of drives as a result. Otherwise, he looked really good in this game. He’s a ferocious runner, and when he gets a head of steam, look out. Unfortunately, for fantasy purposes, he just doesn’t get enough of the receiving work to be truly fantasy viable. Jerick McKinnon certainly does, and he was a monster in that aspect of the game once again. He’s a dump-off machine, and he can take it to the house from seemingly anywhere.
jerick mckinnon just keeps on scoring 📈 pic.twitter.com/b4qddnmE2C
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) December 18, 2022
— NFL (@NFL) December 18, 2022
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Skyy Moore: 2 Carries, 12 Yards
Travis Kelce: 10 Targets, 10 Receptions, 105 Yards
JuJu Smith-Schuster: 10 Targets, 10 Receptions, 88 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)
Noah Gray: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 31 Yards
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 26 Yards, TD
Kadarius Toney: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 5 Yards
Justin Watson: 2 Targets
Jody Fortson: 1 Target
Travis Kelce passed Shannon Sharpe for the 4th most receiving yards by a TE in this game, and he was his usual self despite not finding the end zone. Houston tried to prevent the deep ball, leaving seemingly everyone open for the short/intermediate routes and Kelce ate them up. JuJu Smith-Schuster did the same, though he lost a fumble. Marquez Valdes-Scantling scored a touchdown but should have had a second one – Mahomes underthrew him on what would have been an easy touchdown bomb. Still, it was a good day for the #3 option in this passing offense (not counting Jerick McKinnon). Kadarius Toney returned but was not a factor. Justin Watson had to dive for one of his targets deep downfield but it was low and went through his hands.
Davis Mills: 12/24, 121 Yards, 2 TD | 5 Carries, 21 Yards, TD, 1 Fumble (Lost)
Jeff Driskel: 2/4, 8 Yards | 4 Carries, 8 Yards
The Texans are an anemic offense, to the point that they’ve been looking for a spark from none other than Jeff Driskel in recent weeks. They swap him and Davis Mills in and out often. Driskel usually comes in to run a read option or a designed run, while Mills is the more traditional pocket passer of the two. Mills still throws a good ball, but his offensive line struggles to keep him upright most of the time and he’s not the most accurate guy in the world. Mills did show off some wheels in this game, however, scrambling for a touchdown in the second quarter.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 18, 2022
Look at Davis Mills 👀 pic.twitter.com/2A955S2z8a
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) December 18, 2022
Mills had multiple near-interceptions, including one late in regulation that would have been a dagger if not flat out dropped by the defender. However, as they say, “ball don’t lie”, because Mills coughed the ball up as soon as he got it in OT. At least he made the game interesting!
Royce Freeman: 11 Carries, 51 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 5 Yards
Dare Ogunbowale: 8 Carries, 14 Yards
Rex Burkhead: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 17 Yards
With Dameon Pierce out for the year, this backfield is a total mess. Seriously, don’t even bother with any of these guys. Dare Ogunbowale got the start but Royce Freeman got most of the looks. None of them impressed me, they’re all journeymen and if you’re this desperate for a RB you’re probably not going to survive. If I had to pick one, it would be Freeman. Otherwise, stay far, far away.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Chris Moore: 9 Targets, 4 Receptions, 42 Yards
Amari Rodgers: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 26 Yards
Jordan Akins: 6 Targets, 3 Receptions, 22 Yards, TD
Brevin Jordan: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards
Teagan Quitoriano: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 8 Yards, TD
Phillip Dorsett: 1 Target | 0/1
This group is also a mess. Who do you trust in your fantasy playoffs? None of them. Chris Moore had four quick catches but fizzled out soon after. Jordan Akins is an athletic specimen and came down with a late touchdown. Good luck taking him down with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately, the Texans don’t put the ball in his hands probably as often as they should.
THE TEXANS TAKE THE LEAD🤯
— Immaculate Sports (@ImmacSports) December 18, 2022