After falling behind early in the game, the Kansas City Chiefs survived a brief scare in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns with a 33-29 win. The Chiefs looked to be suffering from a Super Bowl hangover in the first half as they headed into halftime down 22-10. The Browns came out ready with their two-headed backfield juggernaut of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs defense couldn’t do much against the run or pass in the first half of this game.
Cleveland shocked everybody when they came out on fire in the first half, taking it to the two-time defending AFC champs in their house. But just as quickly as the Browns built that first-half lead, it seemed to evaporate just the same in the second half. The Chiefs apparently have an invisible on/off switch they can flip when it’s time to activate Beast Mode. K.C. gave up just seven points in the second half to the Browns en route to a come-from-behind victory.
It is incredible watching the Chiefs play because it seems like they aren’t into these games sometimes. It’s almost like they get bored. Then out of nowhere, BAM! Patrick Mahomes and the offense reel off a couple of scores in a row, then the defense creates a turnover, and they’re right back in a game that once looked to be on the verge of blowout city.
That is the type of insurance you get with a player like Mahomes leading your team. You’re never out of any game. Andy Reid’s squad showed that on Sunday. Not only is Mahomes good, but he’s also clutch. All three of Mahomes’ passing touchdowns came in the second half during the team’s comeback effort. He also added a rushing TD in the first half. Mahomes saved his best for last.
Great teams create breaks for themselves while good teams wait for breaks to happen. The Chiefs defense picked off Baker Mayfield late in this game which put it away with about 70 seconds left.
But the whole idea of the Chiefs being so good they can hit the on/off switch at will should be scary for K.C. fans. It should also scare Reid and his coaching staff. Yes, they have a great team, but that defense will give up plenty of yards and points this season. The Chiefs will get by most teams with this philosophy in the regular season, but we saw what happened in the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay when they couldn’t get going early in that game. They never got it going and suffered a blowout loss in the biggest game of the season.
The Chiefs can’t continue to allow teams to build up early leads, then rely on Mahomes to perform his magic and wave his wand, and POOF! regain the lead late in games. That type of luck eventually runs out the same way it did in February in the Super Bowl. Teams with quarterbacks that can win big games won’t fold up once the Chiefs hit that switch. The Browns are a young team that is just learning how to win.
I’ll be watching the Chiefs closely this year to see how long they can get away with only playing one half of a game yet still come out on top. The Raiders took advantage of this last year in one of their meetings. It will be interesting to see what team punches K.C. in the mouth early this season but keeps on punching until they tap out. The Browns hit the Chiefs hard in Week 1 but let up and subsequently suffered through the consequences of their actions.