Two weeks ago, after the loss to the Jets, I criticized Baker Mayfield for fumbling, and holding the ball too long on pass plays. What happened next? In the following two games versus the Steelers, Baker had zero fumbles. In the wild-card playoff game, he got the ball out in 2.34 seconds versus his usual snail’s pace of 3.05 seconds. The legendary “Blitzburgh” pass rush couldn’t lay a finger on him – even going against the Browns’ alarmingly depleted o-line.
So, Baker fixed two big problems quickly. As if by magic, he transformed himself into a much better player in only a couple of weeks. This is what’s possible when Baker is not distracted by Odell Beckham, Jr. Everybody is amazed at Baker’s transformation since OBJ’s injury, but all of this progress would have occurred back in 2019 if the Browns had not traded for OBJ.
In any case, enjoy your playoff Browns while you can because as far as anybody knows, OBJ will be coming back to wreck the team again in the 2021 season.
Can the Browns beat the Chiefs? I don’t see why not. All season, Browns fans have been horrified by the team’s defense. But guess what? The Chiefs’ defense is just as bad. Almost exactly as bad. The Brown’s gave up an average of 358.4 yards per game during the regular season (yes, we have to specify that now 😊) and the Chief’s gave up 358.3.
Now, when you consider how the Browns went through the #3 defense of the Steelers like a hot knife through butter, the Browns should be able to score at will against the Chiefs. The Browns’ offense scored 5 touchdowns against the Steelers, so I’m thinking they should score about 15 against the Chiefs. 😊
Of course, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense are the class of the league, but even they stink sometimes. Just watch the first 3 minutes of the condensed version of their game versus the Dolphins. My favorite part is when Mahomes runs backward for a 30-yard sack!
But wait! There’s more! Like the Steelers, the Chiefs seemed to have peaked early. Over the last three games of the season, the Chiefs’ offense ranked at a mere #18! Which is only two rungs better than the Browns. The Chiefs’ defense has done considerably better than the Browns’ defense over the same period, but the Chiefs are, statistically, only a little bit better than the Browns at this point in time. And without the Coronavirus breakout, the Browns would probably be right there with the Chiefs.
And there’s even more! The last time the Chiefs won a game by more than 7 points was two-and-half months ago! They beat the Jets 35-9 back on November 1st. Since then, every victory has been a squeaker. And finally, the Chiefs closed the season with a loss to the Chargers.
So, at this point in time, I would concede that the Chiefs might be a slightly better team than the Browns are – on paper. But a 10-point favorite? That’s ridiculous. In fact, if I were a Chiefs fan, I would be afraid of the Browns; very afraid. I mean, look what happened on Sunday: Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan shut-out the Steelers legendary pass-rush with a pick-up truck full of guys he fetched from the Home Depot parking lot. How does that even happen?
Deal with that Kansas City!