NFL

Texans vs. Chiefs – Game Preview – September 11, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It has been a mere eight months since Patrick Mahomes led Kansas Metropolis from a 24-0 gap to beat Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans within the divisional spherical of the playoffs, a brutally environment-friendly comeback that finally propelled the Chiefs to their first Tremendous Bowl title in 50 years.

A complete lot has modified, although.

The coronavirus pandemic successfully canceled your complete NFL offseason together with all 4 preseason video games. This means their rematch at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night time would be the first recreation for anyone since February. It additionally means the gang at what’s traditionally one of many hardest highway venues within the league can be restricted to about 17,000 followers.

Texans vs. Chiefs
Texans vs. Chiefs

The Texans now not carry star large receiver DeAndre Hopkins or main rusher Carlos Hyde on their roster. Chiefs coach Andy Reid now not carries across the heavy and ignominious tag of greatest coach by no means to win a championship.

“You need to anticipate the sudden,” Mahomes mentioned, “and that is what we’re making an attempt to do. We will have a recreation plan for the whole lot, and I’ll make changes as rapidly as potential so we are able to get off to a quick begin. Hopefully.”

There are many causes for each group to anticipate a very good beginning.

Certain, the Texans’ offense underwent a dramatic makeover with the departure of Hopkins and Hyde, however of their place got here large receivers Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb together with a wholesome David Johnson at working again. And their protection has a wholesome J.J. Watt, one thing they solely loved for about half of their video games final season — and have missed far too typically throughout his excellent profession.

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“We now have a possibility going to the defending Tremendous Bowl champs’ residence stadium proper off the bat and compete with a terrific staff. That is what you need,” mentioned Watson, who signed a four-year, $160 million contract extension final week. “That is the most effective alternative you may have to begin the season.”

That contract extension is the second largest in NFL historical past. The primary: The ten-year extension that Mahomes, the reigning Tremendous Bowl MVP, signed that might finally pay him a couple of half-billion {dollars}.

Good paydays for 2 quarterbacks taken two picks aside within the first spherical of the 2017 draft.

“These two guys are simply nice gamers. Very, very dynamic gamers,” Texans coach Invoice O’Brien mentioned. “It is at all times fascinating how the schedules are made that that is the sport that opens up the season, particularly with what’s gone on. What’s gone on the final six months, it is unprecedented. Now you have got this recreation with these two quarterbacks who’ve carried out a lot early of their careers, its’ a terrific night time for the league and a terrific night time for soccer.”

COVID-19 CONCERNS

The Chiefs are amongst a handful of groups which have been cleared by native and state authorities to have followers for Week 1, however, the quantity was capped at 22% of capability. Those who attend — nearly fully season ticket holders — can be required to put on face coverings each time they’re unable to take care of social distancing.

The final time Reid may bear in mind teaching at the entrance of so few followers was as an assistant at San Francisco State in 1985.

“If we had been taking part in UC Davis, we’d have that. Nevertheless, it’s been some time,” he mentioned. “They’d the final word leap ball simply to get into the stadium, nonetheless, that was picked. So I do know they will be revved up and able to go.”

TITLE TOWN

The Chiefs raised their Tremendous Bowl flag final week after they handed out their rings throughout an on-field ceremony attended by gamers, coaches, and their relations. However, they will do it once more for the gang throughout a pregame ceremony.

The flag will be part of the 1969 championship flag that has flown over Arrowhead Stadium by itself for the previous 5 a long time.

STAND OR KNEEL?

The league plans to play “Elevate Each Voice And Sing,” which is extensively thought of the Black nationwide anthem, together with “The Star-Spangled Banner” earlier than video games this season because it acknowledges social justice initiatives throughout the nation.

Texans vs. Chiefs
Texans vs. Chiefs

Reid and O’Brien each had been requested whether or not their groups plan to kneel Thursday night time. Neither coach disclosed their staff’s plans.

“There will certainly be conversations main as much as the sport,” Watt mentioned, “whether or not it is inside our staff alone or with the Chiefs. Nevertheless, it could be, to guarantee that no matter everyone does, we’re on the identical web page.”

SCOUTING THE TEXANS

Together with some new playmakers on offense, the Texans even have new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver and particular groups coach Tracy Smith. Defensive deal with Ross Blacklock, a second-round choice, was their preliminary choice within the draft whereas ex-Chiefs security Eric Murray is predicted to begin after spending the final season with Cleveland.

“You take a look at the whole lot that they’ve carried out the final season and even years previous that they’ve performed in opposition to us (and) you attempt to formulate a recreation plan,” Mahomes mentioned. “There are going to be only a few alternatives, so whenever you do have them, you want to make sure you execute. I feel that is what you noticed within the playoffs.”

SCOUTING THE CHIEFS

The Chiefs additionally doled out massive contracts to defensive deal with Chris Jones and tight finish Travis Kelce, leaving little money without cost brokers. Their greatest offseason addition was first-round choose Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who will begin at working again.

Kansas Metropolis will play and not using a trio of gamers who opted out proper guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, working again Damien Williams and rookie offensive lineman Lucas Niang. In addition, they will miss cornerback Bashaud Breeland and defensive deal with Mike Pennel, who’s suspended for the beginning of the season. Read more news…

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