In the first game of the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t appear to miss a beat as they had their way with the Houston Texans in a 34-20 victory.
After the Chiefs thought they had the first score of the game on their opening drive, Houston came with pressure and forced Kansas City’s rookie punter Tommy Townsend to punt.
The Texans responded to the Chiefs' aggressive opening drive with the first score of the 2020 NFL season with a 19-yard touchdown run from newcomer running back David Johnson. The run gave Houston an early 7-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for the reigning Super Bowl champs to respond with a scoring drive of their own. Kansas City used an 11-play drive capped off with a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to tight end Travis Kelce to knot the game at seven points apiece.
After the Chiefs forced a punt, Kansas City took over on their own 9-yard line. Mahomes and company used 16 plays and 9:04 of game time to go 91 yards to give themselves the 14-7 lead after a second touchdown was taken off of the scoreboard.
Houston attempted to get some points before the break but the Chiefs' defense halted the Texans drive and forced a field goal. Kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn’s 51-yard attempt went wide right with 25 seconds left in the half. Thanks to a couple of penalties from Houston, the Chiefs were able to drive into kicker Harrison Butker’s range before he hit a 29-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
The Chiefs didn’t slow down after intermission. The home team responded with a physically dominating drive that ended in running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s first touchdown of his career. The rookie’s score gave Kansas City a 24-7 lead over Houston.
Kansas City then focused on its running game as they began to run some time off the clock. Injuries on the defensive side of the ball to defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, defensive end Alex Okafor and cornerback Charvarious Ward opened up opportunities for the second-stringers, including rookie Mike Danna.
As the Texans started to put a drive together, a pass rush from safety Tyrann Mathieu forced Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson to throw an interception to cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. The rookie’s interception set up Mahomes’ third touchdown pass of the night.
Watson and Houston didn’t go away lightly though, as he found tight end Jordan Akins for a 19-yard touchdown pass to halt the Chiefs’ 31-point scoring run.
After the Texans' defense forced a three-and-out and Kansas City wasn’t able to take much time off the clock, Houston marched down the field. Watson walked into the endzone with 2:38 left in the game to make the score 31-20.
An onside kick recovery and return by safety Armani Watts set the Chiefs up to ice the game. Butker hit a 19-yard field goal to give the Chiefs their final total.
Mahomes finished the game 24-for-32 with 211 passing yards and three touchdowns. Edwards-Helaire recorded 25 carries for 138 yards in his rookie debut.
Watkins was the leading receiver for the Chiefs as he hauled in seven receptions and 82 yards and a score.
For the Texans, Watson threw for 253 passing yards and one touchdown with an interception.
The Chiefs move to 1-0 on the season as they will now set their sights on the Los Angeles Chargers for LA's home opener on Sept. 20. Houston’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, as they will host the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 20.