HOUSTON –– Alex Smith passed for 324 yards and three touchdowns and engineered a decisive touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter in the Kansas City Chiefs‘ 42-34 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday night at NRG Stadium.
Smith authored a critical response after Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson completed his second second-half touchdown pass to wide receiver Will Fuller, a 48-yard strike with 12:00 remaining that cut the deficit to 26-20.
Smith then led a six-play, 70-yard march that required just 3:03 to complete. His 10-yard pass to De’Anthony Thomas extended the lead to 32-20.
Receiver/return specialist Tyreek Hill ensured that the Chiefs (5-0) would remain as the lone unbeaten team in the NFL when he returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown with 7:22 left.
The Texans (2-3) not only dropped the game, they lost three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt to a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg in the first quarter. According to reports, Watt will undergo season-ending surgery. He played three games last year before undergoing back surgery that kept him out the rest of the season.
Watson completed 16-of-31 attempts for 261 yards and five touchdowns. DeAndre Hopkins caught three scoring passes for Houston.
The Chiefs amassed 450 yards. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 107 yards.
Smith produced a breathtaking display for the Chiefs before intermission, with Kansas City converting 7 of 10 third downs en route to scoring on all five of its first-half possessions.
With the Texans keying on Hunt, Smith passed for 207 yards and two touchdowns in the half.
Tight end Travis Kelce was Smith’s primary beneficiary, turning 11 targets into eight receptions for 98 yards.
However, Smith completed both of his scoring tosses to running back Charcandrick West, covering eight yards on the third possession for a 13-0 lead with 5:45 remaining in the second quarter before capping a seven-play, 75-yard march in just 75 seconds with a 4-yarder with 34 seconds left in the half.
That drive answered the Texans’ lone sustained march that concluded with Watson finding Hopkins for a 6-yard strike in the back of the end zone. Houston possessed the ball for just over eight minutes in the half.
NOTES: Texans LB Whitney Mercilus (chest) and DE J.J. Watt (leg) were lost to injuries on the first defensive series. There is preliminary belief that both could be sidelined for the rest of the season. Watt in particular drew concerns when he was carted off the field and taken via ambulance to a local hospital. Watt played just three games last season before undergoing back surgery. … Chiefs RG Cam Erving, acquired from the Cleveland Browns at the close of training camp, got the start in place of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (knee). Erving, a first-round pick of the Browns in 2015, started 17 games in Cleveland in two seasons, including 13 in 2016. … Chiefs S Steven Terrell was knocked out of the game with a concussion on the opening kickoff.