Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season will feature a marquee Thursday Night Football kickoff game on Thursday when the Houston Texans take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kickoff is slated for 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
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The Texans are led by head coach Bill O’Brien, quarterback Deshaun Watson and defensive lineman J.J. Watt. Houston went 10-6 last season, capturing the AFC South.
The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs are led by head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce. Kansas City went 12-4 on the road to winning it all last season.
Here’s how our experts see the game playing out.
Matt Lombardo: Does it get better than this? The NFL returns with a matchup pitting two of the best quarterbacks on the planet, in a rematch of last season’s AFC Divisional Playoff Game. The reasons the Chiefs will win this game, on the night the franchise’s first Super Bowl banner in 50 years gets raised at Arrowhead Stadium is the same reason they were able to mount a furious January comeback: Patrick Mahomes, and just too much speed on the perimeter for the Texans to handle. This will be wildly entertaining, and remind us all why we love football so much, but the Chiefs just have too much firepower. Chiefs 34, Texans 28.
Mike Kaye: This could be a preview of the AFC title game. The Chiefs seem like an unstoppable force, while the Texans have an intriguing group led by Deshaun Watson. These teams had an epic battle in the playoffs in January and I expect a repeat of action and results. Chiefs 30, Texans 23.
Zack Rosenblatt: This game should be a fun, high-scoring affair. But it lost some of its luster when Bill O’Brien went and did Bill O’Brien things this offseason. The Chiefs start their pursuit of back-to-back Super Bowl titles with a decisive victory and dominant Patrick Mahomes performance. Chiefs 42, Texans 27.
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Darryl Slater: What a matchup — Deshaun Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes. The future of the NFL right here, to open the season. But the Chiefs are just stronger than the DeAndre Hopkins-less Texans. Chiefs 35, Texans 20.
Chris Ryan: Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs take care of business in their first game as defending Super Bowl champions. Deshaun Watson will keep the Texans within a touchdown. Chiefs 31, Texans 24.
Joe Giglio: Two ultra-talented quarterbacks, two new mega deals to watch play out. The Chiefs could be better than they were a year ago. Yes, I realize what that means. Patrick Mahomes throws four touchdowns on his way to 50-plus in 2020. Houston’s defense will be a mess all year, and this won’t be an exception. Chiefs 33, Texans 21.
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