The defense has sprung further leaks because of injuries, but Dallas is sharing in that misery. This playoff rematch should resemble the playoff scoring outburst we saw in January, only with the Packers being more explosive this time with Jordy Nelson. Dak Prescott again will play well to keep up, but he can’t make up for the issues on other side of the ball.
Both teams can thank rookie first-round QBs for their good starts. The Chiefs are undefeated because Alex Smith is dealing at a whole new level, pushed by Patrick Mahomes. The Texans finally have a legitimate athletic passer of their own in Deshaun Watson. It should be a fast-paced game full of big plays, so it comes down which team has the trusted pass rush to take advantage of the other’s shoddy pass protection. Advantage J.J Watt and Jadeveon Clowney over Justin Houston.
What has gone right: By winning their first three games, the Falcons have so far avoided the hangover that frequently affects the Super Bowl loser from the previous season. Devonta Freeman is justifying the contract that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid running back, extending his league-best streak of scoring at least one rushing touchdown to eight games dating to the 2016 postseason.
What has gone wrong: Injuries have hit the Falcons early with wide receivers Julio Jones (hip) and Mo Sanu (hamstring) forced out of last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo. Outside linebacker Vic Beasley (the NFL’s reigning sack leader), safety Ricardo Allen and right tackle Ryan Schraeder were all out against the Bills, as well.
What’s next: The Week 5 bye comes at a good time for a roster that needs to heal with a three-game road stretch coming that includes games at New England (Oct. 22) and Carolina (Nov. 5).