The final score of this game turned out to be pretty much how everyone expected, with Kansas City winning 37-21 over Cleveland. The Browns are now 2-5-1 and couldn’t pull off enough magic in their first game without former head coach Hue Jackson. All of the defensive injuries didn’t help, as the club lose CB E.J. Gaines, CB Denzel Ward, and LB Christian Kirksey early on — in addition to already being without FS Damarious Randall and LB Joe Schobert.
The Browns got the ball first and were able to get past midfield after a 4th-and-1 conversion in which RB Nick Chubb received a favorable spot. Trying to move the ball further, though, WR Damion Ratley dropped a third down screen pass. Cleveland pinned the Chiefs back inside the 5 yard line with their punt, but it didn’t matter. QB Pat Mahomes led the Chiefs on a 95-yard drive in less than three minutes, capping the drive with a 50-yard screen pass to RB Kareem Hunt to go up 7-0.
Cleveland moved the ball better on their next drive, but the officials missed a pass interference call in the end zone that was blatant. Then, on a 3rd-and-7, TE David Njoku completely ignored a blocking assignment to allow a free rusher to sack QB Baker Mayfield. Fortunately, K Greg Joseph was still able to connect from 51 yards out to make it a 7-3 game.
The Browns saw both of their starting cornerbacks, Denzel Ward and E.J. Gaines, go to the locker room to begin the next drive. On the final play of the first quarter, the Chiefs faced a 3rd-and-19 from midfield. For the second time in the game, Cleveland failed to defend the screen pass, allowing RB Spencer Ware to go 25 yards on the catch-and-run for a first down. At the start of the second quarter, Mahomes fired an 11-yard touchdown pass to TE Travis Kelce to make it a 14-3 game.
Cleveland answered with a lot of runs by RB Nick Chubb and then a 23-yard wheel route on 4th-and-2 by RB Duke Johnson. In goal-to-go, Chubb punched it in from 3 yards out to make it a 14-9 game. Interim head coach Gregg Williams opted to go for two, but Mayfield’s pass was intercepted, keeping it a five-point game.
Kansas City was not phased. They scored a touchdown on their third consecutive drive to start the game, which included converting their second third-down attempt of the afternoon with the option. Hunt rammed it in from 1 yard out to put the Chiefs up 21-9 with 2:24 left in the first half.
Cleveland responded again, with the help of another fourth down conversion (the Chiefs jumped offsides). The utilization of Johnson as a receiver continued, as he broke a tackle for a 19-yard touchdown with 0:26 left to make it 21-15. The two-point try failed again.
The Browns’ defense forced a lot more third down situations to start the second half, but Mahomes kept converting each of them. In the red zone, he fired a perfect pass over the middle to Kelce for a 13-yard touchdown, despite SS Jabrill Peppers being right there for the perfect coverage, to put the Chiefs up 28-15.
Things quickly went south. The Browns couldn’t convert, leading to their first punt attempt of the game. P Britton Colquitt had his punt blocked, allowing Kansas City to take over at the 21 yard line. The Chiefs quickly punched it in with a 10-yard run by Hunt to go up 34-15 (the kicker missed the extra point).
Hey Siri, show us a touchdown. pic.twitter.com/NyKVRTT1Xs— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 4, 2018
Cleveland was putting a drive together, but then Mayfield was dropped for a loss of 13 yards when DE Chris Jones came unblocked for a sack. Faced with a 3rd-and-goal from the 23, QB Tyrod Taylor checked in as Mayfield was evaluated in the medical tent. The screen pass to Njoku went for 11 yards, but an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Chiefs gave the Browns a 1st-and-goal at the 6 yard line. Two carries to Chubb went for a total of 1 yard, setting up 3rd-and-goal from the 5 to begin the fourth quarter.
Mayfield returned and fired a quick slant to Johnson for a touchdown to make it a 34-21 game. Cleveland went for two again, but was sacked, making the team 0-of-3 on those attempts.
Cleveland held the Chiefs to a 39-yard field goal attempt on their next drive, which K Harrison Butker connected on to make it a 37-21 game. The Browns faced another 4th-and-2 situation at midfield on their next drive, but this time, they were unable to convert, turning the ball over on downs to the Chiefs with 7:47 to go in the game. Cleveland forced a punt after a sack by DE Myles Garrett, getting the ball back with 5:20 to go, still down by 16 points.
Mayfield started the next drive with 14- and 31-yard passes to Njoku and WR Antonio Callaway, respectively, to put the Browns in scoring range. On the next play, though, he rolled left and tried to throw across his body, leading to an interception. The game was pretty much over after that.
- QB Baker Mayfield: 29-of-42 for 297 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT.
- RB Nick Chubb: 22 carries for 85 yards (3.86 YPC), 1 TD. 1 catch, 5 yards (1 target).
- RB Duke Johnson: 9 catches, 78 yards (9 targets), 2 TD. 1 carry, 8 yards (8.0 YPC).
- WR Jarvis Landry: 6 catches, 50 yards (7 targets).
- DE Myles Garrett: 1 sack.