GAME BREAKER

Let's discuss 1 playmaker the Texans defense can't afford to sleep on against KC

Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans return to Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since bowing out to the Kansas City Chiefs 51-31 in the divisional round of the playoffs last year. The Chiefs had no issues lighting the scoreboard up led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes' electrifying 5 touchdown performance. However, the prevailing thought surrounding the Chiefs offense entering 2020 is that the defending champs might be even better on that side of the ball because of the addition of first-round draft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU.

The 5-7, 207 pound shifty running back rushed for 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns last season to go with another 55 receptions for 453 yards and one touchdown as a receiver out of the backfield helping LSU win the National Championship. Despite being a rookie, trying to contain Edwards-Helaire on defense won't be easy. One of the challenges in preparing for Edwards-Helaire is the fact that without any preseason games the only film the Texans have on Edward-Helaire is his college tape.

"We had to go back and watch college tape because of no preseason games," Texans Defensive Coordinator Anthony Weaver said. "He is a very talented back. He's built low to the ground, but he runs tough. He runs tough and strong and he's very good out of the backfield... He reminds me a little bit of Darren Sproles, which obviously Andy (Reid) had in Philly. So, it'll be interesting to see how they go about using him."

In the National Title game against Clemson, Edwards-Helaire rushed for 110 yards and caught five passes for 54 yards. Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien took notice.

"Obviously, he did a great job at LSU with Joe Burrow last year. I mean, they set records," O'Brien said. "Their offensive output at LSU last year was in another stratosphere.

Add Edwards-Helaire to the list of offensive weapons that the Texans are going to have to deal with if they are going to shock the NFL world and win in KC as 9.5 point underdogs.

"Look, he's a guy that can run it, he can hurt you out of the backfield," O'Brien said. "He's a part of an offensive system now in Kansas City that's a very dynamic one. We're just going to have to do as good a job as we can of knowing where he's at, how they're trying to use him early on and do as good a job as we can."

Jake Asman is a national host on SportsMap Radio. You can listen to The Jake Asman Show weekdays from 8 AM - 10 AM Central.

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Correa could be on his way out. Composite image by Jack Brame.

Editor's note: Ken Rosenthal updated his column on Tuesday afternoon.


It has not been the best of times to be a star athlete in Houston. In the last year, Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins were solid off for a warm bucket of spit. George Springer won't be back. James Harden and Russell Westbrook rumors are rampant. J.J. Watt might be moving on as well.

Now, reports are the Astros are listening to offers for Carlos Correa.

Predictably, Astros fans are livid. And if it's true, they should be concerned about the bigger picture.

Trading Correa makes sense - if you have no plans on keeping him after next season, as was clearly the case with Springer. If the Astros can get a haul and replenish the farm system, it would be the right move, especially considering Correa's injury history.

But in the long run, it does not bode well for the direction of the team. All recent indications are that the Astros are going cheap.

They would still be a competitive team without Correa, but it would be yet another indication their World Series window has closed. Alex Bregman could slide over to shortstop, but who would play third? And they only have one starting outfielder on the roster as it is. Putting together a competitive lineup around Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez would still be possible, but if the Astros aren't going to spend money, that could be problematic.

The writing was probably on the wall when the team hired James Click as GM from the notoriously frugal Tampa Bay organization. The good news is the Rays have been successful. But this is a new direction for a team that was not afraid to spend big money to make runs at the World Series.

If they lose Correa, they lose a team leader, one of the few players who embraced the villain role in the wake of the cheating controversy and was not afraid to speak out. But he has never lived up to his MVP potential, has battled injuries and will command big dollars on the open market. He is still young enough to become that kind of player, and someone will gamble big money that he will.

Sadly, if this rumor is true, it won't be the Astros.

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