Will Fuller's health and the Chiefs loving the matchup are also key storylines ahead of Sunday

Did O'Brien get two key decisions right and how much more Watt?

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

3 Headlines, 2 Question, and 1 Bet ahead of the Texans heading to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs.

Watson's best moment yet

He carried Bills defenders into the end zone. He took shot after shot and kept getting up. He sparked the offense and sent the Texans to the divisional round.

Deshaun Watson was amazing. He will need to continue to be amazing for the Texans to succeed.

It is another in the long list of amazing escapes the Houston Houdini has brought to the highlight reels in Houston.

Bill O'Brien loved the play Sunday but he had one he was more fond of from Watson's season.

"But I think that when you get kicked in the eye and you still are able to complete a touchdown pass, I'm not sure that you can surpass that. I just think that that play that he made on Sunday was an incredible play and he's an incredible player, but when he got kicked in the eye against Oakland and he grabbed his eye and he really didn't know what was going on with his eye and he kept the play alive to complete a pass, that was a pretty cool play."

I'm not breaking any news, but the Texans are always in the game with Deshaun Watson.

Slow starts not allowed

Bill O'Brien has been bad in the first half of playoff games as a head coach. Saturday was no exception. The Texans were shut out and the buzz was here we go again. Credit to O'Brien and company for figuring things out in the second half, but they can't start bad again. That margin for error is gone.

O'Brien said as much Monday.

"We've got to figure that out," he said. "This is not the type of game, on the road versus this type of team, that we can do that. We've got to try to do whatever we can to get off to a good start."

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs could be up huge on the Texans if the slow start continues. Mahomes won't gift the Texans a couple of possessions with poor play like Josh Allen did Saturday. The start must be better or it will doom the Texans.

Watt could play more Sunday

Bill O'Brien didn't rule out J.J. Watt playing more on Sunday against the Chiefs. O'Brien said there is a lot of communication that goes into a decision like that between himself, Watt, and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

Watt was situational in his usage until the fourth quarter and overtime when he played a ton. I would expect him to be used the same way against the Chiefs. Maybe a few more plays but he can't rebuild all the stamina in just one week.

The Chiefs boast of course a tackle who maybe took some liberties with an injured Watt a few years ago. A little revenge would be nice for Texans fans.

If you want to read more about Watt's return you can find it here.

Did O'Brien get key coaching moments right or wrong?

Bill O'Brien will be questioned heavily for his decisions Saturday.

First the sequence in the first quarter where O'Brien challenged a pass interference and decided to punt after initially having the kicking team out.

There's a couple of levels to this first call. He made the wrong decision challenging the play. That was not the right move. It wasn't worth it in the moment and potentially could have cost the Texans should they have needed the challenge later. I didn't like the challenge one bit.

O'Brien then decided to pass up on the potential career long field goal for his kicker for a punt. I liked that and the Texans ultimately forced a Bills punt.

In the fourth quarter, the second key coaching decision popped up. O'Brien tried to end the game by going for it. After the game he stood by the decision but said he would have liked another play there instead of the sneak. I agree with both those thoughts from O'Brien.

O'Brien trying to keep his defense, the lesser unit, off the field was smart. Now, could they have used a field goal and forced Buffalo to try to score the touchdown for the win instead of letting the field goal tie the game? I wouldn't have minded that at all. I didn't feel like Buffalo was capable of scoring six points there.

Can Will Fuller play Sunday?

Will Fuller worked out on the field Saturday, but he was far from full speed when I observed him. He didn't look hurt, but he didn't look healthy.

"We're going to continue to work with him throughout the week and see where he's at," Bill O'Brien said Monday. "I know he's progressing in the right direction and I know he's doing better, but I'm not sure that I'd be able to sit up here and tell you that, 'yeah, he's all the way back."

Fuller's usefulness to the offense is not understated. He absolutely helps the offense. It would be easy to say him coming back would help the Texans not start slow but I can't for sure say that. What it does hopefully guarantee if he returns is DeAndre Hopkins could be involved from the jump. It has taken far too long to get Hopkins involved some weeks.

I bet the Chiefs are thrilled to play the Texans again

Kansas City has to be thrilled to get another crack at Houston. The last game featured a banged up Patrick Mahomes and no Chris Jones for the Chiefs. The Chiefs defense has been ROLLING the past few weeks and they got an extra week to get healthy and get ready for their opponent.

The Texans defense was the worst defense left in the playoffs. Not just the AFC, the playoffs. They are the worst defense still in the playoffs. The Chiefs have an easier matchup than the Ravens for sure from the defense they are facing standpoint. Also, Patrick Mahomes vs Deshaun Watson should be glorious. Signal callers love to ball against other signal callers.

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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