What Super Bowl Hangover?
The AFC West – along with rest of the NFL – cannot have been happy with what it saw from the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
The defending champions were back like they never left in the NFL season opener, earning a convincing 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans.
Here are the key takeaways from Thursday's Kansas City victory.
1. A rich offense gets richer
That's it. That's the sentence.
It's silly to think that the Chiefs' offense could get any better, but apparently, it has.
Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a debut for the ages, rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries in his first NFL start, becoming the youngest player in NFL history to eclipse 130 rushing yards and score a TD in his debut.
The rookie out of LSU was selected by Kansas City with the last pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, after rushing for 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns during his junior year in college.
2. Pat Mahomes is still Pat Mahomes
The reigning Super Bowl MVP picked up where he left off, completing nearly 72% of his passes on Thursday night. He's connected on at least 61% of his passes in Kansas City's past eight games dating back to last season, and in those games, the Chiefs are 8-0.
In addition, Kansas City is 10-2 in the past 12 games in which Mahomes has not thrown an intercepton.
Mahomes' counterpart Deshaun Watson had a decent night as well, a few days removed from his huge contract extension. He completed 20-of-32 passes for 253 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
However, his most memorable highlight of the night featured his pal Mahomes.
3. Powerful pregame
Each team had a plan in place to bring attention to social justice issues in America prior to the game.
Almost all of the Kansas City players and coaches stood with locked arms during the national anthem and "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
The Houston Texans stayed in the locker room during the performance of both songs.
In addition, after the songs, the two teams met at centerfield and locked arms in a moment of unity, which drew boos from some Kansas City fans.