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Analysis

Chiefs 37, Browns 21: The breakdown — thumbs up, thumbs down, the matchups

THUMBS UP

Andy Reid, Chiefs coach

Sure, Patrick Mahomes can throw it with the best of them. And Kareem Hunt runs as hard as anyone. And Tyreek Hill is the fastest in the league. And Travis Kelce is a freak at tight end. But Reid is the one who makes them even better with game plans and play calls that accentuate their positives and minimize their negatives.

The Chiefs moved up and down the field and scored at will, thanks in large part to the right call at the right time. The perfect example was a second-and-10 screen pass to Hunt that went for 50 yards and a touchdown on Kansas City’s first drive. The Browns brought a cornerback blitz, Mahomes didn’t flinch and lofted the ball to Hunt, who had blockers and grass in front of him.

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“Andy is a really, really good football coach,” Browns interim coach Gregg Williams said.

Reid improved to 7-0 against the Browns.

THUMBS DOWN

Sashi Brown, former Browns head of football operations

He blew a lot of draft picks in his two years running the show, and Mahomes should rank near the top.

The Browns had the No. 1 pick in 2017, yet Mahomes never received serious consideration. Brown thought about taking quarterback Mitchell Trubisky but went with defensive end Myles Garrett. The selection was praised at the time, and Garrett is having a big year with nine sacks, but a franchise quarterback trumps everything. Mahomes certainly looks like one after his eighth straight 300-yard passing game and 29 touchdowns in nine games.

The miss by Brown compounded the mistake of passing on quarterback Carson Wentz with the second pick in 2016.

PLAY OF THE GAME

The Browns still had hope. They were within two possessions at 37-21 with 4:39 left and the ball at the Chiefs 31-yard line. Baker Mayfield had just thrown completions of 14 yards to tight end David Njoku and 38 to receiver Antonio Callaway.

Mayfield left the pocket on first-and-10 and drifted to the left. He thought tight end Seth DeValve was open and fired. But cornerback Steven Nelson saw it coming, stepped in front and ended the game with the interception.

“I’ve just got to have vision of the whole field,” Mayfield said. “The corner’s got his eyes back inside because he is playing cover-2. We have what we want. We’ve just got to be able to execute it.”


STAT OF THE GAME

8.6

Yards per play for the Chiefs — 499 yards in 58 offensive snaps


QUOTE OF THE GAME

“We had to block out the outside noise. We had to focus in and had to do our job on Sunday. All of the distractions could have been an excuse, but I don’t think any of the guys handled it that way. I think they handled it in a professional manner.” — Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on the week that started with coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley getting fired


MATCHUPS

Offense

The Browns made strides under new coordinator Freddie Kitchens, and quarterback Baker Mayfield looked much more comfortable. Nick Chubb is the real deal at running back and Duke Johnson finally resurfaced.

The Chiefs will win this battle just about every week. They have stars everywhere.

Edge: Chiefs

Defense

Key injuries robbed the Browns of their shot to slow down the Chiefs, so they needed takeaways to have a chance. Their only one came on a Denzel Rice interception on the last play of the first half.

The Chiefs got just enough stops to provide breathing room, including a clinching interception of Mayfield.

Edge: Chiefs

Special teams

Greg Joseph rebounded from two misses last week with a 51-yard goal, but a blocked punt ruined the day as Derrick Kindred wasn’t strong enough in protection.

Damien Williams’ blocked punt set up an easy, two-play Chiefs touchdown drive.

Edge: Chiefs

Coaching

Gregg Williams and Kitchens were upgrades over Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, and Williams seems like the right guy for the interim job. Amos Jones’ special teams continue to make critical mistakes.

Andy Reid is one of the best in the business and Kansas City is lucky to have him.

Edge: Chiefs

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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