The Kansas City Chiefs are set to face off against the Cleveland Browns in their season opener. This has the potential to be the game of the week, as both franchises are stacked. With each team being a potential Super Bowl contender, the fireworks should be on full display on Sunday. It’s time to continue our NFL predictions series with a Chiefs Week 1 prediction.
This is an incredibly tough matchup for the Chiefs to kick off the 2021 season. Cleveland’s front office has built a stacked roster top to bottom, as the Browns hope to wash away decades of disappointment. Kansas City has a solid roster as well, as they’ve been one of the top teams in the NFL since Patrick Mahomes took over as the starting quarterback.
The Chiefs-Browns game should come down to the wire, as Kansas City’s defense could surprise Cleveland. We should see the passing game on full display though, as Clyde Edwards-Helaire faces a stout front seven. That leaves Patrick Mahomes the freedom to hit Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill throughout the entire game. With that said, here are four bold predictions for the Chiefs Week 1 matchup versus the Browns.
Tyrann Mathieu is questionable to play as he’s currently sidelined with COVID-19. Shutting down the Browns’ passing game is a difficult task, but not impossible. Kansas City will have to apply pressure on Baker Mayfield if they hope to slow down Cleveland’s passing game. If they can do that, the Chiefs’ chances of winning drastically increases.
3. Clyde Edwards-Helaire proves to be ineffective
Overall, this is just a bad matchup for the Chiefs backfield. The Browns have absolute monsters within the front seven that are going to cause problems in the trenches. This doesn’t mean Clyde Edwards-Helaire will have a bad season by any means. We should see him bounce back and provide consistency in the running game for most of the season.
2. Patrick Mahomes throws for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns
With the run game potentially being shut down, Kansas City will have to rely on the passing game. Luckily for them, they have the best quarterback in the league in Patrick Mahomes. The air attack is the strength of this offense, and we should be seeing Mahomes work his magic on Sunday. Although the Browns have a solid secondary, Kansas City has the tools to beat anyone through the air.
1. Travis Kelce explodes for 150+ yards and three touchdowns
Travis Kelce is essentially a cheat code in the world of football. He’s basically an oversized receiver that’s still good after the catch. Tyreek Hill will get his fair share of targets, but this Chiefs-Browns matchup is perfect for Kelce to take advantage of. He’s already regarded as the best tight end in the league, so Kelce has nothing to really prove. Look for Mahomes to target his favorite pass option frequently, as the Chiefs are likely to air it out throughout most of the game.