The Kansas City Chiefs opened the season with a dominant win over the Houston Texans.
If there were any doubts about the Kansas City Chiefs and their ability to “run it back” as defending Super Bowl champions in 2020, the first step in a long journey should have alleviated those. The team’s dominant 34-20 win over the Houston Texans in their home opener showed they’re as focused and talented as their 2019 postseason run.
From the outset, the Chiefs set the tone early by forcing the Texans to punt on their opening drive. Patrick Mahomes followed that up with a touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson that ended up getting called back, yet even then, the momentum was set early.
Houston managed to put the first seven points of the game on the board with a solid drive featuring new running back David Johnson. From there, however, the Chiefs took complete control by forcing Deshaun Watson into numerous mistakes or forced throws with consistent pressure from the front line—especially from Frank Clark and Chris Jones.
As for the Chiefs offense, Mahomes enjoyed a rather Mahomes-like night with a final line of 24 completions on 32 attempts for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns. Even with an early touchdown called back, Mahomes still found Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins for second quarter scores. A Harrison Butker field goal from 29 years out gave the Chiefs a 17-7 advantage at halftime.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire came out after halftime and capped a successful first half with his first NFL touchdown of 27 yards. His strong, shifty running style was predicted to be a perfect fit with the Chiefs, and that’s exactly how things played out in his first game. Edwards-Helaire was an instant hit in the offense and plenty more will be written about him in the days to come.
Defensively, the Chiefs forced Watson into a pick late in the game after he was hit by Tyrann Mathieu which allowed rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who played a solid game in his pro debut, to intercept the pass. Mahomes capped the ensuing short drive with a toss to Tyreek Hill for his first score of the season.
As for injuries, the Chiefs do have some concerns here, all on defense. Charvarius Ward, the team’s top corner, left the game with a hand injury. Alex Okafor also left with a hamstring injury, and Khalen Saunders went down early with an elbow problem. All three injuries will be updated after the game and in the days ahead.
The Chiefs now have 10 days to rest and prepare for the Los Angeles Chargers, their first road game of the year. The Texans have the same amount of time to prepare for another tough challenge in the Baltimore Ravens.