After a near ideal first half, the Cleveland Browns lost their 22-10 halftime lead and the game against the Kansas City Chiefs with three costly turnovers, 33-29.
On the final drive of the game, Baker Mayfield tried to escape the pocket forward in what appeared to be an attempt to throw the ball away, but it was intercepted by Chiefs corner Mike Hughes.
Hardly the most egregious of the Browns three turnovers, their first came on a Nick Chubb carry as Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill as he placed his helmet directly on the ball coming up to make a tackle. The Chiefs recovered and turned it into points.
Likewise, the first time the Browns were forced to punt in the fourth quarter, punter Jamie Gillan simply let the ball bounce off his hands and hit the ground. He recovered it, but then scrambled with the ball and was tackled in the backfield, giving the Chiefs the ball deep in Browns territory.
The Chiefs came away with another touchdown, though they failed on the two-point conversion.
The Browns also had an opportunity late in the first half to score additional points with a potential field goal, but a holding penalty followed by the first of Chris Jones two sacks knocked them out of range. They attempted a short passes with a series of laterals to try to score before the half, but it fell short.
The Chiefs were largely as advertised. Their offense was highly effective and explosive, though the Browns defense was able to force them to punt four times. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce totaled 273 yards on 17 receptions and three touchdowns from Patrick Mahomes, who made a handful of eye-popping throws. The most impressive was a 75-yard pass to Hill on a desperate throw rolling out to his right. Hill caught it and scored.
As ugly as those numbers look, the Browns defense, just like in the divisional round of the playoffs, was able to give the offense chances to win and they were unable to capitalize. The defense seeks to improve over the course of the season, but the offense, which returns the full assortment of weapons, just couldn't do enough in the end.
If the Browns were trying to prove they have the talent to stay with the best teams in the league like the Chiefs, they succeeded. Unfortunately, they were unable to take the next step and win a huge game against a Super Bowl contender on the road. Mistakes, both forced and of their own making led to their downfall.
Nevertheless, the Browns look like they can still be one of the best teams in the league while the Chiefs continue to look like a favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl for the third year in a row.