The wait is finally over.
Amid a surreal year nobody could’ve expected, sports fans can recoup a small haven of normalcy tomorrow night when the NFL season kicks off in Kansas City.
The Thursday night showdown between reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs and AFC East powerhouse Houston Texans will be televised on NBC, Amazon and the NFL Network.
Chiefs a big favorite
The Chiefs go into tonight’s game as a 9.5-point favorite as of Wednesday evening, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
The over/under on the game is 54.5, a nod to the potential offensive fireworks set to cascade over Arrowhead Stadium.
Playoff loss still fresh in KC’s mind
The Chiefs come into the 2020 season with an incredible amount of momentum that dates back to last year’s playoffs.
Down 21-0 after the first quarter to the Texans in a divisional matchup, the Chiefs roared back in the second quarter to take a 28-24 lead on the way to a 51-31 win.
Patrick Mahomes torched the Texans for 321 yards and five touchdowns, along with 53 yards rushing. It was a dominant performance.
Mahomes cemented his place in history with a win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.
Mahomes has all the weapons
There’s one big difference on offense this season for the Chiefs: a running back. In 2019, the Chiefs started the season with LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams in their backfield. McCoy signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the off-season and Williams opted out of the season.
The two backs’ departure paved the way for highly-touted rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The LSU product has the receiving and running talent to be the linchpin of the offense.
Texans enter game with question marks
Like the Chiefs, the Texans enter Thursday night’s matchup with a new running back. Former Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is the lead back for Houston. Like Edwards-Helaire, he’s a versatile player who can catch as well as he runs.
Unlike the Chiefs, though, the Texans’ receiving corps is an unpredictable entity.
Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks are the lead WRs. Fuller is as electric as he is unreliable. The playmaker has never started more than 13 games in a season.
Cooks is playing on his fourth team in five seasons. Though Cooks has dealt with concussions, this past season was the first time he hadn’t played a full 16 games since his 2014 rookie season.
Whichever receiver steps up, they’ll be catching passes from one of the most talented QBs in the league in DeShaun Watson. The former Clemson University star and national champion signed a $160 million deal this past weekend, making his contract the second-most lucrative in NFL history behind … Mahomes.
2020 season slated to be a memorable one
Beyond the drama of Thursday night, there are plenty of storylines for NFL fans to feast on after an understandably understated off-season.
Tom Brady is at the helm of a talented Bucs offense that includes Brady’s partner in crime, tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Nick Foles in the off-season, but this week coach Matt Nagy named Mitchell Trubisky the starter.
Former Texans star wideout DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, where he teams up with rising star Kyler Murray.
With all the changes that took place in the off-season, the Chiefs are still the favorite to win the Super Bowl at +600. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are the second favorite, while the San Francisco 49ers have the third-best odds of winning the big game. Brady’s Bucs are lurking at +1500.