Way-Early Look at Cleveland Browns Week 1 Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

Way-Early Look at Cleveland Browns Week 1 Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

Ryan Knuppel
3 years ago
3 min read

If you’re a diehard football fan, it’s never too early to look at the upcoming schedule and figure out how each game is going to go. For Browns fans, that’s more true than ever, as they enter a new season with higher expectations than they’ve had in a long time.

We’re going to be looking at Cleveland’s upcoming opponents in the fall. From who they are, how the Browns did the last time they played, and what to expect when they finally play.

Today, we’re starting at the beginning, taking a closer look at Cleveland’s Week 1 opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chiefs Summary

2020 Record: 14-2
End Result: Lost Super Bowl

The Chiefs might very well be the most popular team in the NFL at this point. Led by superstar Patrick Mahomes, a pair of dynamic weapons in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, and a future Hall of Fame coach in Andy Reid, Kansas City has represented the AFC in the Super Bowl in each of the last two seasons, winning the big game in 2020 against the 49ers but losing this past February to the Buccaneers.

Among Kansas City’s biggest offseason changes was an overhaul of the offensive line. The Chiefs released both starting offensive tackles, former first overall pick Eric Fisher and All-Pro Mitchell Schwartz, but traded their first-round pick to Baltimore for Orlando Brown. They also signed Joe Thuney and Kyle Long to be the new starting guards and used a second-round pick on Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey.

Among other changes, Kansas City said goodbye to running back Damien Williams, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and cornerback Bashaud Breeland, among others. As for major additions, Brown and the two guards are the biggest ones, along with cornerback Mike Hughes and linebacker Nick Bolton, their first player selected in the draft.

Last Meeting

Every Browns fan will remember the last time the Browns and Chiefs went head-to-head. After Cleveland took down the Steelers in the AFC Wild Card round, they traveled to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Chiefs, who clinched the number one seed in the AFC and therefore had a first-round bye.

Cleveland was a double-digit underdog going into the game, and it sure seemed like the game would be long over after Kansas City went into halftime with a 19-3 lead. However, the momentum shifted when Mahomes suffered a concussion and was forced to leave the game in the third quarter. Before long, two second-half touchdowns helped bring the Browns to within five with still about 11 minutes of action left.

However, the magic would run out on the Browns’ upset bid. Despite having the ball with eight minutes left and a chance to win the game, Cleveland’s seven-play drive resulted in a punt. From there, backup Chad Henne was able to convert a pair of first downs, including one on 4th and 1, to ice the game for the Chiefs and give them the 22-17 victory.

What to Expect

This is the first game of the season, so it’s safe to say that the Browns will have revenge on the mind. That will be especially true for Baker Mayfield, who had a golden opportunity to earn the upset but threw for just 204 yards with a touchdown and interception. Look for him to be motivated and attempt to take advantage of Kansas City’s new-look secondary.

The biggest factor may be Cleveland’s pass rush against Kansas City’s revamped o-line. It will be the first game for Jadaveon Clowney, who should be able to exploit Mike Remmers on the right side, with Brown having to deal with Myles Garrett on the other edge. As the Bucs showed in the Super Bowl, dominating along the line is the key to beating the Chiefs.

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