Houston Texans (10-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-4), Monday, 7:05am AEDT
-AFC West champions, #1 seed.
-Bye last week.
-Ranked #6 in total offense.
-Ranked #17 in total defense.
-Franchise was actually once called the ‘Texans’ – they started life as the Dallas Texans before moving to KC and becoming the Chiefs.
-Teams have only met 11 times (once in post-season) and Chiefs hold 6-5 advantage (1-0 in post-season).
-AFC South champions, #4 seed.
-Beat Buffalo 22-19 in OT last week.
-Ranked #13 in total offense.
-Ranked #28 in total defense.
-Texans have won 2 of 3 games played in Kansas City, including a 31-24 win in Week 6.
-This is Houston’s fourth Divisional Playoff game – they’ve lost the previous three (once to Baltimore and twice to New England).
Keys to the game
We have some facts to work with here, since the Texans beat the Chiefs in October. Yes Houston put up some big numbers against a struggling Kansas City defense; Deshaun Watson and the Texans racked up 472 yards of total offense (192 rushing) and picked up 35 first downs. But they also kept Patrick Mahomes and the high-octane Kansas City offense off the field, with nearly 40 minutes of possession compared to 20 for the Chiefs.
However…the Kansas City defense is much improved since then, limiting opponents to just 52 total points in their final five games. In addition, Mahomes has recovered from the foot injury that hampered him in that first meeting and Tyreek Hill is at full strength. If the Texans fall behind the way they did against Buffalo, they could be in big trouble.
$1.20 Kansas City
$1.90 Houston +9.5
$1.90 Kansas City -9.5
$1.86 Under 51.5 points
$1.94 Over 51.5 points
Seattle Seahawks (11-5) at Green Bay Packers (13-3), Monday, 10:40am AEDT
-AFC North champions, #2 seed.
-Bye last week.
-Ranked #18 in total offense.
-Ranked #18 in total defense.
-Green Bay has won 7 in a row against Seattle; they haven’t lost to the Hawks at Lambeau Field since 1999.
-Green Bay has won two of three playoff games against the Seahawks, but the most recent – a 2015 collapse in Seattle known as the ‘Miracle at the Clink” – is still fresh in the minds of Packer fans.
-Wild Card, #5 seed.
-Beat Philadelphia 17-9 last week.
-Ranked #8 in total offense.
-Ranked #26 in total defense.
-Seattle won the last meeting between the two teams, 27-24 in November 2018.
-After last week’s win at Philly, the Seahawks are 8-1 on the road.
-The Seahawks have won by eight points or less in 11 of their 12 wins this season.
Keys to the game
Weather forecasters have downgraded their predictions of a massive snowstorm, but it will still be cold, which may or may not change the way both teams operate. They’ll both want to establish the running game and both have mobile, creative quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson) who can make something out of nothing.
Wilson’s quarterback rating is worse against Green Bay than any other team and unless the struggling running game, with recent signee Marshawn Lynch can get things going, the Seahawks could be in trouble. Green Bay’s Aaron Jones has been terrific for the Pack, leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 16. He and Rodgers will be a big help to head coach Matt LaFleur, who is coaching in his first playoff game.
$1.45 Green Bay
$1.86 Seattle +4.5
$1.95 Green Bay -4.5
$1.90 Over 45.5
$1.90 Under 45.5