KC 34 Texans 20

It's good to have ball back.

Jim Rome
September 11, 2020 - 9:47 am
Kansas City Chiefs

USA Today

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The NFL was back last night and it was so good to have it back. In a world where it feels like just about everything has changed, it’s nice to know that there are still a few constants – like Houston going to Kansas City and giving up bunches of points, punting at strange times, and completely getting outclassed by KC. The Texans. Same as they ever were. And probably always will be. 

Last night was our first look at the NFL this season and the NFL in a pandemic and there were some pretty Good looks and some pretty bad looks.

I hate to start with one of the bad looks, but Kansas City fans, you want to explain what the hell you were doing booing the two teams coming together in a show of unity?  Actually, I already know the answer. I just don’t want it to be true. Bad look. Bad form.  Bad idea. 

While that was a bad look, Andy Reid’s face shield was a good look. Correction:  it was a great look. No… it was the best look. And no, he was not wearing a buffet sneeze guard on his face. Knock it off. My guy looked like Iron Man with when he had that face shield flipped up. But after the game, he promised that it would be better next time around.

Nothing to fix or update or correct for the next game, Andy. You can just strap that contraption back on the hat, roll back out there, and keep on slayin’ ‘em. The only one you improve upon that face visor is if you black it out completely like Ladainian Tomlinson: imagine how bad ass that would be! Would be the best look ever. 

It was also a chance to see the new look Houston offense and to see what that downgraded offense looked like without DeAndre Hopkins and with David Johnson looked like. I have seen anything or one anyone get that downgraded since that flight attendant delivered the unfortunate news to me that I was first on the downgraded list.  But then, David Johnson does this in the first quarter:

His first touchdown as a Texan and the first touchdown of the season. And in that moment, all the Bill O’Brien defenders looking to crack back on everyone who bashed the David Johnson trade came flying in.

Look, I have nothing against David Johnson. I’ve always liked him. The conversations I’ve had with him on this show have been great. And that was a nice touchdown run, but don’t tell me that wasn’t a horrible trade. Or that we need to give it more time to know.  Get outa here with that. It was a horrible trade at the time it was made. As good a good a dude and as good a run as that was, it was still a horrible trade when Johnson scored; and it’s a horrible trade right now. Stop it. How did that offense look to you overall? Did it look better than it did last year?

In fact, overall, how did Houston look to you? I know it’s just one game, but they looked really similar to last year’s team to me. Only worse. In the playoffs, they showed up in Kansas City, jumped out to a lead, and then got hammered. Last night, they jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then promptly gave up 31 straight points. 

That’s so bad, it’s great. So terrible, it’s incredible. You would think an offense with Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller, and some of the other weapons might be able to stumble their way into a field goal or something to break up a 31-0 run. Or you’d think the defense would be able to get off the field once or twice until the offense could get rolling.  But they couldn’t.

When that game mattered, they lost 31-7 and a couple of garbage time touchdowns doesn’t change that. Although it did make all us of some jack who had the over, so thanks for not quitting: credit for that. Just don’t act like you didn’t need and didn’t miss DeAndre Hopkins. And that Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks would just make everyone forget Hopkins; because they didn’t: not when they combined for four receptions and 43 yards. 

And yet somehow, that wasn’t the worst look of the night for the Texans, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Because to their credit, Houston’s defense threw some different looks at Patrick Mahomes. As he said afterwards, "They changed it up a lot. They did a lot of stuff at the line of scrimmage, they kept safeties back and they put a guy over [Tyreek Hill] pretty much the entire game.”

Whatever. It didn’t matter. It might be the cliché’ ist of all clichés, but Pat really did just take what the defense gave him: and since the homerun ball wasn’t there, he went to work underneath and completed 75% of his passes for three touchdowns and zero interceptions. In other words, the guy isn’t’ going to force anything and can now to adjust to EVERYTHING. AND that’s got to scare just about every defensive coordinator on Kansas City’s schedule.

You give the guy a different look and he’s just as dominant as ever, he just beats you in a different way.

Oh, and speaking of looks, last night was the world’s first look at Clyde Edwards-Helaire in an NFL game and DUUUUDE. That also has to scare the hell out of D.C.’s league wide. Because that’s what the Chiefs offenses needed: another weapon. You take the Chiefs offense from last year and then add CEH to it? The hell is that?! I’ll tell you what it is not. Fair. It’s not fair.

25 carries, 138 yards, and a touchdown. And one extremely badass t.d.

 

27 yards for a touchdown in your NFL debut is really nice. But you know what’s not nice? That juke that he put on Texans safety Justin Reid.

And for the record, Justin Reid is a good player. He’s a really good player. But a really bad thing happened to him last night.

And that bad thing was CEH because Reid had the rookie lined up and in his sights, and CEH dropped a video game juke on him. I haven’t seen someone drop an opponent as disrespectfully as that since James Harden put Wesley Johnson in the ground and needed a cleanup on Aisle 3.

Let’s get one thing out of the way with CEH – he’s listed at 5’8, 209. He’s not the biggest guy around and that doesn’t matter at all.  

Because the scary thing about CEH isn’t just the production last night, it’s what he means for the entire offense. KC rushed 16 times in the first half last night, that’s more than they did in any game last year. The best and most versatile offense in the league just got even better and even more versatile.

And his teammates love him. Mahomes told Michele Tafoya after the game: “The guy is a star. He works hard, he works his tail off, his vision is incredible, and I thought the offensive line did a great job giving him those holes for him to run, too.”

Travis Kelce: "The biggest thing in training camp is you don't always get to see the hitting aspect, whether a guy is easy to tackle or whether he's brought down easy. That was shown today. He's a tough son-of-a-buck. For how tall he is, man, he's got the strength of somebody my size. He runs the ball like no one I’ve ever seen at that size, and its fun to play with. It's infectious when you see him playing his tail off and running his tail off, you want to go out there and block for him and make plays as well."

Two of the best in the game raving about a guy who just played his first game. And two guys referencing how hard he works.

So they’ve just won a Super Bowl, they have the stars all over that offense, and all of those guys are fired up by the rookie who comes in and plays his ass l off. That is scary. The gap between Kansas City and Houston feels even bigger now than it did when KC smashed them with that playoff comeback.

And the gap starts with the guy on the headset. I hate to say it, but the gap between Andy Reid and Bill O’Brien feels enormous right now. And if you want proof, don’t look at the scoreboard of the last two games. Look at the fact that BOB punted from midfield not once, but twice last night.

I’m not sure what’s worse – the punt on 4th and 4 from the 50 that led to a 91-yard KC touchdown drive or the one from your own 48 in the third quarter while losing by 17.

Look, I get it. It was fourth and nine. That’s a long way to go for a first down, but you are playing Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, CEH, and the rest of that crew. KC has just scored 24 straight points, you aren’t stopping them if they get the ball on your 48 or their 9. It doesn’t matter. And you still punt.

In a world where everything is changing, some things have become a constant: KC’s offense looking unfair and BOB looking like a clown.  

Welcome back, football. It’s great to have you back. Even if that night was awful for Texans fans.  Then again, Texans fans, you know what they say: Embrace the suck. And in your case, what choice do you really have.