Chiefs find a way to win against Browns in season opener

Patrick Mahomes vs Browns 2021

Two of the best teams in the AFC went head-to-head in the season opener, and for most of the game the Browns were in control. They moved the ball at will against the Chiefs defense and managed to get some stops against the amazing KC offense. The Browns were driving again in the third quarter with the opportunity to take a three-score lead when Nick Chubb fumbled, and then things started to fall apart.
Punter Jamie Gillan muffed a snap and then tried to run when he didn’t have to, setting up a short field for the Chiefs. Along the way Patrick Mahomes made the sort of ridiculous plays that have made him the best player in the NFL.

But apart from the turnovers, everyone know the Browns can play with the Chiefs. Of course all the talking heads will go on and on about Baker Mayfield’s interception on the last drive. And Baker certainly has more to prove. He needs to show he can make things happen late in the game when everyone knows he needs to pass to get a winning score. So the Browns have much more to prove, but the Chiefs won’t be excited to play this team again.

The Browns covered the spread and should have won outright absent the turnovers. Can they take the next step and knock off the Chiefs? Nobody knows at this point. But they have the talent and the coaching staff to pull it off.

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Chiefs favored by 3 over Bucs in 2021 Super Bowl

NFL fans get a marquee matchup with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. It’s the best quarterback in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes, against the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady.

The line opened at Kansas City -3.5 and now has settled to Kansas City -3. The over/under is set at 56.5.

This game can go in so many different directions. The Chiefs are a scoring machine, but they’ve stumbled at times early in games. The Bucs are also inconsistent, but Brady has played well in this offense as the year progressed.

That said, Brady had a tough second half versus the Packers last week and it was the defense plus some bad coaching by the Packers that saved the day for the Bucs. Still, it’s always tough to bet against Brady.

I don’t feel strongly about this one at all, but if I had to bet it, or I was in Vegas for some fun, I’d go with the Chiefs -3 and the over.

Week 1 NFL Lines

The NFL season kicks off tonight with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs taking on DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans. It’s a battle of two of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league so this one should be fun. Can the defending champs cover a big line tonight?

You can see all the current NFL lines here and also check out the video above. One of many interesting games has Miami getting 6.5 points on the road against New England. The key here is that Miami is an up-and-coming team, while New England starts the post-Tom Brady era. Cam Newton gets the nod, and that would not make me feel comfortable about laying down the points.

NFL Wild Card Weekend Free Picks

Chiefs vs. Colts, 4:35PM ET
The Colts hammered the Chiefs 23-7 in Indianapolis in Week 16 but expect a different outcome today. Kansas City wasn’t prepared for the hurry up that Pep Hamilton threw at Bob Sutton’s defense but with more time to prepare, the Chiefs should adjust. Injuries could impact this game from Kansas City’s side of things, as Tamba Hali is questionable and Eric Fisher has been ruled out for the contest. But Fisher the Chiefs expect Hali to play and Fisher wasn’t performing well before suffering the injury so his loss shouldn’t play a significant role in today’s outcome. The Colts aren’t a very good first half team but they’ve done well playing from behind with Andrew Luck under center. Unfortunately that plays into Kansas City’s hands. Look for the Chiefs to build a lead and then protect it with a combination of Jamaal Charles and their pass rush.
FREE PICK: Chiefs -2.5

Saints vs. Eagles, 8:10PM ET
The Eagles have only beaten one playoff team this year and that came in Week 10 against an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers squad. But you’re na├»ve if you believe that Philly’s success this year is somehow marginalized by its schedule. Look at the NFL this year – half the league is garbage, which contributed to the Eagles’ “soft schedule.” Regardless, the Saints are a completely different team on the road than it is playing on the fast track of the Superdome. Drew Brees can talk about the Saints’ road record since 2009 all he wants but the fact remains that he’s a less accurate quarterback, Sean Payton is a more conservative play-caller and Rob Ryan’s defense isn’t as potent. Look for the red-hot Eagles to advance to the next round with a victory.
FREE PICK: Eagles -3

Chargers vs. Bengals, 1:05PM ET
The side is difficult to handicap for this matchup because nobody knows which Andy Dalton will show up. He’s as likely to throw for four touchdowns and 350 yards as he is to turn the ball over four times and keep his opponent in the game nearly single-handedly. Thus, the true value of this matchup may be in the total. The over is 4-0-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams in Cincinnati and 7-2-2 in the last 11 meetings overall. The over is also 4-0 in the Bengals’ last four games overall, 5-0 in their last five home games and 4-1 in their last five games versus AFC opponents.
FREE PICK: OVER 45.5

49ers vs. Packers, 4:40PM ET
Everything about this matchup screams 49ers, at least on paper. They have the significantly better defense, they’re built to win on the road thanks to their running game, and they’ve owned the Packers in the recent past. But this Green Bay team is eirly similar to the one that won the Super Bowl in 2010. That year, the Packers suffered key injuries throughout the season and barely made the postseason before riding a red-hot Aaron Rodgers to the title game versus Pittsburgh. Rodgers looked rusty last week versus the Bears but his second-half magic makes it hard to bet against him at home tomorrow night. If this game turns into a shootout, I like Rodgers over Colin Kaepernick, who has gotten a free pass for his inconsistent play this season after leading the Niners to the Super Bowl last season and playing with Michael Crabtree for most of this season.
FREE PICK: PACKERS +3

Chiefs run into reality

The Kansas City Chiefs have had a great season so far, but as many predicted they’re not quite as good as their record. The hard truth is that there’s a ridiculous amount of parity in the NFL these days, and a couple of breaks through the season can dramatically impact a team’s record. That’s been the case with the Chiefs, a much-improved team with an excellent defense and a risk-averse quarterback. But a 9-0 record built on weak opponents, timely turnovers and cautious quarterback play doesn’t help that much when you’re facing Peyton Manning. For example, KC was leading the league in sacks as they teed off on NFL backups, but they didn’t sack Peyton Manning once. Also, an offense led by Alex Smith suddenly looked like a liability when the Chiefs were down by several scores. You can’t dink and dunk your way to a comeback that often.

This doesn’t mean we should completely count out the Chiefs. Again, they’re good enough to win a lot of games if some breaks go their way. But let’s not pretend they have the same margin of error as Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

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