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Kansas City Chiefs players and coaches raved all week about Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the dynamic he brought to and offense that was already one of the best in the NFL. Edwards-Helaire made them look wise when he put on a clinic in his NFL debut during Thursday’s 34-20 win over the Houston Texans, finishing with 25 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. Let’s put Edwards-Helaire’s incredible debut into perspective with the numbers. Edwards-Helaire became just the 10th running back in NFL history to rush for 100 yards and score a rushing touchdown in his first career game, and was the first running back to accomplish the feat since Saquon Barkley did it in 2018. 

Edwards-Helaire is just the third player since 1950 to finish with 25 carries and 135 rushing yards and a touchdown in his debut, joining William Andrews (1979) and Cadillac Williams (2005). Of players to finish with 100+ rushing yards and a touchdown in his debut, Andrews has the most rushing yards with 167 while Williams and Kareem Hunt are tied for second with 148. Edwards-Helaire is fourth on the all-time list with 135 yards. 

Edwards-Helaire’s 135 rushing yards are the 10th-most for a player in his debut in league history. He received 66% of his team’s running back snaps to Darrel Williams’ 34%. The Chiefs ran the ball 34 times in the opener signaling a potential change in how the offense will operate moving forward with Edwards-Helaire now in the mix. For reference, they didn’t have a single game with 30 carries during the regular season and postseason last year. Kansas City did not have a game where it had 30 carries since the 2018 AFC divisional playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts and last recorded a 30+ carry game in the regular season in a Week 13 win over the Oakland Raiders — a streak of 20 consecutive games (not counting postseason). 

The impact of Edwards-Helaire on the Chiefs offense is already paying dividends and it feels like he’s only just scratching the surface.

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