Cleveland Browns: Studs and Duds from heartbreaking Week 1 loss
Cleveland Browns Dud: Cleveland Browns second-half defense
The Cleveland Browns defense played about as well as you could against Patrick Mahomes. Well, they did for the first half, at least.
In the second half, on their very first possession, the Kansas City Chiefs drove 75 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown, and following a Nick Chubb fumble, followed that up with a 10 play drive that ended in a field goal. In what felt like just a few minutes, the entire momentum of the game had changed from the Browns, who led 22-10 at halftime, to the Chiefs, who cut that lead to just two points.
While the Browns initially were able to hold Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs offense in relative check in the first half, they just weren’t able to contain him for the final 30 minutes of game time. They shouldn’t hang their head too much, as nearly nobody has been able to do so since Mahomes arrived in the NFL, but after the great defensive play in the first half, things began to just fall apart in the second half.
Many have already taken to finger-pointing at defensive coordinator Joe Woods, with some even calling for him to be fired already, but the true finger-pointing goes to those on the field. The players time and time again made senseless mistakes, including letting wide receiver Tyreek Hill streak right down the middle of the field and end up in one-on-one coverage with a safety.
Woods does deserve some blame for his inabilities to find a way to limit Travis Kelce’s impact and for a few personnel decisions that don’t make complete sense, like playing Mack Wilson more snaps than rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, not all belongs on him.
The second-half defense of the Browns was the reason they lost this game. A few different decisions and breaks that go their way mean they leave Arrowhead Stadium with one of the biggest wins in franchise history. Now, they’ll just head home and look for a way to improve on the minor moral victory that means next to nothing in the NFL.