There will be no 19-0 talk in New England this time. The pining for Patrick Mahomes at quarterback in Kansas City can be put on hold, too.
The Chiefs’ 42-27 victory in Foxborough to kick off the NFL season Thursday night was a gift to NFL fans looking for surprise in a top-heavy league. One fantastic performance by the Chiefs helped upend so many lazy storylines that built throughout the offseason. Let us count the ways:
1. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith knows the rap on him. He can’t throw deep. He pilots a station-to-station offense that is more efficient than exciting. One game doesn’t erase a career’s worth of evidence, but it’s hard to say this Chiefs offense is still boring under Smith. Coach Andy Reid pilots a creative offense which borrows liberally from the spread concepts Smith used to run in college. He wound up completing 28 of 35 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns. It was the first time a Bill Belichick-coached team has ever given up two touchdown passes over 75 yards in the same game.
Smith benefited from a coverage bust and the incredible talent of his playmakers Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, but that talent isn’t going anywhere. If the Chiefs can put up 42 points during a quiet night from tight end Travis Kelce, they are going to be difficult to stop.
2. Hunt gained 246 yards from scrimmage, more than any player in NFL history since the 1970 merger. It’s tempting to call him a revelation, but the third-round rookie has consistently been touted by draftniks and analytics wonks as a future star. (Pro Football Focus ranked him No. 1 among all college running backs last season, and it’s easy to see why.) Despite fumbling on his first career snap, Hunt ran with decisiveness and aggression. He gained a lot of his 147 rushing yards after contact and showed the ability to make defenders miss in the hole.
man, didn’t expect that going into the first real game of the 2017 season…! i’m not a fan of either the Chiefs or the Patriots, though being a lifelong broncos fan i was secretly pulling for the Patriots to drop a smackdown on the Chiefs — hell, i fully expected it… especially after seeing how the Pats were playing in the first quarter.
i’m both nervous and looking forward to see the Broncos play monday night.