NFL Week 1: Trends which will decide each game

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 12: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs rolls out in the first half during the AFC Divisional playoff game against outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus #59 of the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

It’s what to look out for as the 2020 NFL season kicks off with 16 games.

Trending is popular when it comes to social media. The National Football League is popular regardless of how you watch or follow it.

In this first edition of a weekly staple, here’s a look at some trends that may open an eye or two, be it for the casual fan, the fantasy football owner or even a handful out there who may want to wager lunch or dinner on their favorite team.

NOTE: All times ET

Thursday, Sept. 10

Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:20 pm

Texans: Bill O’Brien’s team will be making its third trip to Arrowhead Stadium in less than a calendar year. The Texans and quarterback Deshaun Watson managed a 31-24 victory in Week 6 this past season and of course, owned a 24-0 second-quarter lead in the divisional playoff before being outscored 51-7 the rest of the way.

Houston’s pass defense has been a real problem the past two years and the club allowed the fourth-most passing yards in the league in 2019, to go along with 33 TD passes in 16 regular-season games. And in last year’s split with Kansas City, Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for a combined 594 yards, eight scores and one pick.

Chiefs: The defending Super Bowl champions were led by now well-paid quarterback Patrick Mahomes this past season but the Chiefs voted safety Tyrann Mathieu the club’s Most Valuable Player. Kansas City’s defense had struggled in recent year and got off to a rough start in 2019 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo before settling in and being a catalyst in Kansas City’s overall nine-game winning streak to close out 2019.

Meanwhile, history is on the side of Andy Reid’s team as the defending Super Bowl champion is a combined 36-16-1 in its first game after winning the Lombardi Trophy. That includes a 5-1 mark by the NFL title holders dating back to 2014.

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