The NFL season gets underway tonight with the reigning champions hosting, as is traditional nowadays, for the first Thursday night football.
The Kansas City Chiefs swept to Super Bowl glory carried on the momentum of a devastating big-play offence helped by the boy-wonder quarterback Patrick Mahomes, hall-of-fame tight-end Travis Kelce, and the “Legion Of Zoom” rapier wide receiver squad lead by the Cheetah, Tyreek Hill.
Unlike many Super Bowl winners, the Chiefs have somehow worked the numbers to allow almost all of last year’s line up to be retained within the salary cap, which coupled with the Covid-19 related difficulties of integrating new players or coaches at other franchises, must give them a big edge for the coming season.
They will want to be faster starters, they earned their rings despite having double digit deficits in each of their post season games, most noticeably when falling a dramatic 24-0 down to tonight’s rival Texans in the first play-off game. A surge of 48 unanswered points reversed that game in no uncertain fashion, and a more routine win is expected tonight.
Mahomes is something very special, and the Chiefs may even have strengthened the weapons available to him, perhaps by chance. It isn’t often that running-backs get first round draft picks, and it raised a few eyebrows when the Chiefs used their’s to select LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. But after first choice RB Damien Williams subsequently elected to miss the season for family Covid reasons, it now looks like some kind of wizardry that the first draft pick is ready to step into the fray.
In reality, such is the promise of Edwards-Helaire he may even have been first choice sooner rather than later, but now he is pretty much guaranteed action from the very first drive. An elusive runner with excellent catching skills in the back field he looks likely to be as impactful as the impressive Kareem Hunt was in this offense in 2018 prior to his disciplinary issues. The Chiefs coaches and players will want him to start with a bang for his confidence, for the team’s confidence and to give all those defensive coaches something else to consider in the daunting prospect of stopping the Chiefs.
A hat-trick of TDs for the new boy is pretty tempting at 22/1, but we will split stakes with the fractionally less ambitious but still tasty 15/2 that he crosses the line first.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 1pt win, 1st touchdown scorer, 15/2 Skybet
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 1pt win, Hat-trick of TDs, 22/1. Skybet
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