Texans' trades raised eyebrows on cut-down day, but they're working

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After running back Carlos Hyde scored on a two-yard run late in the second quarter of the Houston Texans31-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, he looked right into the CBS camera.

“They can’t f---ing stop us,” he yelled.

After the game, Hyde said he got caught up in the moment, but his point remained.

“When the offense is clicking like that, it’s just hard to stop us,” Hyde said. “... So many playmakers on this offense. It’s a beauty.”

Hyde, who ran for 116 yards with a touchdown and a fumble on 26 carries, was traded from the Chiefs to the Texans on cut-down day, one of four trades that have made an impact on Houston this season. On that day, Houston also acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Dolphins.

The Texans’ offense has been up and down this season, but it has had a lot of success in its last two games. In Week 5 against the Falcons, Deshaun Watson threw for five touchdowns. And on Sunday against the Chiefs (4-2), the Texans (4-2) ran for a combined 192 yards and three touchdowns.

“We wanted to establish the running game,” wide receiver Keke Coutee said. “We knew they weren’t as physical, so we knew we could run the ball on them well. So we did.”

Hyde said in this offense, the Texans “just let me be myself” and “play my game.”

“You can’t just focus on me,” Hyde said. “Like I said, there’s so many other guys on this team that’s a threat, that can take over the game at any moment, so the focus is not just on me. So I can just play my game, play free and just be me.”

Watson completed 30 of 42 passes for 280 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with less than seven minutes remaining in the game. In a game in which the Texans ran the ball 41 times, Watson still completed passes to seven receivers, including tight end Darren Fells, who led Houston with six catches for 69 yards. Fells had two touchdown receptions a week earlier against the Falcons.

“I think we’re getting to that point where we’re figuring out what we want to be on offense,” Hyde said. “... I think things are definitely starting to jell. Things are definitely starting to come together.”

And not only did the offensive line have success in the running game, but for the second week in a row, the unit protected Watson. After giving up 18 sacks in the first four weeks, the offensive line has not allowed a sack in the past two, and opposing defenses have combined for three quarterback hits. Houston has found an offensive line combination that's working -- at least in the small sample size of two games -- but will have to make some changes for next week after right tackle Tytus Howard injured his knee in the third quarter. Head coach Bill O’Brien said he hopes Howard will be able to return this season.

Now at 4-2, with a big victory over the Chiefs under their belt, the Texans have shown they can play with -- and beat -- one of the best teams in the AFC. While O’Brien was quick to point out there is still a lot the Texans can work on before they go to Indianapolis next Sunday in a battle for first place in the AFC South, there was no doubt that this felt like a big victory in the locker room, one perhaps they might not have gotten without the additions of Hyde and Tunsil right before the season.

“We definitely should put the league on notice after that one,” Hyde said.