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AFC Wild Card Preview

It is time for one of the best periods of the sports year, the NFL playoffs. Wild Card weekend is the beginning of the road to Super Bowl 50.

In the early years of the NFL, the first weekend of the playoffs were a formality. However, over the last decade we’ve seen six champions that have emerged from Wild Card weekend. Will this year’s champion be playing this weekend? We’re about to find out starting on Saturday and here are the AFC Wild Card games.

#5 Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) at #4 Houston Texans (9-7)

The first Wild Card game that kicks off this weekend is the AFC match-up between the Chiefs and Texans. Even though Kansas City ended with a better record than Houston, the Chiefs travel to the AFC South division winners NRG Stadium for a Saturday game. This game is sure to be the warmest of any game on Wild Card weekend because it is indoors and both teams are guaranteed to be thankful for that.

The Chiefs ended the season on a 10-game winning streak after a 1-5 start and they look to have a bit of momentum at this point in the season. They have also had several passing touchdowns in 2015 which is something that they didn’t see at all last season, and it could be the difference in their success.

This game includes two defenses that ranked in the top 10 in scoring and two teams that now what it is like to lose playmakers to injury. The Chiefs are without running back Jamaal Charles and the Texans will be without running back Arian Foster, but both offenses have other offensive weapons on their roster. For the Chiefs, it all starts with quarterback Alex Smith and the Texans will look to Brian Hoyer to be under center in his first playoff appearance.

J.J. Watt leads a Texans’ defense that has come into its own and allowed 19.6 points per game this season, which ranks seventh best in the NFL. Justin Houston and rookie cornerback Marcus Peters led the Chiefs’ defense to a third place finish in scoring defense (17.9 points per game) and ranked seventh in yards allowed per game with 329.3 yards.

This is a Week 1 rematch that saw the Chiefs beat the Texans 27-20 in Houston and it is only fitting that this game will send one of the teams home to watch the rest of the playoffs. Momentum is a big part of postseason success and both teams are on a run, but the Chiefs should be able to come away with the win.

Kansas City 28 Houston 24

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