No. 2: Few players were as impactful for the Kansas City Chiefs as Tyreek Hill:
So, this is of course also an obvious choice. Still, much like the victory doesn’t happen without Mahomes, the same could be said about Tyreek Hill. Mahomes does everything he can to spread the wealth around, getting the ball to as many play makers as possible, and this game against the Browns was no different.
Mahomes connected with Kelce, Blake Bell and even got it out to Mecole Hardman, but Mahomes always seems to be on a different wave link with one of those receivers every game, and this time it was Hill.
Mahomes threw 15 passes Hill’s way, connecting with him on 11 of them for 197 yards and a touchdown.
While Kelce caught two touchdown passes to Hill’s one, Hill had the lightning strike that we discussed above that would bring the Chiefs within 2 points late in the fourth. It was an absolutely critical play at a critical time.
Mahomes seems to be on the same page of at least one of his targets every game, and this game it happened to be Hill, who was just three yards shy of having a 200-yard game.
No. 1: The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense needed Mike Hughes
Without the presence of Tyrann Mathieu, Frank Clark and Willie Gay Jr., the Kansas City Chiefs defense looked stagnant for much of the game.
They struggled to stop or even slow down the Browns offense, led by a much-improved Baker Mayfield and arguably the best running back tandem in the league, made up of Nick Chubb and former Chief Kereem Hunt, that gashed the Chiefs for 153 yards.
Those fair and just criticisms having been leveled, it was the play of my third stand out player that sealed the hard fought victory for the Chiefs, and a bitter defeat for the Browns.
It was late in the fourth quarter, and having failed a two-point conversion, the score was 33-29 Chiefs, but Mayfield and the Browns had the ball, and they had been pretty much doing whatever they wanted all day against a Chiefs defense that has struggled with the run historically.
Mayfield, instead of handing the ball off to one of his two running backs that had been making plays all afternoon, decided to throw it, and did so right into the waiting arms of Chiefs defender Mike Hughes, effectively sealing the Browns doom, and securing a Chiefs victory for their season opener, in a game were the Chiefs were frankly outplayed for 53 minutes.
This Sunday, the Chiefs take on the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday Night Football. This Ravens team, that due to a rash of injuries, has had to break out a new batch of running backs in recent days.
Hopefully the Chiefs will have regained Mathieu, if not Frank Clark as well, and hopefully I will have a bevy of players to choose from for next weeks piece on the outstanding players.