Updated: Saturday, September 25, 2004 8:40 AM EDT
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Houston (0-2) at Kansas City (0-2) Sunday, 1:00 pm EDT
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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Dick Vermeil was leading the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl the last time the Kansas City Chiefs lost their first three games.

The Chiefs look to avoid starting 0-3 for the first time since 1980 on Sunday when they host the Houston Texans .

Kansas City lost its first four games in 1980 under coach Marv Levy, who later guided the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s. In 1980, Vermeil led the Eagles to their only Super Bowl appearance in club history.

Now in his fourth season in Kansas City, Vermeil had Super Bowl aspirations at the start of this season. After all, the Chiefs went 13-3 last season before losing in the divisional round of the playoffs.

But after failing to make any major additions on an already suspect defense, Vermeil has watched that unit stumble badly in the first two games.

In losses to Denver and Carolina, the Chiefs have surrendered 62 points, 771 total yards - including 350 on the ground - and 47 first downs.

Priest Holmes rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown in last week's 28-17 loss to Carolina before spraining his ankle in the second half. His status for Sunday is uncertain Holmes has rushed for four TDs in the first two games.

The Chiefs' beleaguered defense should receive another test from versatile running back Domanick Davis , who has 165 yards rushing and 165 receiving in the first two games. But he also has lost four fumbles.

Houston fell to 0-2 for the first time in club history following last week's 28-16 loss at Detroit. David Carr completed 23-of-34 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.

It also has been a struggle defensively for the Texans, who have allowed 55 points in their first two games.

Holmes rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns and Dante Hall returned a punt for a TD as the Chiefs rolled to a 42-14 rout at Houston last season. Holmes and Hall both have Texas roots.

Series: Kansas City, 1-0

Matchup to watch: Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson , who had three catches for 86 yards against the Lions, vs. right cornerback Dexter McCleon .

Next week: Houston hosts Oakland, October 3 Kansas City at Baltimore, October 4


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