For the second playoff game in a row, the Browns won the toss and deferred. This time, they didn’t get a touchdown on the first play of the game; in fact, they allowed the high-powered Chiefs offense to march down the field for an opening-drive touchdown. Cleveland’s best chance at coming up with a stop on the drive was in the red zone, but LB Sione Takitaki missed a tackle on a dumpoff pass. On 2nd-and-goal from the 1 yard line, QB Patrick Mahomes took it in himself for the score. K Harrison Butker missed the extra point to the left, making it a 6-0 game.
After the first play of the Browns’ drive, LT Jedrick Wills went down with an injury. A 27-yard screen pass to TE David Njoku on the next play moved the ball past midfield. Later in the drive, QB Baker Mayfield picked up two first downs on third down — one through the air on a catch-and-run by TE Austin Hooper, and another with his legs on a quarterback sweep.
Once they got to the 20, two negative plays set them back — a pitch to WR Jarvis Landry went for a loss of 3 yards, and then Mayfield was sacked for a loss of 8 yards on the next play. On fourth down, Cleveland brought in K Cody Parkey for a 46-yard field goal, which he drilled to cut the Chiefs’ lead to 6-3 with 2:41 left in the opening quarter.
On the Chiefs’ next offensive drive, Cleveland finally got an incompletion on first down — but then right away on second down, a flip pass to WR Mecole Hardman went for 42 yards around the edge — the same type of play that went for a loss of three to Landry on their drive. Kansas City is in scoring range to begin the second quarter.
Game: Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Date/Time: Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:05 PM ET
Television: CBS - Jim Nantz (play-by-play) & Tony Romo (analyst)
Local Radio: ESPN 850 WKNR, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 FM WNCX