It’s Red Friday and the playoffs are here!! Here are the three keys to a Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Start Fast and Score Early
This should be a no-brainer, but last season in the playoffs the Chiefs struggled to get going against both the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans. They had to rally in each game before eventually winning in run-away fashion. This week the Chiefs starting fast will be even more important considering Cleveland will likely want to establish the run game early and try to eat the clock to keep the Chiefs offense off the field.
If the Chiefs can find a way to set the tone early and get on the scoreboard first they start to put the pressure on the Browns and make them start to have to go away from the run. It’s also a chance to silence any doubters who might think that there are superior teams to the Chiefs. Set the tone for not only the game but also the playoffs in general. The Chiefs should come out and look to punch the Browns in the mouth and let them know early on who the superior team is.
SET. THE. TONE.
Win the turnover takeaway battle
It’s no secret, in any football game if you can take away the football from the other team and not turn the ball over, your team’s chances of winning skyrocket. This was on full display last week as the Browns got FIVE turnovers off of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This had much to do with the score getting out of control in the first half and was the biggest factor in the Browns’ victory. The Chiefs will not be this careless with the football, and Andy Reid will likely have been putting this through the team’s mind this week.
In the playoffs, every possession is much more crucial and every turnover ramps up the outcome of the game. When Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has thrown an interception the Browns record is three and three. The Chiefs are plus six on the season for the turnover take away stat, and they should look to again get the ball from the Browns, but must ensure they don’t give any extra momentum to the underdog.
Play like there is no tomorrow
It may seem cliché but it is the truth. If the Chiefs do not come out and perform there will be no tomorrow for them, and instead of heading into the AFC Championship game, they will head into the offseason with more questions than answers.
This is what not only the team but all of Chiefs Kingdom, and all of Kansas City has been waiting for all season. Time to let it rip and hold nothing back. Time for the defense to step up and show that they are a top unit in the NFL. Time for Andy Reid to let the dogs off the chain and empty the playbook. It’s time for Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce to further their legacy even further and continue their assault on the record books. It’s time to run it back.
It’s time Chiefs Kingdom, are you ready?