2. ClevelandBrowns: Chiefs lack of chemistry on O-line
A big disadvantage facing the Chiefs entering Week 1 is their overhauled offensive line. If there’s a spot you need chemistry and cohesive unit, the line’s it, and there’s just too much uncertainty there in Week 1.
Andy Reid’s squad is essentially starting three rookies in the trenches. Starting right tackle Lucas Niang was a third-round pick last season who opted out due to COVID.
Browns fans know how important an offensive line can be. It’s one thing to have a Hall of Fame player on the line (Joe Thomas), but if the rest of the unit isn’t up to snuff, quarterbacks can and will get eaten alive.
The Chiefs correctly realized that the team needed better protection for Mahomes, but it takes time for a line to work as a symbiotic unit, which is why this is something the Browns may be able to exploit.
Kansas City deployed veteran help to protect Mahomes’ blind side. Remember how Orlando Brown wanted out of Baltimore because he wanted to play left tackle so he could get paid like a left tackle? He’s getting that shot in KC. Meanwhile, veteran Pats lineman Joe Thuney is taking over at left guard.
That leaves rookie center Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith and Niang to cover center, right guard and right tackle, respectively.
The Browns need to force errors and are capable of doing so, especially with Garrett and Clowney rushing. Watch these battles carefully.