NFL begins 2020 season; Chiefs cruise past Texans

NFL+begins+2020+season%3B+Chiefs+cruise+past+Texans

Sam Woloson, Editor in Chief of The Prowler

On Sept. 10, the NFL began its 101st season with a bout between the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans. The defending champs took care of business, winning 34-20 and looking dominant for much of the game. After falling behind 7-0, the Chiefs would rattle off 31 unanswered points, effectively sealing the deal with a little over 11 minutes left in the game. 

Things were different for fans, as Arrowhead Stadium was at just 25% capacity for the game, with fans following social distancing guidelines. What is normally among the NFL’s loudest stadiums was stunningly calm. Prior to the game, Chiefs and Texans players came together to honor the Black Lives Matter movement, unity and equality.

The matchup was a rematch of last year’s divisional-round playoff game. In that game, Houston leaped out to a 24-0 lead before watching it go away in less than 15 minutes and eventually giving up a 51-31 defeat.

In the offseason, Kansas City continued to build a strong roster. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a record-breaking contract that spans ten years and is worth $503 million. This is the largest sports contract in North American sports history and makes the reigning Super Bowl MVP the country’s top-paid athlete. The Chiefs also retained tight-end Travis Kelce and defensive end Chris Jones. In the draft, Kansas City added running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU. Helaire looks to be an immediate contributor as a runner and a pass-catcher and could serve as yet another weapon for the Chiefs offense. 

For Houston, they also resigned their quarterback, Deshaun Watson. While they kept Watson, they did not keep his best receiver, as DeAndre Hopkins was shipped to Arizona in exchange for some draft picks and running back David Johnson. This move was highly ridiculed, with calls for head coach Bill O’Brien to be fired on the spot. The Texans did add receivers in Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, as well as the aforementioned David Johnson and another running back, Duke Johnson. 

Things looked great for the Texans at the start, as they marched down the field and scored a David Johnson rushing touchdown. The offense itself picked up yardage well, with wide receiver Will Fuller enjoying a 100-yard performance. Johnson looked fresh, picking up seven yards per carry. 

On the other side of the ball, it was Clyde Edwards-Helaire who garnered headlines, as he ran for 138 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. His consistent running made life easier for Mahomes, who tossed three touchdowns of his own. The Chiefs looked every bit of the juggernaut they were expected to be.

Texans linebacker Jacob Martin dives at Chief running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on Thursday. Photo from CNN.