Last year, the Chiefs on average called 37.56 pass plays per game (attempts plus sacks), and they ran the ball 23.43 times per game. Last night, it was a far difference ratio.
The Chiefs ran the ball 34 times in their 34-20 win over the Texans, with 33 pass plays called (32 attempts and one sack). Of those 34 carries, rookie first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran the ball 25 times for 138 yards and a touchdown.
The performance officially makes the Chiefs a pick-your-poison offense. So if a defense backs off to keep everything in front of it and to avoid being burned deep and forces the Chiefs to be patient and methodical, they will. And they did last night, wearing down the Houston defense with an 11-play touchdown drive followed by a 16-play touchdown drive to turn a 7-0 deficit into a 14-7 lead that the Chiefs would never relinquish.
It helped that the Chiefs have plenty of continuity on both sides of the ball. Indeed, at times it seemed like the Chiefs were playing their first game of the regular season and the Texans were playing their first game of the preseason.
This isn’t a knock on the Texans. Of all the games on their schedule this year, going back to the scene of a 51-31 thrashing to face the defending champions on the night they raised the banner is the toughest. Few teams could have avoided what the Chiefs did last night. The question becomes whether they’ll keep doing it, taking whatever the defense gives them and either vanquishing the opponent quickly or slowly but either way inevitably.