Kansas City’s Andy Reid has been a head coach since 1999 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has coached 76 preseason games and his teams are 36-36-4 against the spread and 42-33-1 on the over/under. The past two years, Reid’s Chiefs were 2-2 SU in the pre-season. Last year, they split at home, losing 27-17 to the San Francisco 49ers and beating the Tennessee Titans 30-6.
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Houston’s Bill O’Brien is 9-6 ATS in his pre-season career and 5-10 over/under. His club was 1-2 SU last year, losing the road games 27-17 at Carolina and 13-0 at New Orleans. Why only three games instead of four? The preseason finale against Dallas was canceled due to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
These teams did meet in Week 5 last regular season, with the Chiefs winning 42-34 in Houston. Alex Smith threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns for Kansas City. More on him in a moment. Houston defensive star J.J. Watt suffered a season-ending broken leg in the loss.
The Texans were way more talented than their 4-12 record last year but their season was derailed by major injuries. We mentioned Watt above. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, who has played just eight games total the past two years, says he is fully recovered from that broken leg, but he will not play Thursday. Fellow defensive star Jadeveon Clowney is out as he recovers from offseason knee surgery.
Former Clemson star Deshaun Watson was off to a record-setting start to his career before his big injury.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will probably see preseason action on Thursday versus the Kansas City Chiefs, according to coach Bill O’Brien.
“I’d say more likely,” O’Brien said when asked Tuesday if it was more or less likely Watson would play.
The decision has yet to be made as the coaching staff deliberates on game-planning for the preseason opener at Arrowhead Stadium, but O’Brien indicated the second-year signal caller will get a chance to knock off some rust in the exhibition game.
“We’ll see how it goes,” said O’Brien. “We’re going to talk about it today, kind of see where we’re at, look at the reps, do a lot of studying today — today’s a long day for the coaching staff — kind of see where everything’s at, and then we’ll make a decision prior to the game.”
Watson sustained a torn ACL on Nov. 2, 2017 ahead of the club’s Nov. 5 match-up with the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. After a 3-4 start, the Texans faded fast to a 4-12 finish with reserve quarterbacks Tom Savage and T.J. Yates splitting time in Watson’s absence.
The former first-round pick from Clemson is “trusting the process” with O’Brien and the coaching staff.
“Honestly, to me, if it happens, it happens,” said Watson. “It’s not a big deal. I’m just trusting the process that OB and the organization have for me, and I know it’s a good plan. So, I’m just kind of going with the flow and seeing what the game plan is for Thursday.”
The Texans averaged 34.7 points per game in Watson’s six starts from Weeks 2-8 last year, which were the most points per game in the NFL in that span. Houston hopes that their offense with a healthy Watson produces similar results. Eventually, Watson will have to get out of the bubble wrap and see live action this preseason.