The Kansas City Chiefs took care of business against the Texans on the opening day of the NFL. Here are the winners and losers from Thursday night.
Finally, professional football is back, and what a way to kick off the 2020 season with the defending champs revealing their championship banner and taking up where they left off… winning.
The Chiefs started off slow, but Kansas City looked ten times more prepared to play football at Arrowhead than their opponent as they basically cruised to a 34-20 victory.
There were plenty of winners and losers on Thursday night, so let’s get right to it.
Football fans across the world
It seemed as though the 2020 season would never make it here. In perspective, what the country and the world has gone through makes whether or not we play professional sports pale in comparison.
What Thursday night brought was a chance for the world to come together, at a safe distance, and lose ourselves in the game we all love.
The neutrality of the pregame festivities was something each and every sports fan can appreciate. Nobody was sure as to what to expect as far as how the two teams were going to handle their own spin on the protests going on in the country. While the Texans remained in the locker room, the Chiefs almost unanimously stood in unity.
This move by both teams sent a very clear, yet very down-the-middle message. “We hear you, all of you”. No matter where you stand as far as protests and kneeling, this should have impressed those on every side, watching from every angle.
The pandemic put the whole world in a tailspin. With nowhere to go, and nothing to do, the absence of sports did not help soothe the situation. Sports at any level has always been a crutch for folks to unwind, lose themselves, and gives them something to look forward to. The Chiefs and Texans just answered that call. For the first time since March, things feel more like they did before 2020 than ever before.
The Fresh Prince of Helaire
Clyde Edwards-Helaire did not disappoint. The hype behind the Chiefs rookie was powerful leading up to Thursday night ever since Kansas City drafted him, even going in the first round of fantasy drafts across the globe.
Texans can’t tackle Clyde Edwards-Helaire 😱
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 11, 2020
It took a few runs to get him going, but what Chiefs fans witnessed was a football team that looked more dangerous than last season. My condolences to the rest of the NFL.
Clyde finished with 138 yards on 25 carries including a 27-yard scamper to the endzone that would make any fan of football proud.
The hype was real, there was no fake news to be had. It sure appears that Clyde is going to be a monster for opposing defenses to handle.
Chiefs Rookies and new additions
Edwards-Helaire wasn’t the only new face to make an impact. L’Jarius Sneed had an extremely good game, with two pass deflections and a 39-yard interception return in his pro debut. With Breeland suspended and Charvatious Ward injured early on, Sneed was a difference maker.
Raider transfer Kelechi Osemele was almost perfect at the left guard spot. Creating running lanes on the regular. His presence on opening day shoots him toward the front as far as offseason acquisitions go.
Chiefs fans miss Dustin Colquitt, but the new guy in town looks to be the man for years to come. Tommy Townsend had 3 punts for 136 yards, pinning the Texans back inside their own five-yard line once and almost doing it again.
The stat sheet was filled with nonhousehold names like rookie defensive lineman Mike Danna who had 3 quiet tackles and Dorain Daniel, who isn’t new to the team, but his production sure was. DD finished with 4 tackles, including a sack.
Others receiving votes
Patrick Mahomes has taken 2020 by the horns and wrestled it to the ground. Nobody has had a better year than he. Super Bowl champ, Super Bowl MVP, newly engaged to the future First Lady of Arrowhead, Brittany Matthews, a contract worth all of the money in existence, and some nice jewelry to go along with it all. Mahomet finished with a modest 211 yards but added three touchdown passes.
Sammy Watkins had the best game of all the receivers. He had 7 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. With Hill and Kelce having nice, but not dominant games, Watkins was on point to come through with some really nice grabs.
The rest of the NFL
Somewhere sandwiched between the first and final quarters, the Kansas City Chiefs looked like a well-oiled machine.
The run game couldn’t be stopped. Patrick Mahomes was efficient and effective without any signature Mahomes magic, in my opinion.
The defense looked stellar, as in much improved. There is no question as to what the Texans can do offensively, and the defense took their punches in stride. Watson ran for his life for much of the game. Backups in both corner spots handled their own.
Their were multiple times as the game continued where I had to pause the game, and ask myself if this team could really be as good as it appeared. What are teams to do when all aspects of the game are firing on all cylinders?
Time of possession was another win for the Chiefs, unlike their regular season battle against Houston in 2019. This time around, the Chiefs held the ball for almost 10 minutes longer than Houston, controlling the game. The Chiefs looked disciplined with only 5 penalty yards accrued and looked like they were able to pretty much do whatever they wanted for two quarters.
Robinson had a quiet game. It could have been a game as loud as his performance against the Raiders last season.
A gorgeous throw and catch in the endzone was initially ruled a touchdown but was overturned on the review as Robinson couldn’t maintain control of the ball. On the next drive, Robinson had a diving catch for what would have been his second touchdown of the night, but that too slipped through his fingers.
Demarcus still hauled in 3 catches for 20 yards on the night. If he has a hard time sleeping tonight, it will be because of those missed opportunities.
Andy Reids face shield
Poor Andy Reid had the look of bewilderment on his face a few times. Not due to confusion, but to the fact he couldn’t see four inches in front of him.
Andy Reid watching that last touchdown pic.twitter.com/4CYaAdexTf
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 11, 2020
A combination of spitting rain and the midwest humidity fogged up his facemask early on. If only there was a product to eliminate fog and water from a clear surface.
Fair to say that the next game that includes mother nature for the Chiefs. will have coach Reid donning a different form of protection.
Others receiving votes
Willie Gay finished with just one tackle on the night, which is a far cry from the offseason practices, where he looked dominant and unstoppable.
Mecole Hardman was a major force in the Chiefs offense last season. He will be a force this season as well, but his one catch for 6 yards is underwhelming.
The home crowd of around 16,000 made some headlines after their public display of disparity when the team’s united during the pregame festivities. Boos were well heard on the telecast. Apparently, the movement isn’t as popular as Twitter and the media make it out to be. Still, if the players wanted to send a message, they did exactly that. The fans did so as well.