Browns vs Chiefs Preview: The Cleveland Browns upset the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road last week in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs. The team’s reward was a ticket to Arrowhead Stadium for this Sunday to battle the AFC’s #1 seed, the Kansas City Chiefs. The winner will advance to the conference championship game next weekend.
Kansas City will be a 10-point home favorite on Sunday afternoon against the Browns. The Chiefs are -500 and the Browns are +400 in this Divisional Round battle. The over/under has been set at 57 points.
Browns vs Chiefs Preview | Can Momentum Propel the Browns?
Everything went right for Cleveland last week against Pittsburgh in the team’s 48-37 upset over the Steelers. The Browns jumped out to a 28-0 lead over the Steelers in the first quarter. Pittsburgh came alive in the second half, but they waited too long to make their run.
The Steelers came within two scores of the Browns in the fourth quarter. Cleveland stayed composed and Baker Mayfield led his team down the field twice with each drive ending with a Cody Parkey field goal. These two field goals were the final daggers to Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl dreams.
Baker Mayfield appeared to be the possible savior of Cleveland football at Heinz Field on Sunday night. Mayfield was 21 of 34 for 263 yards and three touchdowns. Jarvis Landry was Mayfield’s main target. Landry hauled in five receptions for 92 yards with a touchdown.
Even though Cleveland’s offense was partying in the endzone all night long, the Browns’ defense was the catalyst in the team’s 48-37 victory. The defense forced five turnovers. They picked off Ben Roethlisberger four times and also recovered a fumble in the endzone to put Cleveland up 6-0, 14 seconds into the game.
Can Cleveland utilize this momentum to upset the best team in the AFC on Sunday? Only time will tell.
Browns vs Chiefs Preview | The Road to a Repeat Starts with Cleveland
The Chiefs earned the one seed in the AFC with ease after Pittsburgh collapsed late in the season. Sunday will be the defending Super Bowl Champions playoff debut after the team’s Wild Card Round bye.
The Chiefs went 14-2 this season. However, one of those losses came in Week 17 against the Chargers. The Chiefs had already secured the one seed so Andy Reid chose to bench the majority of the team’s starters. If Patrick Mahomes is playing MVP football, the team is very tough to stop.
Mahomes had a quarterback rating of 82.9 this season which ranked second in the NFL. He threw for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns. Mahomes was ranked amongst the top five quarterbacks in every statistical category for his effort in the 2020 regular season.
One thing to note is that Tyreek Hill will not play on Sunday against the Browns. In addition to this, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable to be in the backfield because of a leg injury.
The Chiefs offense carried the team in 2020. The defense was inconsistent, but this unit still has superstars all over the field. The Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu ranked third in the league with six interceptions this season. Mayfield will want to stay away from the strong safety inside Arrowhead Stadium.
Browns vs Chiefs Preview | The Matchup
The Chiefs are a heavy favorite over the Browns on Sunday and for good reason. They’re a much better football team than Cleveland, but don’t count out the Browns. The Browns have the ability to keep this game close, but they’ll need to carry the momentum throughout the entire game to leave Arrowhead victorious.
The Browns must neutralize Patrick Mahomes. He’s tough to stop, but if the Cleveland defense can minimize his production, they’ll put their team in a position to win. The Chiefs have been defined by second-half production all season long.
Teams have played Kansas City tough in 2020, but the Raiders were the only team to finish the job this season. The Browns will need to force Mahomes into mistakes all afternoon on Sunday to win. They must make him uncomfortable and then keep him contained when he escapes the pocket.
For Cleveland, this will be tough to do because Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Cleveland will need to be flawless all afternoon to stun the Chiefs on Sunday. I don’t believe the Browns will be able to prevail as an underdog for the second week in a row.
FINAL: Chiefs 38 Browns 17
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