In what should be one of the more watched Cleveland Browns game, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Cleveland for a battle with the Browns. Mahomes vs. Baker Mayfield will turn some eyeballs and attract enough people to put on a Browns game for maybe the first time in awhile. There is also some news on the Browns front with the firing of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. It doesn’t really make much sense to wait this long to fire Jackson.
They could have pulled the cord on him in the offseason and given Mayfield an offseason to work with a new coach. But now they throw Gregg Williams at home in the middle of the season as their interim head coach. Williams likely won’t be promoted to the fulltime head coach, so then Mayfield is going to have to learn a brand-new system going into his second season. It probably would have been best to give Baker a fresh slate as a rookie with new coaches, but this is the Browns we are talking about.
In their first-game since Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired, the Browns have Mahomes and the Chiefs coming to town. They don’t get much time to mull over what happened. The Browns’ defense must figure out a way to slow down Mahomes rather than dwell on what manage is doing. Easier said than done, though, especially against an offense of this caliber.
The Chiefs are coming off a 30-23 win over the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead in Kansas City. Mahomes added another 4 touchdowns to an already impressive number. Mayfield must feel good about having the Chiefs’ secondary at home in this one, though. If there is any silver lining for the Browns, the KC defense is beatable. However, they still have to worry about a guy who has made life miserable on opposing defensive coordinators. Get our free Chiefs vs. Browns pick below.
K.C. Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns NFL Week 9 Betting Odds:
vs. Browns +8.5(-115)
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Chiefs vs. Browns Pick:
Mahomes has been making it look easy out there in what is his first-year as the starting quarterback for the Chiefs. He sat behind Alex Smith last season and took over the reins in 2018. It was a wise decision to let Smith walk and allowing Mahomes take over the starting duties, obviously. He has passed for a whopping 26 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions.
Forcing him out of the pocket doesn’t do much, because that’s basically his comfort zone. Mahomes has been a better passer when he’s rolling out and moving around than sitting still in the pocket. He doesn’t run as much as he did in college, but he is still capable of moving the sticks with his legs. Mahomes has rushed for 119 yards along with 2 touchdowns on the ground.
The Chiefs are 1st in the NFL with 36.2 points scored per game. The Saints trail in 2nd with 33.4 per game. If you are familiar with college football, the Chiefs’ offense probably looks familiar. They go fast and Mahomes rarely takes a snap from under center. This isn’t a “pro” offense in the sense that they’ve basically taken what Mahomes felt comfortable with at Texas Tech and transitioned it over to the NFL.
The offense just doesn’t consist of Mahomes, though. He has a host of targets to find in the passing game and he has an effective running back. Most quarterbacks would be able to do well with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce as the primary targets. Throw in Kareem Hunt at running back and this is an offense that can score points on even the best in the league.
The Browns are not even in the top-half of the league, with an average of 414.5 yards allowed per game for 28th. The Browns’ starting safety, Damarious Randall, has been fighting through an ankle and groin injury. Good luck trying to run around defending against Mahomes and his receivers with a bad ankle and groin.
If there is anything here for the Browns, it’s going to be that the Chiefs’ defense is exploitable. The Chiefs are 31st in the NFL, with 432.4 yards allowed per game. They’ve been without Justin Houston the last three weeks, and it appears that he will be a game-time decision on Sunday. Mayfield is going to have to let in fly in this game. The Chiefs are likely going to get their points, so the game plan has to be to allow Mayfield to let it loose like he’s in college.
With Jackson and Haley out, I expect the new staff to want to give Baker some confidence against a porous secondary. Don’t expect this to be the 66-59 from the last time they met in college. Mahomes threw for a whopping 734 yards and 5 touchdowns, while Baker tossed 7 touchdowns with 545 yards. However, there should be enough offense to put this matchup OVER the total.