Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire runs for 138 yards and a touchdown on his NFL debut.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns, rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire racked up 138 yards and another score, and the Kansas City Chiefs began the defense of their first championship in 50 years by beating the Houston Texans 34-20 in Thursday night’s NFL season opener.
Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill each caught touchdown passes for the Chiefs. Texans QB Deshaun Watson threw a TD and ran in for another score in the fourth quarter but, by then it was too little, too late after the Texans found themselves in a 31-7 shaped hole.
David Johnson provided the biggest bright spot for Houston, running for 77 yards and a touchdown on their opening drive that gave the visitors a first-quarter lead in front of a socially-distanced crowd of about 17,000 at Arrowhead Stadium.
|Texans 7-0 Chiefs||David Johnson 19-yard rushing TD (extra point)|
|Texans 7-7 Chiefs||Patrick Mahomes six-yard TD pass to Travis Kelce (extra point)|
|Texans 7-14 Chiefs||Patrick Mahomes two-yard TD pass to Sammy Watkins (extra point)|
|Texans 7-17 Chiefs||Harrison Butker 29-yard field goal|
|Texans 7-24 Chiefs||Clyde Edwards-Helaire 27-yard TD run (extra point)|
|Texans 7-31 Chiefs||Patrick Mahomes three-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hill (extra point)|
|Texans 13-31 Chiefs||Deshaun Watson 19-yard TD pass to Jordan Atkins (failed two-point)|
|Texans 20-31 Chiefs||Deshaun Watson one-yard TD run (extra point)|
|Texans 20-34 Chiefs||Harrison Butker 19-yard field goal|
The Texans, who blew a 24-point lead against Kansas City in the the playoffs, struck first when they marched 80 yards for a touchdown, finished off with the elusive Johnson scampering 19 yards to the end zone.
The Chiefs had seemingly scored a touchdown on their opening series, but it was called back when officials determined Demarcus Robinson failed to control Mahomes’ 36-yard pass in the end zone. They had another overturned when Watkins was shown to come up just shy of the goal line in the second quarter, though he would find the end zone two plays later as, just like that playoff encounter back in January, the Chiefs quickly overcame their slow start.
They tied the game when Mahomes threw a short touchdown pass to Kelce, then took the lead with Watkins’ score. Harrison Butker capped the first half by kicking a chip-shot field goal that sent the Chiefs to the locker room with a 17-7 lead.
Edwards-Helaire, their first-round draft pick, added to that lead early in the third quarter, with the pint-sized dynamo out of LSU unleashing a wicked stutter-step as he broke free and into the end zone from 27 yards out.
The Chiefs put the game away when rookie L’Darius Sneed picked off Watson’s jump ball in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Mahomes was bailed out of an interception of his own by some pass interference in the end zone, before finding Hill for his third TD and a 31-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Watson threw a touchdown pass and ran in for another later in the quarter to make the final score a bit more respectable, but Kansas City comfortably hung on for a winning start to the season.