The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t skipped a beat since their Super Bowl LIV victory over the San Francisco 49ers earlier this year. In front of a crowd of around 17,000, quarterback Patrick Mahomes led his team to a 34-20 win against the Houston Texans during opening night of the 2020 NFL season.
The final score of Thursday night’s game was not indicative of how dominant the Chiefs were. In fact, the Texans didn’t score their second touchdown until halfway through the fourth quarter. Prior to Deshaun Watson hitting Jordan Akins in the back of the endzone with a 19-yard pass, the Chiefs were leading 31-7.
Mahomes finished the night throwing for 211 yards and three touchdowns, while first-round daft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 138 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Travis Kelce, and wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins each caught touchdown passes for the Chiefs.
”I’m proud of our players but I’m also proud of our fans. They came out there. They were loud,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid. ”Obviously, our players, both sides of the ball and special teams, I thought they were solid. For the first game there were some good things that were done, some great individual performances.”
While the Kansas City Chiefs looked as if they were in mid-season form, the Houston Texas could have used a couple of pre-season games. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the NFL canceled the entire 2020 pre-season. The Chiefs appeared unfazed by the decision. The Texans, however, struggled out of the gate.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 252 yards and only one touchdown. He was under constant pressure from the Chiefs’ front line, which forced the young quarterback to throw an interception.
Running back David Johnson provided the only bright spot for the Texans, running for 77 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for another 32 yards out of the backfield.
‘There’s a lot to fix,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. ”It’s only one game. We have to improve pretty quickly. But it’s only one game. We have to get back to work pretty soon and fix these things.”
The Houston Texans stayed in the locker room for the “Star Spangled Banner,” while the Kansas City Chiefs stood along the sideline prior to kickoff Thursday night.
The Texans also remained in the locker room for Alicia Keys’ performance of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” traditionally known as the Black national anthem. Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor was the lone player that kneeled during the anthems.
After the Chiefs retreated to the locker room after the playing of the anthems, both teams emerged from their respective tunnels just before the start of the game. In a final moment of solidarity, members from both teams linked arms at midfield to participate in a moment of silence for racial equality.