The NFL is back! The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans will be kicking off the 2020 NFL Season on Thursday Night Football. It’s time to take a look at the key matchups, injuries, and the key to victory.
Kansas City Offensive Line vs Houston Pass Rush
Looking at it from the Kansas City side of things, keeping Patrick Mahomes clean is priority number one. J.J. Watt is a force to be reckoned with whether he’s rushing from the interior or the edge. The Kansas City Chiefs lost Laurent Duvernay-Tardif for the entire 2020 season. They did sign Kelechi Osemele; however, outside of Mitchell Schwartz, their offensive line leaves a bit to be desired. Their guard-center-guard combo is the most concerning part of their offensive line. The Houston Texans have a great chance to win if they can contain Patrick Mahomes inside the pocket while getting pressure from the inside.
Kansas City Defensive Backs vs Houston Wide Receivers
The Kansas City defensive line is, without a doubt, the bright spot of this defense. The secondary is another story. Tyrann Mathieu is the lone bright spot on the back end of the Chiefs’ defense. Rashad Fenton, Charvarius Ward, and the rest of the Kansas City secondary will need to find a way to lock down Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, and the rest of Houston’s wide receivers on Thursday Night.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Fortunately, the Kansas City Chiefs have no one listed as questionable. Travis Kelce, Derrick Nnadi, Darrel Williams, Alex Okafor, Juan Thornhill, and Deon Yeld were all full participants in practice on both Tuesday and Wednesday. All except Kelce (Knee) and Nnadi (Ankle) were full participants on Monday as well.
Brandin Cooks (Quad), Cullen Gillaspia (Hamstring), and Jonathan Greenard (Ankle) are questionable for the Thursday Night opener. The Texans acquired Brandin Cooks in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams in the off-season. Cooks is now the number two WR behind Will Fuller. The Texans are hopeful that the acquisition of Cooks will help mitigate the loss of DeAndre Hopkins from the same off-season.
Key To Victory: Trench Warfare
Whichever team wins in the trenches will decide the winner of this Thursday Night Football showdown. If Houston can get to Patrick Mahomes consistently without blitzing, then they will be able to win. They also need to keep Mahomes inside the pocket. If the Kansas City offensive line can keep Patrick Mahomes clean or if Patrick Mahomes can escape pressure, then Kansas City will win this game easily. It’s going to be a fantastic game!