Cleveland Browns Week 1 Reactions: No need to panic despite loss to Chiefs
Cleveland Browns Week 1 Reactions: No need to panic despite loss to Chiefs.
The following are some key takeaways from the Cleveland Browns’ defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Cleveland Browns came within a whisker of defeating the Kansas City Chiefs but fell 29-33. The game provided a lot of insight for the remainder of the season, so here are some lessons for the future.
This offense with Odell Beckham Jr. could be truly special.
Odell Beckham was sidelined for the game after his condition was called into question the day before. The Brown’s offense performed well without him, scoring 29 points and accumulating 457 yards. That was with their finest (and most exciting) talent player on the bench.
Adding a healthy OBJ to this lineup would bring a new dimension to the offense, perhaps making it unstoppable.
Balance doesn’t mean 50-50
The offense’s balance was one of the main reasons for its success, but it doesn’t imply they ran as often as they passed. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 21 carries, while Baker Mayfield passed the ball 28 times. The more the team threw, the better the offense performed, and the more points were scored, much as in 2020. It’s a scientific fact.
Schwartz, a third-round rookie with exceptional speed, entered the league raw, but not as raw as many assumed. He had an immediate impact, catching three receptions for 69 yards and intimidating the defenders every time he was on the field.
His presence was felt strongly, and he will play a bigger part in this crime than most people believe. On a deep third-down throw, he came close to making a huge fourth-quarter convert, but the ball was swatted away at the last second. He wasn’t flawless, but his performance was inspiring.
Jedrick Wills Jr. needs to heal up
Chris Hubbard did a good job in relief (as usual), but the line obviously missed Wills, who left with an ankle injury early in the game. The extent of his injury is unknown, but he shouldn’t be out for long.
Cleveland Browns defense is not at full strength but does its job
The defense did more than enough to win, just as it did in last year’s playoff defeat. It forced four punts and provided the offense with numerous opportunities to win the game in the second half. The numerous open throws to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were annoying, but huge plays were restricted for the most part, apart from Hill’s 75-yarder.
This was accomplished without Ronnie Harrison Jr. or Grant Delpit, and with several players injured during the game, including John Johnson III, Malik McDowell, and Anthony Walker Jr.
Use David Njoku more
Against Kansas City, the team’s top tight end in 2020 maintained his strong performance. Njoku, in addition to his usual outstanding blocking, was a threat downfield, catching three receptions for a team-high 76 yards while carrying smaller defensive backs. He deserves more targets since he’s a matchup nightmare and improves the offense when he’s on the field.
The margin of error against Kansas City is so tiny, and although Cleveland’s was greater than last year, it wasn’t enough to compensate for five major errors. The first was the Browns’ botched end-of-half routine, which lost them three points.
The second was Nick Chubb’s third-quarter fumble, which wiped out the lead the club had built up in the first half.
The third was John Johnson III allowing Hill to grab the 75-yard touchdown pass while staying in excellent position until he spun around to seek for the ball, losing Hill in the process.
The fourth was Jamie Gillan’s botched snap, which led to an easy touchdown for the Chiefs,
and the last was Baker Mayfield’s first-down interception on the game’s final drive,
which was the consequence of bad timing as he tried to make the smart move and toss the ball away.
Despite this, the Browns had a chance to win, and that last drive was looking promising.
This squad is learning how to defeat the best, and although they didn’t win this time, things should be different in the playoffs when these two teams meet again.
Even though Cleveland is 0-1 for the second straight season, there’s no need to panic. The Browns have a chance to start a 10-game winning streak against the Houston Texans next Sunday. It’s just the beginning of a 17-game season, and things are only going to get better from here.