Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs: Is Deshaun Watson vs Patrick Mahomes the next great QB rivalry?
Watch live on Sky Sports Action from 5pm on Sunday; kick-off is at 6pm
By James Simpson - @JS_Football
Last Updated: 13/10/19 6:14pm
Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson face off when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans on Sunday, exclusively live on Sky Sports Action. Here is what to expect...
Seasons so far
Up until their 53-32 drubbing of the Falcons last week, the Texans (3-2) had scrapped to a .500 record with four close games. They narrowly lost out to New Orleans (28-30) and Carolina (10-16), but won their only division game so far (13-12 over the Jags) and beat the Chargers in LA (27-20).
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Kansas City (4-1) saw their winning streak come to an end with a shock home defeat to Indianapolis in Week Five in which the Colts made Mahomes look human.
After taking care of the Jaguars, Raiders and Ravens with ease, Detroit caused problems for the Chiefs - taking them to the wire in a 34-30 thriller - but Indy might have set the blueprint to beat them. They ran for 180 yards, had the ball for over 37 minutes, and held KC to just four third-down conversions on 12 attempts.
Players to watch
This one is about the battle of two of the league's young, supremely-talented quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Their combined career-passer rating of 217.8 will be the highest for QBs (who have played at least 20 games) since 1970. Mahomes' career 112.4 bests Watson's 105.4.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports this week, Around the NFL's Gregg Rosenthal called Mahomes "the best quarterback that's entered the league in our lifetime", and the numbers so far back it up. His rating so far is the best in NFL history and he continues to break records.
Mahomes is 15-0 in his career in non-primetime games and can join Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Steve Young as the only players in NFL history to pass for 300-plus yards in each of their team's first six games if he reaches the mark on Sunday.
Last week, with his 28-of-33, 236-yard, five-touchdown and no-pick performance in Week Five, Watson became the first QB since Ben Roethlisberger in 2016 to throw five-plus TD passes and five or fewer incompletions in a single game. It is clear both of these players can light up the scoreboard.
In order to succeed, these signal-callers need weapons around them. Kansas City's speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill might return from injury - and he will add yet another deep threat for KC - while Travis Kelce leads all tight ends with 439 receiving yards this season.
Meanwhile, Houston are the only team with a wide receiver duo to have 25-plus receptions, 300-plus receiving yards and two-plus receiving TDs this season (DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller). Expect fireworks in this one!
- This is the third match-up since 1970 featuring opposing QBs in their third season or later that each have a 100+ career passer rating entering the game
- Mahomes (8.9) and Watson (8.3) rank first and second in passing yards per attempt since the 1970 merger
- The Texans have averaged an NFL-leading 35.1 points per game in October in the Watson era
- Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has 13 QB hits this season (most in NFL)
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