The Mahomes era Chiefs (1-0) remain undefeated in contests with the Mayfield era Browns (0-1) with a 33-29 come-from-behind victory in week 1. An unfolding saga, born of one of the most electric college football clashes of all time, demands attention as these two rosters continue to polish and develop.
Cleveland came out of the locker room like a bat out of hell marching down the field with a meticulous ground and pound from Nick Chubb. He led an opening drive that ate up nearly half of the first quarter clock and resulted in an 8-0 lead that set the tone for the first half.
Myles Garret was the star on defense for the Browns and seemed to be everywhere in the first two quarters. Following his lead, the Browns mounted an efficient pass rush on the Chiefs revamped offensive line that gave up two sacks and allowed 13 hits on Mahomes. The steady tempo from Cleveland’s offense and consistency of the defense resulted in a 22-10 Browns advantage at half.
Que Andy Reid.
As is tradition for Big Red, the opening kickoff was deferred to the half and opened the door for his adjustments to come in to play immediately. With the football back, Kansas City turned to second year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to reset the pace and open up the field for the passing game. Although he ended the game with only 43 yards on 14 carries, his efforts on each of the ensuing touchdown drives proved to be the difference.
The passing attack came to life for KC and the dazzling theatrics that have become custom for Patrick Mahomes were back on display. Every time something big had to happen, it happened. Tyreek Hill had 11 receptions on 15 targets for 197 yards and a touchdown, averaging almost 18 yards per catch and hauling in a jaw-dropping 75-yard touchdown pass that brought the Chiefs within two points of the lead with 10 minutes to play.
The CEO of Sack Nation, fifth year defensive tackle, Chris Jones got in on the action late and left his mark by taking down Mayfield twice for sacks and providing great pressure off the edge that led to errant throws and an interception that would prove to seal the deal.
The Chiefs, landing on the wrong side of last years lopsided Super Bowl appear to be on a mission and will be a tough team to bet against moving forward into the season. However, with the spread at +5.5 against the Browns, they managed a cover and displayed their potential to silence even the most high-powered of offensive threats for quarters at a time as well as the ability that lies within their offense to eat the clock and keep the defense off the field.
It may be early, but this felt like a matchup between 2021-2022 division winners – what a treat for the opener!