The K.C. Chiefs decided to play a fun game of “how many times can we give Sterling a heart attack?” in their 33-29 victory over the Cleveland Browns. I’m not sure if the Chiefs just wanted to give Cleveland hope just to rip their hearts out, or if the defense early on was really that unprepared and abysmal. Either way, a Chiefs victory makes for a great Monday.
For those checking this out for the first time, I do a quick recap and hand out game grades to four or five guys and name an MVP of the game. I try and rotate through players each week, so next week might be a completely different group of guys.
Without further ado, it is time for the first 2021 game grades.
Travis Kelce – A
Beard or no beard, it doesn’t matter as Kelce caught 6 of 7 targets for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kelce shakes open every play and was out breaking guys ankles like he was Allen Iverson on a crossover. He proves time and time again he is utterly unguardable and whatever poor soul gets tasked to try and cover him stands no chance.
One thing I do want to say is the best trick play the Chiefs have is the one where the best QB in the league (Mahomes) throws it to the best TE in the league (Kelce). I am getting a little irritated with the amount of trick plays when the most unstoppable connection is just so easy. It’s a minor complaint about play calling but also showcases just how good Kelce is.
Nick Bolton – B
Nick Bolton was active early and made his impact felt. Tied for the team lead with 7 tackles including one for a loss, his impressive ability to wrap up the ball carrier translated from Mizzou to the Chiefs. He has a nose for the ball and does a great job of not missing tackles. He was noticeably effective for a rookie, especially when it came to making tackles one-on-one against some of the most physical running backs in the NFL. The linebackers as a whole struggled at times to stop the run but Bolton seemed to be a bright spot.
Where I have to pump the brakes a bit, I went to Mizzou myself so I love Bolton, is in pass coverage. He struggled a bit there and it wasn’t his strong suit in college. He is a rookie and will have time to develop and grow. First game and he was looking like the best linebacker out there a lot of the time. I am extremely excited to see the continued growth.
Chiefs Offensive Line – B-
After an entire offseason dedicated to the revamping of the offensive line, Week 1 was more or less just above average. While Patrick had way more time than the Super Bowl, it wasn’t as if it was clean game. He did take two sacks, although one was probably more on him as he drifted back farther than I’m sure the guys on the o-line were used to.
The line also didn’t get a huge push in the run game, which was a little bit of a surprise considering the size of this unit and the focus on improving the run game. Earning 3.2 yards per carry isn’t ideal on the whole, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire wasn’t able to get much going at all. (He did miss a huge hole that looked like he could have done some damage.) Orlando Brown Jr. allowed 5 pressures although he was going up against Myles Garrett. This will be a growing process and one that should be very enjoyable to watch.
Tyreek Hill – A+
I want to see Tyreek race a Tesla because his acceleration is just absurd. I know we see it every week but I am still in awe every time he catches the ball, looks to be surrounded, then blows by guys who have the angle for extra yards. Hill caught 11 balls for 197 yards and a touchdown including a 75-yarder which completely turned the game around.
Also, I love the fact he got custom gloves made for the peace sign so he wouldn’t get fined and he still held up the peace sign as normal. At least he didn’t get flagged. Hill showed why he is a top 5 wide receiver in the NFL and is the most explosive in this one. The Hill, Kelce, Mahomes trio is the most dangerous in the NFL and if this continues, can make a case for all-time.
Patrick Mahomes – MVP
No other option here. Hill was outstanding but Mahomes was the engineer behind everything. From keeping drives alive with his arm as well as his legs, Mahomes was nearly perfect in this game. He threw for 337 yards through the air with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, and he added a score on the ground as well as he continues to be barely faster than whoever is chasing him.
Not only was Mahomes effective, he made a meme come to life with his “[bleep] it, Tyreek down there somewhere” throw that ripped the heart out of the Browns. It is getting absurd the type of numbers he puts up week in and week out, and the fact that this phenomenal game is what we are coming to expect. Browns thought they could prove a point with a Week 1 win, Mahomes had other plans.