David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Nobody can stop the Kansas City Chiefs.
The NFL‘s only remaining undefeated team moved to 5-0 Sunday with a 42-34 road victory over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Quarterback Alex Smith continued his impressive season with 324 passing yards and three touchdowns—two of which went to Charcandrick West—while Kareem Hunt tallied 107 yards on the ground.
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Andy Reid and the Chiefs remain undefeated at 5-0! (➡️ @panerabread) https://t.co/Mno9Xy3kyR
Houston dropped to 2-3 and a game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South, but it lost more than just the game. Defensive end J.J. Watt suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg, the team announced.
The Texans climbed within six points in the fourth quarter after falling behind by 16 in the first half, but De’Anthony Thomas took Smith’s sweep into the end zone to quiet the crowd and the comeback attempt.
Too much speed on this @Chiefs offense. Alex Smith tosses it to @DATBLACKMOMBA13 and he finds the end zone! #KCvsHOU #ChiefsKingdom https://t.co/P6lYwrLXs5
Tyreek Hill followed Thomas’ touchdown with an 82-yard punt return for a score on the ensuing possession to send plenty of the Houston fans toward the exit.
✌️ @ImFasterThanYa is GONE. ✌️ 82 YARDS. #KCvsHOU #ChiefsKingdom https://t.co/XKmN7Mwt1H
The big plays proved critical in the final quarter, but Smith was efficient throughout the game, as the Chiefs finished with zero turnovers and eight scores on 10 possessions. The balanced attack featured more than Smith, West and Hunt, as Hill tallied 68 receiving yards to go along with his punt return and Travis Kelce posted 98 receiving yards before the Chiefs announced he was evaluated for a concussion.
On the other side, Deshaun Watson impressed with 261 passing yards and five touchdowns through the air. DeAndre Hopkins hauled in three of the scores, while Will Fuller caught the other two.
The final score wasn’t Houston’s only concern, as Watt was carted off and linebacker Whitney Mercilus left with a chest injury.
Kansas City had little trouble against the short-handed Houston defense and scored on all five of its first-half possessions to take a 23-7 lead into intermission. Both of Smith’s touchdown passes to West came in the second quarter, while three of Harrison Butker’s five field goals—one after a D’Onta Foreman lost fumble—extended the commanding advantage.
Only Watson’s first touchdown strike to Hopkins prevented a disastrous first half for the home team, but the Chiefs were firmly in control.
The Texans defense temporarily adjusted to life without Watt and Mercilus in the second half, opening the door for Watson to settle in and climb back into the contest. His touchdown passes to Fuller cut the deficit to a mere six points despite Kansas City’s early dominance and capped off drives of 78 and 70 yards.
The second connection stood out, as Fuller beat Terrance Mitchell in single coverage for the 48-yard score:
ABSOLUTE DIME from @DeshaunWatson! @Will_Fuller7 is on the other end for the 48-yard TD! #Texans #KCvsHOU https://t.co/FgAG8c1i3d
For as great as Watson was in the second half, Houston’s defense (and special teams) couldn’t get him the late stop it needed to maintain momentum.
Thomas and Hill showed off their speed on two of the biggest plays of the game, but Hopkins ensured they weren’t the only ones on the highlight reel in the fourth quarter. He skied above the Chiefs secondary in the middle of the end zone and high-pointed a 34-yard touchdown to make the final score look more respectable.
He caught that!?!? Incredible grab, @DeandreHopkins. @DeshaunWatson’s 4th TD pass of the night! #KCvsHOU #Texans https://t.co/gxvUoOF3SR
His third touchdown was one only fantasy players noticed, as it came on the final play (not counting the ensuing two-point conversion) as time expired.
Watkins and the Texans will have a golden opportunity to get back on track in Week 6 when they face the winless Cleveland Browns, while the Chiefs will square off with the Pittsburgh Steelers.