Patrick Mahomes Sets New NFL Record as Kansas City Chiefs Win Season Opener

Seven months on after leading the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years, Patrick Mahomes picked up where he left off and set a new NFL record in the season opener on Thursday night as the Chiefs steamrolled the Houston Texans 34-20 at in Kansas City.

Mahomes threw three touchdown passes with no interceptions, becoming the first player in NFL history to pull off the feat in three consecutive season openers, and finished with 211 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 90 after completing 24 of his 32 passes.

It may have been a record-breaking night for Mahomes, but the reigning Super Bowl MVP had to work harder against a Houston defense that threw a whole new approach at him.

The Texans played mostly man-to-man coverage in their two meetings with the Chiefs last season, but switched to zone coverage on Thursday, looking to take the chances to make big plays down the field away from Mahomes, who led Kansas City to score seven consecutive touchdowns and a field goal over eight straight drives when the two teams met in the AFC Divisional Round in the playoffs in January.

The ploy worked as Mahomes' longest pass measured 19 yards and each of his three touchdown passes were no longer than six yards.

"Pat did a nice job of checking it down," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told ESPN after the game. "We had some deeper things that he decided to come down on because they were covered downfield."

Mahomes explained he'd relished the challenge poised by having to adapt to a new defensive concept and fired an ominous warning to the rest of the NFL, suggesting the Chiefs offense would adjust to whichever coverage it faces.

"They changed it up a lot," he said. "They did a lot of stuff at the line of scrimmage, they kept safeties back and they put a guy over [Tyreek Hill] pretty much the entire game.

"That's what makes this offense so good is we can change within games. We can go throughout our game plan and find ways to score and find ways to move the ball down the field, and tonight it was taking the short passes.

"And I think whenever we get to the [Los Angeles] Chargers next week, we'll be playing another great defense and we'll have to find a way to move the ball and score that week as well."

The win over the Texans extended the Chiefs' winning streak on the opening week of the NFL season to six games, the longest in the NFL.

Mahomes now has 10 touchdown passes in three career season openers and at this rate he could reach and overtake New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who rank first and second in NFL history in terms of passing touchdowns in first game of the season. Brees has 39 touchdown passes in 18 career Week 1 games, while Brady has 37 touchdown passes in 17 season openers and could overtake his fellow veteran when the Bucs travel to New Orleans on Sunday afternoon.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jamie Squire/Getty