People definitely disrespected Cleveland heading into this game and Browns fans should be feeling pretty good about their team moving forward. They came into Arrowhead as big-time underdogs and nearly left KC with a W. Yes, Patrick Mahomes left the game in the third quarter, but at the end of the day, the Browns gave the Chiefs all they could handle.
Let’s get into what we learned about the Chiefs after this narrow win.
What we learned in KC Chiefs vs Browns – KC can still win without Mahomes
The Chiefs offense typically goes as Patrick Mahomes goes and that makes sense, as he’s two years removed from winning league MVP and not even a year removed from being named Super Bowl MVP. In this game, Mahomes looked good until he seemingly hurt his toe. After that injury, he didn’t seem as comfortable, and later, he was hit hard by a Browns defender and forced out of the game.
In came Chad Henne, who had started his first game since 2014 during the meaningless Week 17 matchup vs LA and that looked to have paid off. Henne wasn’t great, but he did enough to finish things off and get the victory. He went 6-of-8 for 66 yards and had an interception, but the 13-yard run on 3rd and 14 was clutch and very Mahomes-likes.
If Mahomes can’t go for the AFC Championship Game vs. the Bills, Henne will have to be the leader on offense and now Chiefs fans know he can step in and make plays when needed. This team might not be as scary without Mahomes, but Henne is capable of leading them to victory.
What we learned in KC Chiefs vs Browns – Defense tightened up
After giving up a touchdown to make it 22-17, the Chiefs defense was put in a brutal spot after Henne threw an interception. It really felt like, at that moment, KC’s season was coming to an end. Instead, the defense did their part, holding the Browns to a seven-play drive that ate up three minutes off the clock.
With how the game was going in that moment, it sure felt like momentum was on Cleveland’s side and that they were going to drive down the field and score to either take the lead or make it a two-point game, but the defense did what they needed to do. Hopefully, the defense continues that kind of play next week against the Bills because they’ll need to be on their A-game.
What we learned in KC Chiefs vs Browns – What’s going on with Butker?
Harrison Butker is back to being inconsistent, which is not a good sign for the Chiefs. The final of this game had Butker made all of his attempts would have been 26-17 and we wouldn’t have been sweating it out as much.
Butker missed the first extra point of the game and later missed a field goal that was around where the extra point is kicked from. It has to be mental for Butker at this point because he’s still clutch from further out, knocking through a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Some Chiefs fans are clamoring for Butker to be cut this offseason and while I get the frustration, his ability to make the deeper kicks can’t be ignored. He’s had some struggles this season, but Butker is still one of the best in the league at what he does.
What we learned in KC Chiefs vs Browns – Williams ran like a mad man
Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn’t play due to his injury he sustained in Week 15 in New Orleans and Le’Veon Bell wasn’t used much, so that meant it was Darrel Williams time. Williams shone brightly in the win, carrying the ball 13 times for 78 yards with a long of 16 on the day. He also had four catches for 16 yards.
Not having Edwards-Helaire definitely hurt this team heading into it, but Williams impressed in a starting role. If CEH misses next week and Williams has to be the main guy, the Chiefs shouldn’t miss a beat.
What did you learn in this win, Chiefs fans?