KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDF) – Between comparing players, statistics and other aspects of the impending matchup, there’s a lot to take in. However, WDAF’s Harold Kuntz breaks down the six main keys the Chiefs will need to turn in order to beat the Browns.
1. Don’t start slow
Chiefs played Houston in the same round last year and got down 0-24. They came back, but they don’t want to do that again. This time, Mahomes is working to combat the chance for an early deficit, taking notes on the Browns and preparing himself to come out swinging. More on that later.
2. Trust Andy Reid after the bye
Chiefs coach Andy Reid is a mastermind coming off of the bye. He has a 19-3 record coming from a week of not playing in regular season, and he’s 5-2 in the playoffs. Reid is meticulous with preparation and his experience with the playoffs warrants trust in this first game.
3. Get Mahomes magic back
Mahomes’ last game against Atlanta was rough. He scored his lowest passer rating all year at 79.5 out of 158.3. He normally averages higher than 100. However, Mahomes said he’s been working on his footwork and timing with the offensive line, so he’s ready to improve. The O-line might be questionable though with Schwartz out and Fisher fighting through injury, so we’ll see how that comes into play.
Defensively, the Chiefs are facing the top red zone offense in the league and one of the best offensive lines in the game.
1. Pressure Mayfield
Baker was not sacked or even hit against the Steelers on Sunday, and he ended up with a quarterback rating of 92.8. He completed 61.7% of his passes and threw three touchdowns and no interceptions.
2. Hold Browns to field goals
The Browns rank toward the top of the league in red zone offense. In contrast, the Chiefs have not been great in the red zone this season. Kansas City will need to hold the Browns to three points instead of seven and score seven instead of three on the other end.
3. Strong secondary play
The secondary for the Chiefs will have to step up in key matchups. Cornerback Charvarius Ward wants to be recognized as a lockdown corner. He will have a chance to prove it against five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry.