NEW YORK – Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have been riding high since winning the Super Bowl in February.
And after their opening 34-20 win over the Houston Texans, the defending champs are off to a good start in their bid to repeat.
“What makes this offense so good,” Mahomes said on Monday, “is that we can change within games. We can go through our game plan and find ways to score and find ways to move the ball down the field, and (against Houston) it was running the football and taking the short passes.”
The Chiefs are also No. 1 in the first AP Pro32 poll of the season. Kansas City earned 10 of 12 first-place votes for 382 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
The Baltimore Ravens are No. 2 in the poll. They received the remaining two first-place votes for 371 points.
The Ravens, who finished with the best record in the NFL last season at 14-2, cruised to a 38-6 win in their opener against Cleveland and travel to Houston to face the Texans on Sunday.
“It’s just hard work and dedication,” Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said on Monday. “Our guys just dialed in. They helped me out a lot, made my job a lot easier.”
The New Orleans Saints are next at No. 3 after their impressive 34-23 win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who despite enormous preseason buildup start out at No. 14.
“Every team is going to wish they did things better,” Brady said after his Tampa Bay debut. Brady was 23 for 36 for 239 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions, including a pick-6.
The Seattle Seahawks open at No. 4 after a 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks will try to go 2-0 on Sunday night when they host Cam Newton and the New England Patriots, who are at No. 8 after topping the Miami Dolphins.
“I think it’s time for everybody, including myself, to realize this is what it’s like. I think it came full circle,” Newton said Monday. “For me to just kind of realize that I’m a New England Patriot and I’m just going to embrace this whole moment.”
The Green Bay Packers are at No. 5 after outlasting the Minnesota Vikings 43-34.
The Pittsburgh Steelers begin at No. 6. Ben Roethlisberger made a successful return from elbow surgery after missing 14 games last season as he threw three TD passes in a 26-16 win over the New York Giants.
“We said afterward it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t even good some of the time offensively,” Roethlisberger said. “But at the end of the day we found a way to win.”
The Buffalo Bills, hoping to dethrone the Patriots atop the AFC East, start out one spot ahead of New England at No. 7.
NFC West rivals round out the top 10 as the Los Angeles Rams (No. 9) and Arizona each had a successful start to 2020 after a so-so 2019.
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