The Kansas City Chiefs played as if no time had passed between Super Bowl LIV and Thursday night’s game, steamrolling the Texans by a score of 34 to 20.
A sluggish start was to be expected in the NFL season opener, as no preseason games were played this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Houston Texans were the first to put points on the board, it didn’t take long for the Kansas City Chiefs to shake off the rust and get back to their 2019 form.
They went on to score 31 unanswered points and did so in all different facets of the game. Patrick Mahomes did what he does, tossing three touchdowns on the evening. Sammy Watkins had a monster game, as he did in last year’s opener as well, grabbing seven receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill each had a touchdown as well.
The Chiefs also had a new weapon by the name of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who now gives the reigning Super Bowl champions a legitimate rushing attack. The first round rookie rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut and opponents are now even more terrified of facing this Chiefs offense because they addressed their biggest weakness on offense last year.
The offensive line gelled well, in particular Kelechi Osemele stepping in and looking like the All-Pro guard he was with Oakland for a number of years. The Chiefs got him for cheap this offseason and he was a brick wall in this game, not letting anyone come close to Mahomes, who was only sacked once.
The defense started off a bit rusty, but got it together as the game went on, allowing just one touchdown in non-garbage time while sacking Deshaun Watson four times and picking him off once. Frank Clark was after Watson all night long and notched a sack while Chris Jones had 1.5 sacks on the Texans quarterback.
Fourth round rookie L’Jarius Sneed impressed greatly in the second cornerback spot and had the team’s first interception of the year. Watson went after Sneed a lot and was denied time and time again. It was a very good showing for Sneed.
There were some injuries in this game, as Alex Okafor, Khalen Saunders, and Charvarius Ward all had to leave the game and didn’t return. Ward was the biggest loss, as that meant a depth-less position was left even thinner, but the secondary played well even after Ward was pulled from the action.
Aside from the fans booing during the moment of unity (very disappointing and a bad look from the fans) and the sloppy defense to start the game, there was very little to be upset about in this one. The final score made the game look a lot closer than it actually was, but it was 31-7 at one point and then the Texans piled on the garbage time yards and points.
The defending Super Bowl champions didn’t even look like they took time off between the Super Bowl and this game and somehow, they’ve gotten better. That’s scary for the other 31 teams in the league.
The Kansas City Chiefs are 1-0 during the Run It Back tour.