Houston, TX – A connection from Deshaun Watson to Carlos Hyde helped sealed the Texans Wild Card win, 22-19, against the Buffalo Bills last week.
And after moving around the NFL, the Texans running back wants a victory against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday more than anyone.
“These times don’t come around often, so you have to cherish it,” Hyde said on the Texans making it the AFC Divisional playoff game.
Here are 5 reasons Hyde could come up big in Arrowhead Stadium.
1. Hyde came to the Texans from Kansas City
Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien faced Hyde when Hyde was in college at Ohio State, and O’Brien was the head coach at Penn State. When the Chiefs approached the Texans for a trade, O’Brien knew Hyde would be a quality addition to their roster. Though Hyde’s time with the Chiefs was short, he knows their playbook which is always helpful. Hyde was quiet when asked about the team. He said they are “just the next guys on our list.”
2. The Chief’s terrible rushing defense
During the regular season, the Chiefs had the seventh-worst rushing defense, giving up an average of 128 yards per game. This gives Hyde ample opportunity to make an impact, though Hyde expects the Chiefs to amp up their coverage.
“It’s different, it’s playoffs,” Hyde said. “I’m sure teams want to go a little harder now."
3. Hyde’s Unmmated Determination
Hyde wants this as much, if not more, than his teammates. In his lengthy career, which includes stints with the 49ers, Chiefs, Browns, and Jaguars, this is the furthest he has ever been in the playoffs. The Texans are in a similar position, as a win would make history for the franchise.
“It’s crazy, and I think about it all the time," he said. “I told my family I’m just in awe that I’m still playing football in January. Five years, for me, I’ve been at home in January.”
4. Hyde showed out in the regular season matchup with the Chiefs
Hyde played well against the Chiefs during the regular season. When the Texans met the Chiefs in Week 6, Hyde rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown. The Texans have made clear they know this is a better Chiefs team. A fully healthy Patrick Mahomes, the Chief’s quarterback, could make for a shootout between Watson and Mahomes. However, Hyde being at his best would give the Texans a better chance at the historic victory.
“It’s different now,” Hyde said Thursday about the now-healthy Chiefs roster. Hyde also said he feels the playoff environment makes for different teams. “A chance to go to the Super Bowl... that’s why I feel it would be different.”
5. Watson trusts Hyde
It may sound cliche, but Watson and Hyde had a moment during the game against the Bills. Before that epic touchdown for the game lead, Hyde had a fumble, which made the running back feel discouraged.
“(Hyde) just lost a little bit of focus on the ball and dropped it, and I knew he was frustrated,” said Watson. “Before I even got the play call out, I told him, ‘Yo, it’s over with, I’m coming to you right now. So, refocus and get ready to score.' Then I called the play and right before I even faked it, I called his name. I tossed it to him and he got it in, and did what he had to do.”
And if Watson trusts you in big moments? You’re probably going to get the ball.