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Alfred Blue: Texans 'got to run the ball' to beat Chiefs


We're hours away from Saturday's wild-card showdown between the Chiefs and Texans, but Houston running back Alfred Blue already knows what his team must do to carve out a win.

"I would say run the ball," Blue told the Houston Chronicle. "We've got to run the ball to win."

It's not a sexy answer, but Blue isn't wrong about a game that fellow Around the NFL writer Chris Wesseling forecast as a "low-scoring slobberknocker."

With Chiefs pass-rusher Justin Houston claiming he'll be "full-go" for Saturday, Texans passer Brian Hoyer is bound to spend plenty of time on the run. The same applies to Kansas City's Alex Smith, who will be pursued all day by quarterback-wreckers J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.

Both of these teams have come this far without the help of their top runners. The Texans lost Arian Foster for the year back in Week 7, while Kansas City has piled up 10-straight wins without the help of Pro Bowl back Jamaal Charles. Blue, Jonathan Grimes, Chris Polk and Akeem Hunt have all contributed to a hot-and-cold Houston run game, while Kansas City finished the year as the NFL's sixth best team on the ground.

Still, pounding the rock won't come easy against two of the hottest defenses in the league. The Chiefs roll into town with the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense since Week 7, while the Texans lead the league in scoring defense, total defense, passing defense, and third-down stoppage since Week 9.

Anything can happen, but logic tells us we're in for a wild-card slugfest that resembles something shot out of a cannon from 1921.


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