KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Houston Texans looked over-matched in the team’s season opener in Kansas City Thursday night, getting down 31-7 before a couple of late touchdowns. Here are the four biggest takeaways from the Texans' loss.
THE OFFENSE MISSES DEANDRE HOPKINS
Deshaun Watson ended the game with a solid 253 passing yards, with Will Fuller putting 112 of those on eight catches. The rest of the Texans wide receivers? Nearly nothing. The new guys, Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb combined for four catches and 43 yards. Kenny Stills had zero catches on two targets.
Hopkins tweeted after the game, too.
Grateful.— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) September 11, 2020
If the Texans are going to have a strong offense, it’ll have to be built on downfield passing with three deep threat targets. Will Fuller did his job, no one else did.
THE DEFENSE IS STILL AN ISSUE
Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU lived up to the first-round expectations, exploding for 138 yards and a touchdown. The Texans got to Patrick Mahomes once, via Jacob Martin, but otherwise didn’t really pressure Mahomes much. Mahomes carved up the secondary for three touchdowns on an efficient 24-32 and 211 yards.
Travis Kelce, who had three touchdowns in the playoff game against the Texans, again scored easily. Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill also scored. The Chiefs never seemed rushed or panicked on offense, even after trailing 7-0 early. They haven’t lost a step from the Super Bowl.
DAVID JOHNSON IS A BRIGHT SPOT
The running back, through no fault of his own, has come to Houston to an icy reception as part of the DeAndre Hopkins trade. Johnson acquitted himself well, scoring the first touchdown of the season, and rushing for 77 yards on 11 carries. Johnson added 32 yards through the air on three catches. Whatever issues the offense has, Johnson wasn’t the problem Thursday night.
THE OFFENSIVE LINE DIDN’T GIVE WATSON TIME TO THROW
Coming into 2019, the offensive line was the biggest weak spot for the Texans. Then, they traded for Laremy Tunsil and were able to cobble together an improvement over 2018′s 62 sacks. In 2019 Watson was sacked 44 times. In 2020, he’s already been sacked four times and is on pace for 64 early this season. Watson only lost 11 yards on those four sacks thanks to his ability to escape, but he never felt comfortable in the pocket and was hit into throwing an interception and lots of hurries.
Tytus Howard, especially, struggled to lock down Frank Clark (understandable, given Clark’s talent) on the right side.