The Kansas City Chiefs picked up right where they left off in 2018. One of the best offenses in the league last season fell one game short of the Super Bowl. In 2019, they are trying to get there and the first game went according to plan.
The Chiefs picked up a 40-26 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. This was a game that featured plenty of storylines. Jaguars’ linebacker Myles Jack was ejected after throwing a punch during a fight that broke out in the end zone. Nick Foles left the game with a broken clavicle that will force him to miss significant time. Even Patrick Mahomes left with an injury, but he returned shortly after.
No matter how they got there, the Chiefs are 1-0. Here are five main points to look at after their first win.
5. Tyreek Hill Injury
The one negative in this game for Kansas City was their No. 1 receiver leaving with an injury and not returning. Hill injured his collarbone during the game and initial thoughts are negative. The Chiefs will wait to make a decision on Hill’s status for the season.
Hill signed a three-year contract extension on Friday. He had just two catches for 16 yards before leaving the game. With Hill on the shelf, the Chiefs offense will still be dynamic. They have plenty of offensive weapons to make up for Hill. However, he is a loss. Hill emerged as one of the best receivers in the league. He scored 12 touchdowns last season and was the league’s biggest deep ball threat.
Moving forward, keep your eyes and ears open to see what the Chiefs end up doing with Hill.
4. Sammy Watkins Explosion
If Hill is forced to miss a significant amount of time, the Chiefs receiving core is in good hands. Sammy Watkins had an absolute breakout game to begin 2019. On the third play of the game, Mahomes found Watkins over the middle and the receiver took it 68 yards for a touchdown.
The two would link up again later the in the game for a 49 yard score. Watkins finished with nine catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. With Hill going down, Watkins will be forced to jump into that No. 1 receiver role. If healthy, Watkins will be a force in this offense.
3. MVP Mahomes is Back
After a season that included 5,000 yards, 50 touchdowns and an MVP award, regression is expected. Mahomes put those thoughts to bed in Week 1.
Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 25-33 against one of the best secondaries in the league. Also, he did it with his No. 1 receiver leaving with an injury. The Chiefs scored 40 points in their first game and this is something they can do a lot with Mahomes under center.
Will 2019 end with Mahomes winning back-to-back MVP awards? After the first game, it looks like a possibility.
2. Crowded Backfield in KC
This will be something to look at after each game. Damien Williams was viewed as the starter throughout the entire offseason, but the Chiefs added LeSean McCoy when he was released by Buffalo. McCoy enjoys Kansas City so far and the Chiefs are happy to have him.
The two running backs both saw success in different aspects of the game. Williams carried the ball 13 times for just 26 yards. He did have six catches for 39 yards. Despite having less carries, McCoy out performed Williams. He finished with 10 carries for 81 yards. McCoy caught his only target for 12 yards. Williams finished with a rushing touchdown.
It is going to be a show every week watching the Chiefs backs. Andy Reid has a plan and watching him put it into action will be must see football.
1. Is Defense Back?
The Chiefs did not dominate on the defensive end, but it was miles better than 2018 where they were one of the worst units in the NFL. Steve Spagnuolo came in and can turn this defense into a strong one.
Kansas City allowed 13 points in the first half. The Jaguars added 13 more in the fourth quarter when the game was already decided. The Chiefs allowed just 81 yards on the ground. Frank Clark finished with one interception in his first game as a Chief. There is some talent on the defensive side of the ball for the Chiefs. If their defense performs every week, this will be a scary team.