The Browns fall to the Chiefs in the season opener.
The Browns fell to the Chiefs 33-29 to open the season, despite opening up and dominating the first half. The team’s defense had no answers all day for the Chiefs starter Patrick Mahomes, who completely picked apart a Browns’ defense that played passively all game, but most notably in the second half.
The idea that this defense would be more aggressive quickly went out the window as the game went on.
The first quarter saw the Browns running up and down on the Chiefs, taking an 8-3 lead. The second quarter wasn’t much different with the Browns maintaining the lead and adding another two touchdowns to close out the half up 22-12.
The second half, however, was far from the same story. The Chiefs were able to mount an impressive comeback, posting three touchdowns in the second half, two of which happened just minutes apart. They took the lead, going up 33-29 late in the fourth. A final attempt by the Chiefs to score ended up with the Browns getting to Patrick Mahomes for a sack. It was Myles Garrett’s first big play of the game, and it came right when the team needed it the most.
The game came down to the final two and half minutes, with the Browns down to their final timeout. Cleveland tried to mount one final drive, but a Chiefs defender was able to get through the line and hooked Baker Mayfield’s foot, causing him to throw the ball short, straight to a Chiefs’ defender.
The Browns offense was great for a half
The Browns had a fumble from Nick Chubb, an interception from Mayfield, and a miffed punt from Jamie Gillan. Cleveland needed to play perfect offense in the first half and they did just that in the first half. Now, normally a fumble and an interception aren’t enough to sink a team, but considering how bad the Browns’ defense had been all game, the offense needed to be perfect.
An unfair expectation, but still the expectation.
The defense will need to seriously look over their game plan and start asking some real questions. This isn’t a team Cleveland can just expect to avoid in the playoffs. This is two straight games where Cleveland was bested by the Chiefs offense with little to no resistance.
Mahomes was able to do to the defense anything and everything he wanted, with little resistance. The defensive line couldn’t get to Mahomes all day, nor could they contain him from rolling out. Too often the linemen crashed on Mahomes’ opposite shoulder, allowing him to easily roll out of the way and extend the play. While the defensive line was in the backfield every so often, their presence did very little to alter the game.
The Browns have not won on opening day since 2004 and have not won on the road on opening day since 1994. That streak continues.
The Browns have Houston next week at home.