There's been plenty of talk about how the Texans and the Chiefs split in their two games last season. And when you look at the game the Texans won, in October, there's at least one key factor that jumps out that could really help them out Thursday night.
Before we delve into that I wanted to focus on the title of this piece. It's 'A' winning formula, not 'The' winning formula. There are many ways to get it done in this league.
Going into the first match up at Arrowhead we all knew what happened the week before - the Texans thrashed Atlanta, pulling away late. And the Chiefs lost to the Colts.
Indy rushed for 180 yards. And no, it wasn't a takeaway fest. It was a strong steady burn. They played physical ball and squeezed out a win.
In the NFL we always talk about things like 'well, that team lost last week so they'll be REALLY fired up this week.' Or the opposite – 'well, this team won big so they might be in for a letdown.'
I don't really buy into such things but I did think since the Colts nearly ran at will, the Chiefs would really try to tighten the screws in that department on defense.
Early on, it looked that way. Houston was down 17-3 and it appeared that it might not be their day.
But the Texans stuck to the game plan, running for 192 yards and playing keep-away from Patrick Mahomes. Deshaun Watson also threw a lot of short, drive-extending passes to keep the sticks moving.
No two games are the same. And I hope this is certainly the case when we reference the playoff game. But the Texans have a lot of weaponry to keep drives moving on offense, in a bid to win the time of possession battle and ultimately the game.
It's anybody's guess how this one will play out. A new chapter will be written. A new adventure is about to unfold.
The Texans and Chiefs kickoff Thursday at 7:20 p.m. CT on KPRC/NBC and on the Houston Texans Mobile App.