The Kansas City Chiefs opened their Super Bowl defending with a bang, blowing out the Texans 34-20 and the final score was much more generous to the Texans than what they deserved.
Seven months ago, we saw the Kansas City Chiefs win their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. It was hard to imagine the reigning Super Bowl champions somehow being even better than they were a season ago, but if the Chiefs’ season opener is any indication, we’re looking at that being the case in 2020.
The Chiefs finished the 2019 season ranked 5th in total offense and that was mostly a a result of their air raid attack. Their run game was 23rd in the league and it showed on a weekly basis (for the most part).
Shoring up that run game was key this offseason and the Chiefs did just that by drafting LSU product Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the 32nd overall pick. As we saw on Thursday night, Edwards-Helaire now gives the Chiefs exactly what they were missing in the 2019 season – a season that saw them go all the way and win the Lombardi Trophy.
Trey Wingo won the tweet of the night during the game on Thursday, as what he said rang true after seeing the Chiefs now possess a run game as well as a lethal passing attack. It truly is a case of pick your poison when playing the defending Super Bowl champions.
The Chief were able to blow out their opponent without Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill having a big game. If that had happened in seasons past, the Chiefs either barely squeak by or even lose the game, so this is yet another aspect that makes them even scarier moving forward.
Defensively, the Chiefs remained strong despite a sluggish start (which was to be expected with no preseason games taking place), really holding the Texans to just a touchdown (the other 2 touchdowns came in garbage time and the defense was mostly trying not to get injured).
Kansas City finished 7h in total defense last season, which was something fans didn’t think could happen after how bad they had been in 2018. The defense only lost 2 starters from a season ago, but they also have 2 key players suspended to start the season, so many expected there to be rust, but honestly there really wasn’t.
Frank Clark and Chris Jones were smothering Deshaun Watson all night long, as the Texans signal caller was sacked 4 times with Jones getting 1.5 of those sacks. L’Jarius Sneed had his work cut out for him, as he was thrown into the deep end of the pool at cornerback and he delivered, denying Watson big plays and picking him off in the 4th quarter to really put a bow on this game.
While there are still 15 regular season games to go and a lot can happen between now and when the playoffs start to take shape, the KC Chiefs showed that they could improve from their Super Bowl winning campaign. They did that by continuing to upgrade defensively and adding a terrifying weapon in Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Not only are the Chiefs still lethal when it comes to passing the ball, but now teams have to worry about slowing down their run game. The offenses also have to figure out how they’re going to score against this defense too, adding another complicated factor to trying to beat the reigning champs.
I haven’t even mentioned the offensive line, which played lights out on Thursday. They allowed just one sack on Patrick Mahomes and created holes for Edwards-Helaire to run through and make those big plays. Kelechi Osemele might very well have made the difference, as left guard has been a revolving door for this franchise.
If the offensive line plays like this every week, they’ll be on their way to being one of the best units in the entire league.
The Texans experienced first hand how tough the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are, but the other 30 NFL teams were watching and they probably weren’t loving what was unfolding at Arrowhead Stadium.