The Kansas City Chiefs finally get a chance to square-up against someone in a jersey that isn't one of their own as they host the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium Thursday night in the first preseason game for both teams.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and the game can be watched locally on KCTV5 (CBS).
The Chiefs' starters on both sides of the ball are set to play the first quarter with the second and third-teams to follow. Each of the four quarterbacks should get one quarter a piece.
"You're looking for assignment football," Chiefs' coach Andy Reid explained. "You're looking when the juices get going how you handle that. You're in the stadium with the fans there. We've had a great turnout here (in St. Joseph, Missouri—home of training camp), but it's a little different with the lights on and it's game time.
"It's one more evaluation period that you have a chance to see these guys in."
Generally, the game plans are pretty vanilla as both coaching staffs just want to see their guys execute the plays without giving too much of their stuff away as the regular season begins in about a month.
But even though they aren't really game planning against their opponent, that doesn't' stop the competitive juices from flowing.
"We're going out there to try and win a football game," quarterback Patrick Mahomes told the media Tuesday after practice. "That's the first thing Coach Reid said when we were planning for this week is that he doesn't like losing. I'm going to try to encourage those guys and help those guys on the sideline.
"We have a lot of competitors so hopefully we can win the game."
Mahomes, who will be taking his first reps as the Chiefs' starting quarterback at Arrowhead on Thursday after taking over this past offseason, explained what he's looking for from himself against the Texans.
"I just want to go out there and be efficient, hopefully get a couple of drives and a couple of touchdowns," he said. "If it's a few drives that end with running touchdowns or throwing touchdowns, whatever, I just want to move the ball and be efficient."
As do his teammates, Mahomes is looking forward to playing against guys who they aren't seeing every day—players who learn over time their tendencies, route combinations in the passing game, and what they like to do in certain situations. That becomes second-nature at camp when you're facing the same guys at each practice.
"You just want to see where you're at against another team and see exactly how the progress has come along throughout camp and since last year," Mahomes explained. "Last year, I didn't know what to expect. This year I have a small sample size of what to expect going out there."
In regards to which players might play and which might sit, Reid hadn't yet determined that with players who have been nursing injuries, such as linebackers Reggie Ragland and Anthony Hitchens, receiver Sammy Watkins, among others.
"We'll take a look at all of those guys that are banged up or have had surgeries and evaluate them," Reid said.
Again, the game can be watched locally on KCTV5 with play-by-play man Carter Blackburn, color analyst Trent Green, and sideline reporter B.J. Kissel. There's set to be plenty of great exclusive content during the broadcast from behind-the-scenes features to live player interviews on the sideline.