Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs “have no ceiling”, according to former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson as he tipped them to become the NFL’s next dynasty.
Mahomes threw three touchdown passes in the Chief’s 34-20 win over the Houston Texans in the 2020 season opener on Thursday night.
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Tom Brady has a record six Super Bowl titles to his name from his time with the New England Patriots over the last two decades, but Burleson believes it’s possible for Mahomes to eclipse that tally.
“There’s no ceiling. Why would we give them a ceiling?” Burleson said on Good Morning Football. “We’ve seen what he [Mahomes] has done over the first few years of his career.
“There wasn’t a ceiling over Brady’s career and he created a dynasty; why can’t we say it’s possible for Mahomes, who can make every throw in the book?
“Not only does he have the talent, he has the right coach and the right players around him.
“I feel like, right now, we’re witnessing greatness. And if they do what I think is possible this season, we are witnessing the start of a dynasty.
“I believe they have the talent to hoist trophy after trophy, after trophy – just like Brady.”
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Chiefs ‘exceeded expectations’
Peter Schrager echoed Burleson’s take on the show, saying the Chiefs looked even better than he expected in the win over the Texans, picking out rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, in particular, for praise.
Edwards-Helaire, 21 years and 152 days old, became the youngest player since 1950 to rush for over 130 yards and score a TD on their NFL debut.
“This team last night looked better than the team we saw last year,” Schrager said. “The question all offseason might have been ‘can they return, can they run it back, how are they going to deal with the loses of certain players?
“I want to talk about their offseason additions: let’s take a look at Edwards-Helaire, he was the story of the night for me.
“There’s been six months of Edwards-Helaire hype on this show and I feel like he exceeded expectations, which is just completely mind-boggling considering how much hype there was going into this game.
“It’s one game into an NFL career, but to put up the numbers he did, to look like he did, to dominate defenders, he was everything we expected and more – it was a pleasure to watch him.
“This team was not only good last night, they exceeded expectations. It looks like they’ve got even better this offseason.”
‘Barely recognised sloppy Texans team’
As for the defeated Texans, Kyle Brandt said the team looked “sloppy” and “flat” in their first game of 2020, with big-money quarterback Deshaun Watson outplayed by Mahomes and the team missing former No 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who they traded away to the Arizona Cardinals.
“We were worried going into this game, into the season, that we were going to get this tight, flat sloppy football as a product – we’re saying ‘we didn’t get it, the Chiefs look great’, but we did get it, it came from the Texans,” Brandt said.
“I barely recognised that team for most of the game. I don’t want to take a bat to them, because it is only one week and it is the strangest offseason of all time, but the Chiefs were ready.
“The Texans were so flat for most of that game, there was really no suspense at all. You knew who the better team was, you knew who the better quarterback was.
“I know [head coach] Bill O’Brien’s phrase is ‘let’s not be the ‘almost’ team’, almost makes the play, almost wins the game. Right now, that’s precisely what they are.
“It’s the knee-jerk hot take to say that the Hopkins trade was the worst thing they’ve ever done – we don’t know yet, it’s one week – but it was a compelling example.
“There was no juice [in the offence]. That’s what you have stars for. When you have no juice, you go to your star and you make them make a play.
“With respect to [Kenny] Stills and those other guys, they’re not Hopkins. I think he was badly missed last night.
“Just picture it with Mahomes and imagine taking Travis Kelce away, or Tyreek [Hill], or both, I think that’s the equivalent of what they did with DeAndre.
“And Watson too, as much as we root for him and we love him, he is the ‘almost’ quarterback; he’s not Mahomes or Lamar [Jackson] until he changes things. Last night, it didn’t happen.”
Champion Chiefs open with Texans triumph
Patrick Mahomes threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns, rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire racked up 138 yards and another score, and the Kansas City Chiefs began the defense of their first championship in 50 years by beating the Houston Texans 34-20 in Thursday night’s NFL season opener.
Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill each caught touchdown passes for the Chiefs. Texans QB Deshaun Watson threw a TD and ran in for another score in the fourth quarter but, by then it was too little, too late after the Texans found themselves in a 31-7 shaped hole.
KC stat leaders: Patrick Mahomes, 24/32, 211 yards, 3 TDs
Rushing: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 25 carries, 138 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Sammy Watkins, seven catches, 82 yards, 1 TD
Texans stat leaders: Deshaun Watson, 20/32, 253 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: David Johnson, 11 carries, 77 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Will Fuller, eight catches, 112 yards
Texans stay off field as NFL players take stand
Houston players stayed inside the locker room for the national anthems as Kansas players stood on the field before a shared moment of unity marked the NFL Kick-Off.
Following the death of George Floyd in police custody and the shooting of Jacob Blake, the NFL has watched on as sports and athletes around the world have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in peaceful protest, making their own stand and on Thursday night, the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans did exactly that.
The teams each chose a different approach during the playing of the national anthems before coming together as one just before kick-off in front of 15,895 fans at Arrowhead Stadium.
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