Kansas City Picked Up Where They Left Off

Oh how great it is to finally have football back. Last night marked the return of the NFL. The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs faced off against the now DeAndre Hopkins-less Houston Texans. The game started off with a hope that it might actually be a close contest. Houston jumped out to a quick 7–0 lead. It was all Kansas City after that. The Chiefs went on to win 34–20. KC received strong contributions from its regular stars. Patrick Mahomes finished with 211 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Sammy Watkins all caught a touchdown. It’s perhaps the new guy in Kansas City however, that should cause the rest of the league to worry.

Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn’t waste any time making a name for himself. He finished the game with 138 rushing yards and one touchdown. Edwards-Helaire was also effective with his touches, finishing with 5.5 yards per carry.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire gives the Chiefs even more offensive firepower. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City’s rookie running back provides a new element to an already explosive offense. Last season, the Chiefs finished in the top-six in points per game (5th), passing yards per game (5th), and total yards per game (6th). The team struggled however, when it came to the ground game. The Chiefs finished in the bottom-ten of rushing yards per game last year. Damien Williams, who was great in the Super Bowl win, wasn’t so great during the regular season. He finished with just 498 rushing yards in 11 games played. The addition of Edwards-Helaire now allows Kansas City to not be one-dimensional. The rookie should force defenses to respect the run; thus allowing Patrick Mahomes to have more throwing lanes, and making the Chiefs’ offense that much more lethal.

This spells bad news for the rest of the NFL.

The defending champions may actually be better this season. Their offense speaks for itself, especially after adding Edwards-Helaire. Kansas City is going to put points up at will this season. The Chiefs however, didn’t win a Super Bowl by just scoring a lot of points. They also had a sneaky good defense. Last year, Kansas City allowed the seventh-fewest points per game. They were above average at forcing turnovers as well, finishing with the 13th most takeaways. KC’s defensive unit brings back many of their key contributors this season, including Tyrann Mathieu, Chris Jones, and Frank Clark.

Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce celebrate during the win. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City’s defense last night appeared ready to continue causing issues for opposing teams this season as well. The Chiefs held the Texans to seven points for most of the game. They relaxed some in the fourth quarter, allowing Houston to finish with 20 points. Even still, the Chiefs’ defense was able to make a noticeable impact. They sacked quarterback Deshaun Watson four times and forced an interception. This was even more impressive considering Kansas City is missing starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who is suspended for four games. When Breeland returns, the Chiefs’ defense should only further improve.

I know it’s only one game, but Kansas City showed things that indicate they’re going to be even better this season. Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s addition to an already great offense is scary. Patrick Mahomes healthy for a full season is scary. The Chiefs defense returning multiple key pieces is scary. Yes it’s hard to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Kansas City however, gave a glimpse last night that they’re up for the challenge.

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Jacob Burns

Jacob Burns

University at Buffalo ’20 | BA in Communication | Writer for The Sports Scientist & Kicks N’ Cleats