FOOTBALL IS BACK! Okay, I promise that’s the last time I say it. But finally, we have some real life actual football to read and write about! Game one of week one kicked off last night and while many predicted the Chiefs to sweep aside the Texans, there were some interesting takeaways from the first game of 2020.
Final – HOU 20 – 34 KC
CEH is pretty good and the Texans can’t block
1. CEH is the number one choice for the Chiefs in week one
Let’s kick off with the obvious. Much hyped Kansas City Chiefs rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was fantastic in his first action in an NFL uniform. He looked shifty, showed the ability to power through initial contact and was handed more than enough touches to cement his place as the #1 back in KC. He ended up with 138 yards on the ground from 25 attempts and a touchdown in his week one debut.
An interesting note. He didn’t make an impact in the passing game, with Kelce, Watkins and Robinson soaking up the screen and backfield passing targets. Look for this to change as confidence grows in the LSU star.
Our on the pulse Chiefs writers predicted big things for the Chiefs rookie due to Reid’s offensive scheme – check it out here
2. The Texans offensive line is a problem
The theme of the evening was very much the Chiefs offense rolling over an overmatched Texans defense, but don’t understate how bad the Texans offensive line was.
The Chiefs expensive defensive front, particularly Chris Jones and Frank Clark, wreaked havoc on a flat footed Tytus Howard and obviously out of his depth Zach Fulton. Deshaun Watson was constantly fleeing to his left and seemed unwilling to let the ball fly when he did scramble to this side.
It’s not a ground breaking take to say “the Houston offensive line is bad!”. Search “Texans O-line” on Twitter and there are approximately a million angry Texans fans saying the same thing. But there were some specifics to note.
When the outside rusher decided to work the inside of Howard, the mammoth RT dealt with it well (as evidenced in the Atkins TD clip below) and gave Watson some time. However, when someone (usually Frank Clark) used his devastating Dip and Rip move to pressure the outside shoulder, the former Alabama State product struggled mightily.
One of the few times Watson was allowed time in the pocket to throw, he threw a dart over the middle for a TD.
Are we calling it “rustiness” or “preseason syndrome”? Whatever the reason for the Texans o-line’s poor start in week one, it looks like the Texans success rides largely on Watson’s ability to make spectacular plays.
This week one matchup had some must starts and some massive question marks that created many many Twitter polls. Let’s do a quick roundup of the notable performances of your must start players on each team (using standard ESPN PPR scoring). Yes, there was only one must start in Houston:
Kansas City Chiefs
- Patrick Mahomes – 24/32 – 211 yards – 3 TD’s – 20.44 points
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 25 for 138 yards – 1 TD – 19.8 points
- Travis Kelce – 6//6 – 50 yards – 1 TD – 17.0 points
- Tyreek Hill – 5/6 – 46 yards – 1 TD – 15.6 points
- Deshaun Watson – passing 20/32 – 253 yards – 1 TD, rushing 6 for 27 yards – 1 TD – 20.82 points
Fantasy surprises in week one
The game produced some nice stat lines for a couple of players that were flying under the radar/made managers nervous/weren’t 100% healthy:
- David Johnson – 11 for 77 yards – 1 TD, 3/4 – 32 yards – 19.9 points
- Will Fuller – 8/10 – 112 yards – 19.2 points
- Jordan Akins – 2 receptions -39 yards – 1 TD – 11.9 points
- Sammy Watkins – 7/9 – 82 yards – 1 TD, 1 for 3 yards – 21.5 points
Quick fantasy takeaways
- Will Fuller is soaking up the targets vacated by DeAndre Hopkins but still managed a couple of big drops. But he stayed healthy. He’s a start until one of his hamstrings get tender.
- Sammy Watkins made his annual week one splash – causing fantasy managers headaches everywhere. Last year he nearly grabbed 200 yards and scored three times. This week wasn’t AS prolific, but he certainly made the brave manager who started him happy. I dare you to start him again in week two…
- David Johnson looked great in a Texans uniform and seems to have regained his old burst. He made several jump cuts that just weren’t in his arsenal last year – one of the lone bright spots for Houston in week one and solidifying Johnson as a RB2.
- Jordan Akins looks like the true starter at TE in Houston despite Fells being listed above him on the depth chart. The very best TEs can make people miss after the catch, and Akins certainly has this skillset. Worth a stash in dynasty leagues but he’ll need to soak up more targets to be worth a roster spot in redraft leagues.
- Tyreek Hill looked like the forgotten man until a big grab in the second half and a brilliant high point TD which saved his week one fantasy evening. Mahomes seemed determined to spread the love, and Reid seemed determined to give the ball to their dynamic rookie RB.
Roll on Sunday!!
Jack is an NFL nerd with a passion for player stories and watching too much draft coverage. He's a DB coach with the Exeter Demons University team in the UK and a Steelers fan.