The Cleveland Browns turned the ball over twice and were outscored by 16 points in the second half of their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Entering the second half the Cleveland Browns held a 22-10 lead and things looked good. The offense was clicking and the defense was doing just enough to slow down the Chiefs high-powered offense. Once the second half began everything changed. Suddenly the Browns were unable to score consistently while Kansas City was scoring at will. A fumble, a botched punt, and an interception on the final offensive snap for Cleveland sealed their fate in what was a 33-29 loss.
An uncharacteristic fumble from Nick Chubb was the beginning of the downfall for the Browns Sunday. The fumble occurred right after Kansas City scored a touchdown to cut Cleveland’s lead to five. The lead was subsequently cut to just two after the Chiefs converted a field goal following the fumble from Chubb.
Cleveland bounced back in what was their only scoring drive of the second half, capped off by a Kareem Hunt rushing touchdown. While it appeared that the Browns might be able to pull off the upset win on the road, Kansas City’s offense was already firing on all cylinders. Patrick Mahomes would find Tyreek Hill in what was a one-play 75-yard touchdown drive to again cut the lead to two.
Cleveland’s problems continued as after just three plays they were forced to punt, that is when disaster happened. Punter Jamie Gillan ended up dropping the snap, forcing a panicked rushing attempt leading to the Chiefs starting their next drive at Cleveland’s 15-yard line. While the field position certainly helped, the Chiefs were going to score anyway, starting just 15 yards away from the end zone just made their job easier.
The Browns did have a chance to win the game late, starting their final drive at their own 17 yard line with 2:49 to go in the 4th. Unfortunately an interception from Baker Mayfield while targeting Harrison Bryant put an end to their come back attempt. Mayfield was tripped up while attempting to throw the ball away, leading to a soft lob that was easily picked off by Mike Hughes.
Cleveland drops to 0-1 as their winless Week 1 streak continues. The last team the Browns won their first game of the season was in 2004, a year which the team finished 4-12. Cleveland will have an opportunity to get back to .500 on the year as they have their home opener next Sunday against the Houston Texans.