The Chiefs did not must erase a 24-point deficit once more to dispatch the Texans within the NFL’s 2020 season-opener Thursday evening. Kansas Metropolis did spot Houston seven factors at residence, nevertheless it nonetheless simply gained the divisional playoff rematch, pulling away for a 34-20 rout.
Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Tremendous Bowl 54 champions appeared each bit just like the heavy Tremendous Bowl 55 favorites. After a sluggish begin, Mahomes and the Chiefs did no matter they wished on offense to mild up the scoreboard and dominate time of possession.
It is just one sport, however we discovered loads about the place the Chiefs and Texans is perhaps headed within the 2020 season. Listed below are the 4 most essential takeaways from the consequence:
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Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the proper operating again for Mahomes
When the Chiefs plucked Edwards-Helaire, who was contemporary off his personal championship run with LSU, within the first spherical of the 2020 NFL Draft, it was seen as a luxurious choose. That choose rapidly turned a necessity when unsung Tremendous Bowl hero Damien Williams opted out due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Edwards-Helaire was explosive as marketed in his NFL debut. A prolific pass-catcher at LSU, his receiving position could also be restricted at first as a result of Mahomes has loads of different established weapons and the crew trusts backup Darrel Williams extra in third-down cross safety.
It did not matter that Edwards-Helaire wasn’t certainly one of six Chiefs who caught Mahomes passes in opposition to the Texans. He did a lot as a runner, busting by way of and round defenders for 138 yards on 25 carries, together with a 27-yard scoring burst. The Chiefs rushed for 166 yards as a crew.
The Chiefs additionally needed to substitute guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out to reply a better calling and work on the entrance traces as a health care provider in his native Canada. They have been lucky that two-time Professional Bowler Kelechi Osemele was obtainable.
Osemele had a monstrous Chiefs debut opening up holes for Edwards-Helaire and Williams from his left guard spot. Andrew Wylie shifted to interchange Duvernay-Tardif on the appropriate aspect. Between Osemele’s added energy and Edwards-Helaire’s improve in velocity and quickness, the Chiefs are simply as harmful on the bottom as they’re within the air with Mahomes.
Sooner or later, Edwards-Helaire will catch passes from Mahomes and have an enormous receiving sport. However nonetheless he touches the ball, he makes the Chiefs’ offense by some means much more balanced, explosive and downright harmful.
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The Texans’ protection is unhealthy and J.J. Watt cannot do a lot to alter that anymore
Houston overachieved early below new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver, however then the wheels got here off as anticipated, with Watt, the three-time NFL Defensive Participant of the Yr, having little affect with restricted assist up entrance and a struggling secondary behind him. Cornerback Bradley Roby and inside linebacker Bernardrick McKinney are additionally good gamers, however there was means an excessive amount of for Mahomes, Edwards-Helaire, Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy to use.
The Texans could not put collectively an efficient cross rush. After they went into bend-but-don’t-break mode, defending in opposition to being burned by the deep ball to broad receiver Tyreek Hill, Mahomes picked them aside with plenty of tight finish Travis Kelce and No. 2 wideout Sammy Watkins beneath, or he merely handed off to Edwards-Helaire or Willams in opposition to softened fronts.
Houston has had some traditionally unhealthy defenses throughout its time within the NFL. The 2020 unit is sure to rank proper down there.
The Texans might be taking a look at Zero-Four and trigger Invoice O’Brien extra issues
The Texans will host the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens subsequent week after which end up the primary month of the season in opposition to the Ben Roethlisberger-armed Steelers and the Dalvin Prepare dinner-powered Vikings.
Jackson, Roethlisberger and Prepare dinner ought to see their groups have loads of offensive success in opposition to the Texans. All three golf equipment are loaded with good dashing assaults and expert downfield receivers, and they’re going to current personnel challenges that differ from those the Chiefs posed.
The Texans have gained two consecutive AFC South titles and the remainder of the division might want to play the Ravens, Steelers and Vikings, too. However they’re the one ones who need to face these groups in a stack after a tricky loss to the Chiefs.
O’Brien has gotten extra warmth as common supervisor for buying and selling away broad receiver DeAndre Hopkins within the offseason, however after blowing that large result in the Chiefs within the playoffs and the potential for a horrible follow-up begin, O’Brien could quickly begin to really feel hotter than anticipated below his teaching seat.
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The Texans appear to be they at the least will get one of the best of David Johnson
The Texans did miss Hopkins, even with new No. 1 broad receiver Will Fuller catching eight of 10 targets for 112 yards. Brandin Cooks, banged up with a quad harm, did little in his Houston debut, as did new veteran slot man Randall Cobb.
On the intense aspect, the Texans noticed the Johnson who was a backfield famous person early in his profession with Arizona. The participant acquired from the Cardinals for Hopkins rushed 11 instances for 77 yards, together with a 19-yard TD, and confirmed off his wideout hybrid abilities with three catches for 32 yards on 4 targets.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson is adjusting to the offense now not operating by way of Hopkins and his quick, intermediate and deep routes, however the Texans have to be extra run-oriented with Johnson to maneuver the ball higher and attempt as exhausting as they will to restrict their protection’s publicity. Sadly for them, the Chiefs flipped the script, staying on the sphere for nearly 35 of the 60 minutes.
The Chiefs can win with Mahomes dropping again typically. However they will additionally win with him throwing for under 211 yards, like he did on Thursday, due to the operating sport and protection. The Texans want an excessive amount of from Watson’s arm and legs to win video games and that will not change all season.