The K.C. Chiefs were on the ropes all Sunday afternoon, even at Arrowhead Stadium, but Patrick Mahomes proved that you can never count him out any any point with a stellar fourth quarter and the Chiefs roared back to beat the visiting Cleveland Browns by a final score of 33-29.
The Browns and Chiefs began the game down a few key pieces on each side. For the Chiefs, the inactive list surprised everyone with the inclusion of Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark among others. Given the injury to Willie Gay Jr to start the year, it meant the defense would play without a key player at each level. The Browns were missing important parts as well, including Odell Beckham, Jr., Grant Delpit and more.
From the beginning, the Browns showed they were ready to meet the Chiefs drive for drive. They got on the board first behind a gutsy fourth-down call close to the goal line on their opening drive that successfully converted and allowed Nick Chubb’s short run to finish things off for a touchdown. The Chiefs relied on Harrison Butker to convert a short field goal on the ensuing drive, the same one in which Browns safety Ronnie Harrison was ejected for shoving Chiefs running backs coach Greg Lewis.
From there, the Browns extended their lead with another impressive touchdown drive capped by an impressive fourth-down call in the red zone for a Jarvis Landry run that resulted in a 15-3 lead.
The Chiefs then answered the need for some big plays of their own with a nice 75-yard drive that featured big catches by Kelce and Hill before Mahomes ran it in himself from five yards out to make it 15-10.
Unfortunately the Browns continued to embarrass the Chiefs defense with their third long scoring drive on three chances in the first half marked by the most wide open run of Nick Chubb’s career from 18 yards to make it 22-10. It would remain that score until halftime.
The Chiefs came alive in the second half on both sides of the ball—or at least they were able to come up with the big play on defense to stifle the Browns offense. Before that, however, the Chiefs put together their most workmanlike drive of the game with a slow, steady 14-play drive that marched 75 yards to the end zone featuring a nice touchdown dive by Travis Kelce.
From there, the Browns starting carving up the Chiefs run defense once again but a solid effort by Juan Thornhill to knock the ball loose from Chubb (who earned 27 yards on three plays on this drive for some perspective). The fumble was recovered by Ben Niemann and suddenly the Chiefs were back in business after being down 12 at the half.
The Chiefs recovered the fumble and took advantage for another Butker field goal to bring it to 22-20, but the Browns kept running the ball on the following drive and could not be stopped. The result was a two-yard Kareem Hunt touchdown that put them up 29-20 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Then came an incredible shift in momentum that shows you can never count out the Chiefs. First, Mahomes threw an incredible 75-yard strike to Tyreek Hill deep to match the Browns’ score with a touchdown toss of his own.
It was enough to wake up Arrowhead from a slumber and give the Chiefs the momentum they were needing. The defense also woke up as Chris Jones sacked Mayfield for the second time on the day to put the Browns offense on their heels. The Browns were forced to punt but Jamie Gillan fumbled and gave the Chiefs the ball in the red zone. Mahomes throw a short pass of 8 yards for a touchdown—his third TD throw and fourth overall of the day.
From there, the Chiefs defense needed to step up as the Browns were marching on a final drive, but pressure got Mayfield to toward Mike Hughes and the Chiefs new’ cornerback did what he needed to do to ice the game.
The Chiefs start the season at 1-0 with the 33-29 win over the Browns, an important game in what should be a tough AFC battle to the end. Next week, the Chiefs will visit the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.