The coaches absolutely failed the team in the Browns’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, failing to put their players in the best positions possible.
The Cleveland Browns lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 22-17 in a game that can only be described as a mess. The Browns play-callers, Kevin Stefanski and Joe Woods, did everything possible to keep their team from winning. Not intentionally, but their errors and play calls were single handily the reason why the Browns couldn’t beat the Chiefs.
Stefanski relied too much on failed passes to Nick Chubb and attempting to do play-action passes on what felt like every first down possible. It didn’t work once. Especially in the second half, then Stefanski got away from trying to protect Mayfield against all-out blitz packages and instead forced Mayfield to throw quick passes to the field, well short of the first down marker.
Not only that, but Stefanski wasted several time outs, and misused his challenges all game. This isn’t the first time bad play-calling has cost the Browns offensively this season either. Stefanski needs to get better at calling plays.
The biggest issue, however, was Joe Woods’ defense. For what felt like the 18th week in a row, fans were screaming at the defense to actually engage with the offense and not play so soft or conservatively. Too often corners would be six, seven, or even eight yards off the line of scrimmage, allowing for the Chiefs receivers to get open and make plays.
Linebackers were moved out of the middle on short-yards or were bunched up on passing downs. The team generated no pressure what so ever all game until the very end when Myles Garrett finally got a sack.
The Browns defense could not do anything right all game and had Patrick Mahomes not gotten hurt, there’s every possibility the Browns defense would’ve been absolutely gutted, ensuring a blowout.
GM Andrew Berry is also to blame for this game, and all the others, because he let Joe Schobert, Christian Kirksey, and Damarious Randall walk. Schobert was one of the best cover guys in the game at his position, and he absolutely would’ve made plays had he been retained.
For a team that was/is in win-now mode, they made a lot of bonehead choices with personnel in the offseason. If Berry doesn’t make moves in the offseason to drastically improve the team, then there’s no reason to keep him around long term.
As for the players, it’s really hard to fault them for the outcome. They did everything they could. They sold out on every play and you can’t help but appreciate that. Sure, the defense save for two or three players should be sent off to free agency, but they at least tried.
You can blame the officiating or the rules all you want, but every game has to deal with those situations. You can’t control bad calls or bad non-calls or the rule book. You can only control your performance and the Browns performance wasn’t up to snuff. Moreover, any touchback call is negated by getting a near-entire half of Mahomes-free football. The Browns couldn’t stop Chad Henne. That touchback was the least of their issues.
If the Browns play-calling had been better, it’d be off to Buffalo. It’s really that simple.