Insider: Chiefs’ Budding Star Looked Like ‘Watching Tyreek Hill’

Getty Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

When the Kansas City Chiefs offense took the field against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, it didn’t take long to forget about Tyreek Hill.

Kansas City’s offense amassed 488 yards of total offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who had 360 yards through the air and 5 touchdown passes. Mahomes set his own personal record in the season opener by completing 12 consecutive passes against Arizona in the 44-21 drubbing. He also completed a pass to nine different receivers, and his touchdown passes went to four different pass-catchers.

But Kansas City’s passing attack was the only thing rolling for the Chiefs’ offense in Week 1.

In the win over Arizona, Kansas City’s backfield accumulated 128 yards on the ground on 27 carries (4.7 yards per carry). Leading the running backs in rushing yards was rookie Isiah Pacheco, who finished the game with 12 carries for 62 yards (5.2 YPC) and 1 touchdown.

There was another Chiefs running back that played at a high level in Week 1 as well. In fact, he played so well that one NFL insider thought he might be seeing Tyreek Hill in a Chiefs uniform again.

Lombardo: CEH Looked Like Tyreek Hill

Against the Cardinals, third-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran the ball 7 times for 42 yards. He also caught 3 passes for 32 yards and had 2 receiving touchdowns.

“Maybe more importantly than Mahomes not skipping a beat without (Tyreek) Hill, is the fact that if you took the No. 25 off second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s jersey, you might have thought you were watching Hill. Or, at least Hill’s former role in the Chiefs’ offense,” Heavy Sports’ Matt Lombardo wrote of CEH on September 12.

It’s a bold move to compare anyone to Tyreek Hill. But Lombardo’s assessment highlights just how explosive Edwards-Helaire looked in the regular season opener.

Now in the final year of his rookie deal, Edwards-Helaire needs to stay healthy and continue to be impactful for the Chiefs offense if he wants to earn himself a payday next offseason.

CEH Credits Big Red for Week 1 Performance

Speaking to the media after the game, Edwards-Helaire credited head coach Andy Reid for having Kansas City’s offense ready to roll in Week 1.

“We can do whatever we feel like we can — based upon the look we see,” Edwards-Helaire explained. “That’s the thing: going through camp, having those different scenarios [and] being able to see those different things? Nothing shocked us. That’s something that is always preached; Coach Reid preaches and all we can do is listen and execute.”

CEH noted that the stiff competition he faced from his teammates this summer was a reason the Chiefs’ offense came out hot in the season opener.

“I see Chris Jones, Frank Clark, Nick Bolton, Willie Gay all camp,” Edwards-Helaire said. “We know the speed, we see it all — but not only the speed. Those guys are smart. They’re not only checking out of things they see, they’re checking into things we feel like they can beat us on. It’s all a game of chess, which is the cool part: being able to manipulate the next person.”

The win over the Chiefs brings Kansas City’s record to 1-0 for the season. The Chiefs will now have a short week of preparation as they face the division rival Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead on Thursday Night Football.

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