What to watch for in Texans-Chiefs on Thursday Night Football – NFL.com

And the boys will play on.

Amid a year rife with illness, social unrest and political disharmony, an NFL season kicks off, beckoning the masses to huddle around their screens, giving their eyes and minds a chance to focus on a reason for revelry, celebration and astonishment.

An unprecedented offseason will segue into an unrivaled season.

America’s game” will return with the 101st NFL season arriving. There will be a sense of euphoria and relief as a new autumn is upon us, with hopes and expectations for all at a high and the possibilities endless.

It all begins Thursday night.

Two of the brightest and most brilliant young talents will lead their charges into Thursday night’s season-opening Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs game beginning at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. And the rest of the NFL – and the world – will follow.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Texans signal-caller Deshaun Watson are equal parts amazing and outstanding, turning in all-time numbers and showcasing the total package of all-star arms, educated feet and clutch demeanor.

The two will pilot their teams into a showdown roughly eight months since they last squared off, when the Chiefs orchestrated the first of three unbelievable postseason comebacks en route to a Super Bowl triumph and sent the Texans home for the offseason, in the process.

The reigning AFC West champion will face the reigning AFC South titlist with Kansas City’s Andy Reid and Houston’s Bill O’Brien aiming to bring about the start of a fresh season on a winning note.

Expectations for each team are as high as the unknown is unprecedented for what lies ahead in this most unpredictable of years.

In an uncertain world, the reality of Thursday night comes in knowing a cavalcade of the NFL’s very best talent will take the field. Mahomes will be joined by tight end Travis Kelce, defensive lineman Chris Jones, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and on and on. Watson’s all-star charges include offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, defensive end J.J. Watt and linebacker Zach Cunningham.

There will be myriad questions answered when it comes to how an NFL game look in the world of COVID-19. How will the first teams to play in 2020 look after a preseason absent of games? And, as is most welcomed, a final answer will appear on an NFL scoreboard.

Sometime late on Thursday, a showcase of stars will have concluded, the curtain having closed upon the NFL’s opening act. A season anew will have officially begun. A reason to cheer will have been had. And the boys played on.  

Here are five things to watch for on Thursday night: