Bad Night at NRG

Texans lose more than a football game in 42-34 loss to Chiefs: Injuries cripple defense

Texans defense takes significant hits in 42-34 loss to Chiefs

Deshaun Watson against Kansas City
Deshaun Watson had a big game, but the Texans defense lost two key cogs Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Texans lost a game and two of their best players Sunday night.

J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus were lost for the season in a 42-34 loss to Kansas City aired in the prime Sunday Night Football slot on NBC.

The Chiefs' Alex Smith was terrific all night, especially on third downs. They converted 7 of 10 in the first half alone.

Without Watt and Mercilus, the Texans defense was awful, and they had little chance.

Deshaun Watson was amazing once again, with five TD passes. He continues to produce points and yards and is well on his way to becoming a star. But it wasn't enough.

Watson completed just 16 of 31 passes, but threw for the five TDs and ran three times for 31 yards. He was awesome, but the Texans defense was gashed without Watt and Mercilus.

The Texans fell to 2-3 on the season, while the Chiefs are 5-0.

Smith continues to play like an MVP for KC. He was 29 of 37 for 324 yards and three TDs and was at his best on third down.

Now the Texans are left with a below average defense. DC Mike Vrabel's play calling was questionable to begin with, and without Watt and Mercilus, tney are up against it. Watson's emergence can't overcome that.

In a few short weeks, the Texans have gone from a team with an elite defense and anemic offense to having a great offense and no defense.

The good news is they get Cleveland next week and have some time to figure out what to do.

But the Texans lost more than a football game Sunday night. How they respond will define their season.

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The story originally appeared on SportsMap.