The Chiefs Didn’t Play Their Best vs. The Browns, Yet It Didn’t Matter

Facing adversity, the Chiefs' most reliable players came through in the clutch.
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Heading into the Kansas City Chiefs' Week 1 matchup with the Cleveland Browns, many were skeptical of the run game and the team's backup wide receivers. Nothing happened in the 33-29 victory to calm those nerves, and it didn't even matter in the end. 

The Chiefs have a very reliable trio of players on offense. That makes them susceptible to difficult games when one or more of them struggles (hello, Super Bowl LV), but it's one of the best starts a team can have when building a roster. Patrick Mahomes and his two superstar teammates — Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce — are elite. They cover up for a lot of deficiencies on good days, and Sunday was one of those days.

In the Chiefs' comeback win, all three of the aforementioned players were instrumental in the offense scoring 23 points in the second half. They came up with clutch play after clutch play. Mark Van Sickle of Arrowhead Report joined me on today's Roughing the Kicker podcast to discuss just how dangerous Mahomes, Hill and Kelce were against the Browns.

For starters, Mahomes had an excellent outing. He went 27-for-36 and added 337 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also ran five times for 18 yards and another touchdown. Now fully healthy after undergoing offseason surgery on his foot, Mahomes had a classic performance that included extended plays, rocket-armed throws and more. In his first game of the season, the soon-to-be 26-year-old dazzled in front of the home crowd.

Hill had 11 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. Whenever the Chiefs needed a quick 10-yard gain to move the chains or wanted to take what the Browns' defense was giving them, Hill was right there. He did manage to have a splash play, though, in the form of a 75-yard touchdown catch. This was one of Hill's best games, and he showed the world why he's one of the top receivers in all of football.

Last, but certainly not least, Kelce was as steady as ever. He didn't lead the team in targets, nor catches, nor yards, but he did have a team-high two receiving touchdowns. Kelce's six receptions and 76 yards are nothing to scoff at, either. He routinely kept things rolling and was able to find soft spots in the Browns' defense time and time again. The ultimate security blanket (and that's a compliment) was stellar. 

It remains to be seen whether the Chiefs can get by with Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushing for just 43 yards on 14 carries moving forward. The same can be said for Mecole Hardman and his 19 yards. At any rate, the trio of Mahomes, Hill and Kelce was enough in Week 1 against a very good Browns team. If the Chiefs' B-minus or C-plus game will beat great competition's A-game, that should put the NFL on notice.

Read More: Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 33-29 Win Over the Browns