The Cleveland Browns will kick off their 2021 NFL season with a trip to raucous Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. These two teams met in the AFC Divisional Round last year, with the Chiefs coming out on top in a thrilling game. Cleveland finished 11-5 in third place in a loaded AFC North. Kansas City finished 14-2 but fell short in the Super Bowl against the 49ers. The Chiefs open this game up as -6 point favorites.
Browns Aim for Vengeance Against ChiefsBaker Mayfield and the Browns fittingly open their season against the team that ended their 2020 campaign. In that game, Kansas City lost quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the third quarter to a concussion and backup Chad Henne came in to replace him. At that time, the Chiefs were up 22-10 and Cleveland got within five but Henne ran 13 yards on third-and-14 to set up a fourth-and-1 conversion that sealed the game. Since then, the Browns have been working hard to rebuild their defense and try and slow down the high-powered Chiefs’ offense along with the other powerhouses in the AFC.
Cleveland’s running game was one of the best in the NFL last season. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were a force, holding claim as the only pair of teammates to each have more than 840 yards rushing last year. Chubb and Hunt had a combined 23 touchdowns from scrimmage, the fourth-highest total in the league. The Browns have their sights set on improving their divisional playoff appearance last year, and they will no doubt meet Kansas City again in their quest if they make the playoffs again. Baker and the Browns will be ready.
Kansas City Chasing Glory AgainKansas City is looking for its third consecutive Super Bowl appearance and fourth straight conference championship game appearance with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Everyone remembers how the Super Bowl went in Tampa last year, so the Chiefs made it a priority to update their offensive line heading into this year. Orlando Brown and Joe Thuney headline a new line with five fresh starters. Brown didn't allow a single sack or quarterback hit in 389 pass-blocking snaps at left tackle with the Ravens last season. It’s arguably the best O-line Mahomes has had in his four years as a Chief.
The Chiefs’ defense and defensive line are improved with the addition of Jarran Reed upfront. They still finished the 2020 season allowing 122 rushing yards per game (21st) and 4.6 yards per attempt on the ground (24th). Shockingly, the Chiefs have averaged 31.4 points with Mahomes as the starting quarterback, the highest average for any team since 1950, so the D doesn’t have to be that special.
- Chiefs are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games
- Chiefs are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games against the Browns
- Trends can be found on oddshark.com
- Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games
- Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Chiefs
- Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games against the Chiefs