The Kansas City Chiefs opened up their title defense on Thursday night in style by bludgeoning the Houston Texans, 34-20.
And the game wasn’t even that close. After the Texans started off the scoring with a touchdown run by David Johnson, the Kansas City Chiefs countered with 31 unanswered points. By the time Houston found the end zone again, the game was all but over.
Let’s start with the positive. Here are my 10 likes from the game.
1. The Clyde Edwards-Helaire Show
In the last draft, the Chiefs used the No. 32 overall selection on Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a running back out of LSU. When Damien Williams opted out of the season, it looked like the rookie would immediately get a chance to shine.
And shine he did.
He finished his first professional game with 138 rushing yards on 25 carries, good for a smooth 5.5 yards-per-rush average. He also scored once on a 27-yard scamper to put the Chiefs up 24-7.
Lest we forget about the other Chiefs rookie who had a more-than-solid debut, here’s a shout-out to the team’s fourth round pick out of Louisana Tech, L’Jarius Sneed, who finished with three tackles, two passes defended, and one interception that he returned for 38 yards. The Texans challenged him all evening, and he stood up to the task in a big way.
Who were these Chiefs? Where was the long ball? Patrick Mahomes’ longest completed pass of the night went for 19 yards. And the Chiefs still put up 34 points?
Hey, I’m fine with it. I loved it. The Chiefs used their “12” personnel quite a bit against Houston, with two tight ends on the field, and it worked out very well as the team combined for rush for 166 yards on 34 carries, which is just under 5 yards-per-carry.
A third Chiefs player who had a great team debut was left guard Kelechi Osemele, who mad some key blocks to enable to the Kansas City ground game to get, and keep, going.
4. The Return of the Week 1 Hero
Sammy Watkins in Week 1 in 2019: Nine receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns.
Sammy Watkins the rest of 2019: 43 receptions for 475 yards and zero touchdowns.
Sammy Watkins in Week 1 in 2020: Seven receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown.
Let’s hope Sammy has a better rest of 2020 than he did in 2019. (Though he did have an excellent postseason with 25 receptions, 487 yards, and one touchdown.)
5. Clockwork Red
Chiefs won the time-of-possession battle, 34:47 to 25:13.