Chiefs (14-2) vs. Browns (11-5) Divisional Round Preview

Chiefs Offense vs. Browns Defense
Browns Offense vs. Chiefs Defense

During the home stretch of 2020, the Chiefs Offense didn’t look quite as dynamic as we’ve all grown accustomed to. They only (only?) averaged 27.7 points in Patrick Mahomes’ final 6 starts of the season. Regardless of any struggles they might have fought through, though, you can bet that the offense will come out of the bye week looking rejuvenated. Andy Reid has been phenomenal in his career coming off of a bye, and the extra week to prepare should help kick-start the Chiefs against a below-average Browns Defense.

The key matchup in this game will come on the other side of the ball. The Browns’ rushing attack could be a real problem for a Chiefs Defense that has not been great at defending the run this season. The Browns Offense is based off of the running game, and that includes using a heavy amount of play-action.

The run game will be a critical factor in shortening the game and keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field. But Cleveland can’t just eat up clock. They have to score to keep pace with Kansas City. Shortening the game doesn’t drastically reduce the amount of possessions the Chiefs will get. They can still easily score 35-40 points on 10 or even 8 possessions. The Browns have to score. The good news for them is that they rank 3rd in red zone scoring %, while the Chiefs Defense ranks dead last in the NFL. Taking advantage when they have opportunities will be critical for the Browns to have any chance. They’re not winning this game with field goals.