A second-half rally from the Kansas City Chiefs was enough to knock off the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
A couple of late mistakes against the defending AFC Champions thwarted the Browns’ attempt at a road upset.
However, there was plenty to build on and learn for the brown and orange.
Let’s take a look at a couple of things fans learned about the Browns in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs.
1. Still Right There
This is more of a confirmation rather than new knowledge.
The Browns proved in the playoff loss to Kansas City in January that they could hang with the big boys.
On Sunday, despite another loss, Cleveland showed they are still right there.
Tony Romo called the Chiefs the “new Patriots” during Sunday’s broadcast.
NFL Executives, per The Athletic, ranked the Chiefs as the best team in the NFL.
The Browns weren’t too far behind though, coming in at number four.
After the success of last season, it was no surprise to see Cleveland so high on that list.
However, there are always concerns of simply being a flash in the pan.
Top franchises are able to sustain long-term success, not just piece together a good season every now and then.
Had Cleveland been ran out of Kansas City in a blowout on Sunday, those fears may become legitimate.
Erase two big mistakes late in the game and the Browns are likely 1-0.
They’re not, but a future date with the Chiefs could be in the cards.
Cleveland fans still have the right to be confident in that match-up.
2. Baker Locked In
2020 started slow for Baker Mayfield.
It wasn’t until the Week Seven win against the Bengals that Mayfield settled in last season.
On Sunday, Mayfield looked crisp and fluid.
This throw in particular turned the heads of anyone tuned in.
"That's one of the best throws I've ever seen (Baker Mayfield) make." – Jim Nantzpic.twitter.com/7eKavKbUW2
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) September 12, 2021
While he didn’t throw a touchdown, Mayfield completed 21 of 28 passes for 321 yards with just one interception.
Had Mayfield not been tripped up on that interception, his attempt at a game-winning drive may have ended differently.
Credit the Chiefs defense for making a big play when they needed it.
For Mayfield, this game should still be a confidence-booster.
He looks like he’s picked up right where he left off in 2020.
Browns fans aren’t the only ones in love with his early-season accuracy.
Baker Mayfield has been the most accurate QB in the NFL today. @Browns
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) September 12, 2021
3. Joe Woods Under Pressure
The Chiefs have one of the best offenses in the NFL, if not the best.
Still, the Browns’ defensive performance on Sunday left a little to be desired.
Before diving into the negatives, Cleveland did do a nice job with Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
He tallied just 43 yards on 14 carries.
Patrick Mahomes, however, stole the show in the second half.
Following a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the second half the Browns defense needed a stop.
Instead, a one-play 75-yard strike from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill brought the Chiefs to within one score yet again.
They call it Mahomes Magic for a reason 🪄
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 12, 2021
Leaving John Johnson III one-on-one against one of the fastest wide receivers in the league isn’t ideal.
You can’t always double him, but Cleveland needed to make Kansas City drive the length of the field.
Instead, Mahomes and Hill stole the momentum right back in a matter of seconds.
It wasn’t the best day for Woods’ defense against the Chiefs’ offense.
Mahomes would finish with 337 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Hill fell just three yards shy of 200 receiving yards, but a total of 197 in addition to that fourth-quarter score would count as a good day at the office.
The Chiefs offensive line saw improvements this offseason, but the Browns pass rush has to get better in the coming weeks.
Just weeks ago, the Browns website ran an article with Woods talking about his three most important defensive stats.
Those three were points allowed, turnovers, and third-down efficiency.
On Sunday, the Browns allowed 33 points, did not force turnovers, and allowed the Chiefs to convert on nine of their 13 third-down attempts.
It’s not a good sign when the priorities of the defensive coordinator aren’t reflected by the defense’s performance.