The games on Sunday afternoon delivered the promised tension. At Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs managed to beat the brave Cleveland Browns in the last minutes of the match. Read our previews and predictions for Sunday’s matches in week 1.
Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs highlights
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs | 29-31
Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium was the setting for a replay of last year’s Divisional playoff game between the Chiefs and Cleveland Browns. The Browns believed in their chances for revenge. Especially given the absence of Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark in the Kansas City defense. The Browns themselves lacked Odell Beckham Jr.
Cleveland immediately took the bull by the horns. The first drive of the game immediately delivered a touchdown via Nick Chubb. With a two-point conversion from his buddy Kareem Hunt, the lead even rose to eight points. Meanwhile, tempers ran high on the sidelines. Safety Ronnie Harrison’s pot boiled over when he violently shoved a Chiefs coach away. It got him banned. It’s clear that a healthy rivalry is brewing between the Chiefs and the Browns.
The lockout didn’t bother the Browns, however, and Cleveland scored two more touchdowns before halftime. First Jarvis Landry pushed the ball over the back line after a well executed jet sweep. Just before half time it was again up to Nick Chubb who suddenly got a boulevard in front of him and the ball was allowed to walk in freely. The Chiefs were also able to score a first touchdown in between those two scores. With a feint, Patrick Mahomes sent his attackers in the wrong direction and ran into the end zone himself.
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Kansas City Chiefs offense
A golden rule has emerged in the NFL over the past season. If you want to beat the Chiefs, you have to either keep them off the field or score a cartload of points. That became even more clear in the second half, when the engine of Patrick Mahomes and co really started. It started right away with a touchdown pass from Mahomes to his favorite tight end Travis Kelce. It wouldn’t be the last time in this game that this connection would hurt the Browns.
Where the Chiefs’ engine fired in the second half, the opposite happened to the Browns. They suddenly seemed to have forgotten about scoring. Nick Chubb even lost the ball on a rare occasion. It didn’t yield a touchdown for the Chiefs, but the momentum was clearly with the reigning AFC Champions. One more time after that, the Browns would find the end zone. Despite the fumble, Nick Chubb regained his confidence and rewarded it with some solid runs. In the end, it was Kareem Hunt who was able to make the score with a 2-yard rush. The Browns again had a two-score advantage in the fourth quarter. That should suffice, right?
As if the previous touchdown hadn’t happened, Mahomes grabbed the ball and went to work. A single—albeit nearly impossible—throw was enough to clear Tyreek Hill and score a quick touchdown. In a matter of seconds, the difference had shrunk again to two mere dots.
Arrowhead started to swirl and the crowd was clearly playing its part. Punter Jamie Gillan squandered a run and the Chiefs took over the ball at the 15-yard line. The stadium exploded. You shouldn’t give Patrick Mahomes such a chance and he again found Travis Kelce who scored his second touchdown of the afternoon. For the first time in the game, the Chiefs took the lead and they wouldn’t give it away again.
The Browns still forced chances for a comeback. However, at the decisive moment in the game’s final drive, the Chiefs’ defense stood firm. Baker Mayfield, determined to force the win after all, threw a bad pass to Jarvis Landry. He could only watch as Mike Hughes threw himself between attacker and ball to catch the interception. The Chiefs completed the comeback and again won a thrilling pot against the Cleveland Browns.