The NFL officially started its season and former LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the star of the game. Leading up to the Kansas City Chiefs first matchup of the game, Edwards-Helaire admitted the one area he'd need to adjust quick to was the speed of the game.
“The speed of the NFL is something to be unmatched,” acknowledged Edwards-Helaire on Tuesday. “It’s the National Football League. It’s the highest you could possibly go as far as playing professional football. The speed is going to be as fast as each game will be. Every game, I feel like will be different, but the speed will ultimately be unmatched.”
Safe to say that was mission accomplished. On Thursday against the Houston Texans, Edwards-Helaire rushed for a game high 138 yards on 25 carries, highlighted by a 27-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
The 138 yards were the most rushing yards a rookie running back has ever had in a debut for a defending Super Bowl champion. He was also just the 10th rookie running back in NFL history to run for 100+ yards in his professional debut.
After the game, Edwards-Helaire admitted to a lot of emotions on the first snap of the game but settled down after his first carry. With a big debut in the books, it’s on to the film room to see what he must do to improve.
“I’m going to go home, look at the film, literally go through every play, write some things down and other than that, prepare for next weekend,” Edwards-Helaire said.
It's the kind of performance that many thought could occur, particularly after his only competition in the backfield, Damien Williams, elected to opt out of the 2020 season. His burst, power and elusiveness that made him a household name for last year's LSU team that were all on full display.
“I thought the offensive line did a great job of giving him holes to run through, and he hit it every single time,” Mahomes said. “He’s going to keep getting better. It’s another weapon that I kind of have in this offense.
There's no denying that he'll continue to be a vital part of this Chiefs offense but it will be nice to see him utilized more in the passing game as the season progresses. He proved to be dynamic out of the backfield for the purple and gold and would unlock another element to the Chiefs offense if he was able to haul in four or five receptions a contest.