Kansas City Chiefs kick returner Knile Davis is a native of Missouri City, Texas, a city less than 20 miles away from Houston, and as he explained after the Wild Card game against the Texans, playing the first game of this year's playoffs in Texas was a homecoming for him.
That is why what happened on the opening kickoff—a 106-yard return for a touchdown—meant so much.
"This is my hometown," he said. "It was good to set the tempo in my hometown."
Davis gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead only 11 seconds into the game.
"When I saw the ball in the air, I saw the coverage; I knew that they weren't on me yet," he said. "I was like, this is a good opportunity to do something, make something happen, and when I went left, I saw it split like the Red Sea, and I took it to the house from there."
After Davis avoided an initial tackle near the Kansas City 13-yard line by shifting to his left, no Houston defender came close to touching him as he darted up the field.
The crowd, he later said, is what made him realize that the score would stand. There were no flags on the field.
"The crowd will just let you know," he said. "When you turn around, that's why you turn around quick. You are just hoping that there are no yellow flags. It's just surreal man."
Head coach Andy Reid seemed unsurprised when asked about Davis' score in his postgame presser.
"He's a big man that can run fast," Reid said. "He's been so close on so many and to start off that way and the guys who blocked for them did a great job and Knile hit it and hit it fast."
Photos from Chiefs Wild Card matchup against the Texans
In 2006, Devin Hester, one of the greatest returners of all time, ran the opening kickoff back for the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. The Bears ultimately lost that game to the Indianapolis Colts, 29-17.
Current Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub was Chicago's special teams coordinator at the time, so when Davis returned the kickoff Saturday, Toub made of a point of it to recall that moment with Reid.
"Toub reminded me when he was in Chicago, they had one of those things happen in the playoffs," Reid said. "They lost the game. We understood that we had to keep playing, and the guys, they stayed focused through that."
Davis quieted his hometown crowd with the touchdown before they could even get in the game, and rather than taking their foot off the gas pedal, the Chiefs continued to press as they put 23 more unanswered points on the board to shut out the Texans, 30-0.
Davis started it all and by game's end, there were few Texans fans left in the seats at NRG Stadium.
"It is quiet in the stadium right now, yes sir," Davis said.