Will this become a possible trap game for the Chiefs? Kansas City has begun their season at 7-1, as we have hit the midway point of the season. The Browns meanwhile, have improved in some areas, but are once again searching for a new head coach. As a result, the Chiefs cannot write-off this Cleveland team on Sunday. Let’s take a look at some of the top headlines going into this Chiefs-Browns game.
Hit the Road Hue Jack
A day after losing to the Steelers last week, the Browns, once again, decided to clean house. Head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were both fired. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was named interim head coach. Hue’s run in Cleveland could not have been more hopeless. Jackson’s record in Cleveland over two and a half seasons finished 3-36-1, including a winless season last year. Jackson is also now 11-44-1 as a head coach. How bad is that? Out of 219 coaches that have coached a minimum of 40 games in their career, he ranks 218th in winning percentage. There are many different reports about who wanted to keep who between the front office and ownership. Also, the Browns players apparently found out about the firings from televisions around the facility. No team meeting was held before or after the announcement.
Don’t Write Them Off
The Chiefs can not come into this one off of their A-game. The Browns may not win a lot, but they are seemingly in most of the games, which has led to crazy endings. Anything can happen on any given game in the NFL, and the Browns have had a full week to prepare with the new staff changes. Kansas City seems to be a team that mentally, would not let a let down to the Browns happen. But, the Browns have a tough defense that flies around. Offensively, Cleveland has playmakers who can create big plays at any given moment.
Let’s take a look at a game where a team recently fired their head coach, then shocked an opponent the following week.
Why not use an example courtesy of the Chiefs. Back in 2011, Kansas City fired Todd Haley in the middle of December. The Chiefs at 5-8, welcomed in the Packers, who were 13-0. The Chiefs played a hard-nosed game, and slapped Green Bay with their first loss of the season, winning 19-14. Interim head coach Romeo Crennel chose Kyle Orton as his quarterback, and Orton made enough plays to lead the Chiefs to victory. That was the only loss the Packers suffered in the regular season in 2011, before they ultimately fell in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Green Bay also finished that season with the number one ranked offense.
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Mahomes vs Mayfield
Former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, now in the same position with the Browns, selected both of these quarterbacks in the first round over the last two drafts with these two teams. They will now go head to head for the first time in the NFL. What everyone is talking about though, is the classic these two displayed against each other in college.
Back in 2016, Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield combined for an FBS record 1,708 yards of offense. Mahomes set an FBS record in passing yards (734) and yard of total offense (819). Mayfield set a school record at Oklahoma with seven touchdown passes in the contest. Astonishingly, Mahomes attempted 88 total passes. Even though Mayfield threw for seven touchdown passes, he attempted 52 fewer passes than Mahomes. Oklahoma would wind up winning 66-59.
Odds are, we don’t see that on Sunday, we think.
Matchup to Watch: Chiefs Pass Rush vs Browns Offensive Line
The Chiefs may have started out slow on defense, but they have improved lately. This includes the pass rush, which is being led by Dee Ford. Kansas City is tied for the second most sacks in the league with 24. Considering they are only three sacks behind a defense like the Ravens, shows how well they are getting to the quarterback right now. Meanwhile, the Browns have allowed the most sacks in the league. The Chiefs have to force Mayfield to stay in the pocket and bottle him up. Mayfield throws tremendously on the run and can even elude tacklers pretty well.
It’s time to look at the marks that Mahomes is continuing to break.
-With his third passing touchdown last week, Mahomes became the fastest ever to throw 25 touchdown passes (9 games).
-Mahomes now has 26 touchdown passes this season. That’s what Alex Smith had all of last year for the Chiefs. But, we harp on Smith enough. Let’s compare the two quarterbacks drafted by Kansas City in the first round. Mahomes only took 9 games to reach 26 passing touchdowns. Todd Blackledge played in 40 games for Kansas City and finished with 26 passing touchdowns in his career as a Chief.
-Mahomes now has 5 games with 4 or more passing touchdowns, the most through the first 8 games of a season in the Super Bowl era. The Browns have had a quarterback throw for 4 or more touchdowns in 4 games since the Browns became a franchise again in 1999.
There you have it. Thank you for reading. Enjoy your Football Sunday, including the Chiefs-Browns game. For more sports content, check out Full Press Coverage daily.