The defending Super Bowl champions continued to show off their dominant offense on the opening night of the NFL season. In Week 1, the Chiefs did not turn the ball over and won, 34-20, against Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. Kansas City’s 14-point win differential was the second-best in the NFL in Week 1.
The Chiefs next head to SoFi Stadium to face the Los Angeles Chargers, who have Tyrod Taylor under center. Without Philip Rivers for the first time in a while, Los Angeles is looking for a fresh start, but Kansas City will prevent the Chargers from winning back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 8 and 9 of 2019.
Meanwhile, Kansas City looks to extend its very long winning streak, which dates back to last year. Coincidentally, two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Patrick Mahomes missed Weeks 8 and 9 in 2019, but neither of those games was against the Chargers. Mahomes and the Chiefs faced the Chargers twice last year, and Kansas City was victorious in each contest. The two Chiefs wins against the Chargers bookended Kansas City’s six-game winning streak to end the 2019 regular season.
Read Also: Los Angeles Chargers Predictions and Odds
2020 Chiefs Draft Picks
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB (LSU)
Willie Gay Jr., LB (Mississippi State)
Lucas Niang, OT (TCU) – opted out of 2020 season
L’Jarius Sneed, S (Louisiana Tech)
Michael Danna, DE (Michigan)
BoPete Keyes, CB (Tulane)
Notable Other New Faces for the Chiefs
Ricky Seals-Jones TE
Taco Charlton, DE
Antonio Hamilton, CB
Tedric Thompson, S
Tommy Townsend, P
Notable Chiefs in New Places
Blake Bell, TE – Dallas Cowboys
Breeland Speaks, DE – released
Emmanuel Ogbah, LB – Miami Dolphins
Reggie Ragland, LB – Detroit Lions
Kendall Fuller, CB – Washington Football Team
Jordan Lucas, S – Chicago Bears (opted out of 2020 season)
Dustin Colquitt, P – Pittsburgh Steelers
Notable Chiefs on the Injury Report
Martinas Rankin, OT – placed on injured reserve with a knee injury; expected to return for Week 8
Khalen Saunders, DT – out for Week 2 with an elbow injury; expected to return for Week 5
Alex Okafor, DE – out for Week 2 with a hamstring injury
Alex Brown, CB – placed on injured reserve with a knee injury
Charvarius Ward, CB – out for Week 2 with a hand injury
Chiefs Who Have Opted Out of 2020 NFL Season
Lucas Niang, OT
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OG
Damien Williams, RB
Chiefs Offense Predictions
Patrick Mahomes won the NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year Awards in 2018, as he took the football world by storm with a league-leading 50 passing touchdowns. In his first full season, Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 12-4 season, which was just one win shy of the single-season franchise record.
In 2019, Mahomes went 11-3 as a starter, and the 12-4 Chiefs finished in first place in the AFC West for the fourth consecutive year. Mahomes went on to lead the Chiefs to the 31-20 Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium. He won the Super Bowl MVP en route to delivering head coach Andy Reid his first Super Bowl championship. Mahomes turned 25 years old in mid-September, and he is ready to battle 23-year-old Lamar Jackson for the MVP trophy in 2020.
In Week 1, Mahomes tormented the Texans for the second consecutive time, as he completed 24 of his 32 pass attempts for three touchdowns. Since falling behind by 24 points in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Mahomes and the Chiefs have dominated, and they will look to continue their strong performance in Week 2 against the Chargers. Mahomes enters with a 12-1 career record against AFC West opponents. The lone loss was by just one point when the Chiefs hosted the Chargers in Week 15 of 2018.
In Mahomes’ two career games away from home against the Chargers, he is 2-0 with 438 passing yards, 80 rushing yards, and five touchdowns. However, Mahomes will hope to improve his completion percentage. His 56 percent and 59 percent completion percentages are not characteristic of his career completion percentage that snuck above 66 percent after his awe-inspiring game against the Texans. In Week 1, his 75 percent completion percentage tied for the fifth-best of his career.
Chiefs Running Backs: How Well Will Clyde Edwards-Helaire Perform as He Replaces Damien Williams?
The next man up mentality worked perfectly to begin 2020 for Andy Reid and his running backs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire left the 2020 draft with the fifth-highest odds to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. After 2019 starting running back Damien Williams opted out of the season, the rookie back headed into the season with the second-highest odds to win the award. Edwards-Helaire vaulted to the favorite (+130) after running for a game-high 138 yards and a touchdown in the opening night win.
The former LSU running back should be in for a 1,000 rushing yard season, and if he can stay on the field for the whole year, 1,400 rushing yards are within reach. The Chiefs have such a strong offensive system, as lightning may strike twice in just four years. In 2017, rookie running back Kareem Hunt ran for an NFL-leading 1,327 yards to go along with 455 receiving yards and 11 rushing and receiving touchdowns. He made the 2017 NFL All-Rookie Team but just missed out on the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, which went to New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara. Maybe Clyde Edwards-Helaire can lead the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns and win that elusive Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Also, even if Edwards-Helaire has difficulty producing during the season, third-year running back Darrel Williams is a competent backup.
Chiefs Wide Receivers: The Chiefs Bring Strong Depth to the Receiving Game Again in 2020
Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, and Mecole Hardman are ready to perform just as well in 2020 as they did in 2019. Hill only brought in 7.7 yards per target in Week 1, as he brought in five of his six targets for 46 yards. However, he did score his first touchdown of the season after getting into the end zone seven times in 2019. Hill missed four games last year, and the Chiefs hope that Hill, who led the NFL with 15 yards per touch in 2018, can get back to 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in 2020.
Watkins enters his third season with the Chiefs, and he knows how to produce early in the season. Although his opening night performance of seven receptions, 82 receiving yards, and a touchdown was not as electrifying as his 198-yard and three-touchdown showing at the beginning of 2019, Watkins appears to be locked in for 2020. Often Watkins is hampered by the injury bug, but the Chiefs seem to have once again enough weapons to weather the storm if he does miss a couple of contests.
In Week 1, Robinson (three receptions and 20 receiving yards) and Hardman (one catch for six yards) played just 48 percent and 29 percent of offensive snaps, respectively. However, Robinson just missed his first touchdown of the NFL season. His statistics would have looked a lot more like Watkins’ line for Week 1 if the long touchdown pass had not been overturned to an incompletion. Meanwhile, Hardman played 45 percent of offensive snaps during his rookie season in 2019 and went for 26 receptions, 538 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns. The Chiefs have plenty of weapons in the receiving game, and with Hardman as the team’s fourth receiver, Kansas City will be making it very difficult on opposing defenses this season.
Chiefs Tight Ends: Can Travis Kelce Return to 100 Receptions in 2020?
The pass-catching does not only happen with the wide receivers on the Chiefs. Travis Kelce has put up unbelievable numbers at the tight end position since he entered the lineup in 2014. The No. 63 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft played 16 games every year from 2014 to 2019, except for playing 15 contests in 2017.
In each of the last four seasons, Kelce has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. While his touchdowns fell from a career-high 10 in 2018 to six in 2019, his catch percentage jumped from 68.7 percent to 71.3 percent.
Kelce was a very reliable target for Mahomes in the 2019 playoffs as well. In the Divisional Round against the Texans, he caught ten passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns. He then played 94 percent of snaps in the AFC Championship Game and 95 percent of snaps in the Super Bowl. Kelce caught six passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl victory.
Heading into 2020, Kelce hopes to have another 100-reception season after he just missed the triple-digit mark last year. In 2019, he had 97 receptions after accumulating a career-best 103 in 2018. Kelce started 2020 on a bright note, as he caught all six of his targets for 50 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.
Read Also: Denver Broncos Predictions and Odds
Chiefs Defense Predictions
Although the Chiefs allowed more yards than the average NFL team in 2019, they let the seventh-fewest points. Then in the playoffs, the Kansas City offense reigned supreme for the most part, but it was the Chiefs defense that stifled the 49ers late in the Super Bowl. Kansas City shut out San Francisco in the fourth quarter and allowed the offense to shine in the comeback victory.
To begin 2020, SS Tyrann Mathieu and LB Anthony Hitchens led the Chiefs with eight tackles apiece in the season’s opening game. DT Chris Jones, LB Dorian O’Daniel, DE Frank Clark, and DE Alex Okafor each tabulated sacks against the Texans. They had intense pressure against QB Deshaun Watson, as they hit him six times in the contest.
Read Also: Las Vegas Raiders Predictions and Odds
Chiefs Special Teams Predictions
Kicker Harrison Butker enters his fourth season in the NFL. The seventh-round selection in 2017 has yet to make a Pro Bowl in his young career, but he has one of the most productive legs in the league. The 25-year-old led the NFL with 34 field goals makes and 38 field goal attempts in 2019. His leg has been busy throughout his NFL career. Even in his rookie year, he attempted a league-high 42 field goals. In Week 1, Butker made each of his two field-goal attempts and four extra-point attempts.
In 2019, Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt set the franchise record for most games played (238) as he surpassed Hall of Fame OG Will Shields (224 games played), who played with Colquitt in 2005 and 2006. With Colquitt heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chiefs have handed over the punting duties to undrafted rookie Tommy Townsend, who played his college ball at the University of Florida. Townsend spent one year at the University of Tennessee before becoming a Gator.
Chiefs Head Coach Predictions
Andy Reid has a tremendous 77-35 record (.688 winning percentage) with the Chiefs heading into 2020. His career as a head coach has been a very successful one, and he should have won more than just one Coach of the Year award.
His lone award came in 2002 when he completed his first career 12-win season in his fourth year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid’s career with Philadelphia did not include a Super Bowl championship, but he did win 10 of his 19 playoff games there and had a regular-season record of 130-93-1 (.583).
Reid’s last couple of years in Philadelphia were not as successful, but he went from 4-12 in his previous year with the Eagles (2012) to 11-5 in his first season with the Chiefs (2013). He has continued his brilliance in Kansas City with winning records every year from 2013 to 2019.
His only single-digit win season came in 2014, which was the only year his Chiefs did not make the playoffs since he took over the head coaching role. In 2018 and 2019, Reid produced 12-4 seasons, and he hopes to do the same in 2020 as he looks to get the Chiefs in the postseason for the sixth consecutive year.
Chiefs Predictions for Week 2
The Chiefs opened as 5.5-point favorites against the Chargers, and the line jumped to 8.5 points. The over/under decreased from 51.5 to 47.5 points for the Sunday contest that begins at 4:25 pm eastern time. Last year, the Chiefs defeated the Chargers by 10 points at Arrowhead Stadium and seven points at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
The only time Mahomes and the Chiefs played an actual road game against the Chargers came in Week 1 of 2018. It was Mahomes’ second career NFL start, and he completed just 15 of his 27 pass attempts. However, he amassed a whopping 17 yards per completion, as he totaled 256 passing yards and four touchdowns in the win.
When Mahomes throws four touchdowns and fewer than two interceptions in his career, the Chiefs are 7-0, including the postseason. Mahomes hopes to have another impressive performance on Sunday and make that record 8-0. An early score would go a long way for the Chiefs to have a good chance to cover the 8.5-point spread.
Chiefs Predictions for 2020 Season
With the 2020 over/under for the Chiefs being 11.5 wins, bettors who think that Mahomes and Reid can go 12-4 or better again are in a good position with the over. Kansas City’s +550 Super Bowl futures bet could be worth it.
However, the most recent repeat champion in the NFL happened 16 years ago with the Patriots when they went 14-2 in back-to-back years. Having a first-round bye is very important for the Chiefs if they want to try to repeat. Since 1981, just four franchises have accomplished back-to-back championships. In those eight years, the eventual champion played a wild card game was the 1997 Broncos.
Wizard Race and Sports also has your 2020 season win totals and best futures to bet, so make sure to subscribe as soon as possible to get the best weekly and season picks.