Once again, the ArrowheadPride contributors went a perfect 12-0 last week. It’s almost like we know what we’re doing. (Hint: we don’t. It’s just easy to pick games for this dominant Kansas City Chiefs team.)
Let’s see what FanPulse has to say about the Chiefs this week:
FanPulse is a survey of fans across the NFL powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100-plus plugged-in fans from each team.
Arrowhead Pride FanPulse predicts the Chiefs to win by 14
Dawgs By Nature FanPulse predicts the Chiefs to win by 9
You can sign up for AP FanPulse here to take the weekly survey.
Now let’s get on to the predictions:
Shawn Barber, Chiefs 30-27
This week’s Prediction location is My Man Cave.
Keys to the game
1. Stop the run. Make Browns offense one dimensional. Baker Mayfield cannot beat you with his arm alone. Stays focused on his primary targets, which have led to tip balls and interceptions. Chiefs should play a lot of tight zone coverage. Re-route WRs and TE to throw off timing. Control the QB scrambling with pass rush lane discipline by the front four. Read QB’s eyes for batted ball opportunities.
2. Browns DC is now the HC, I would expect a heavy dose of Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson. Along with passing plays that get their #1 overall pick on the move. Bootlegs and sprint action with the option to run for yardage.
3. Chiefs offensive line needs to be great in identifying the blitz. #ProtectPat
Have a seat. I think this game will be similar to the Chiefs-Titans playoff game. Sorry to bring up bad memories.
Stay Calm. After Browns rally in the 2nd half, Chiefs will find a way to win in the end. Maybe a five field goal game by ButtKicker.
Aaron Borgmann, Chiefs 42-17
“It’s a trap game,” they say. ”The Browns are dangerous,” they say. ”They have a new head coach,” they say. I’m not buying any of it. Dorsey has this team headed in right direction, but they aren’t there yet. This game will go down exactly as planned and the only noise left at the end coming from Cleveland will be from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame across the street. This won’t be close, folks.
John Dixon, Browns 30-27
I’ve been worried about this game since the season began. First I was worried about Todd Haley getting the better of Andy Reid — again. Obviously that is no longer a factor, but that worry has been replaced by another one: that the Browns — a team with talented players that’s had the misfortune to have their leaders publicly squabbling among themselves — will rally around their interim head coach in front of a raucous home crowd, and pull off an improbable victory against a superior team. We’ve seen this movie before, you know. The Chiefs did exactly the same thing to the 13-0 Packers in 2011, and such a victory in an interim head coach’s debut game happens more often than you may realize. And it’s not just that. The Browns defense is an opportunistic bunch that leads the NFL in turnovers, and also leads the league in opposing quarterback passer rating. I think the Chiefs are a championship-caliber team, but even championship teams sometimes lose games to lesser opponents, and as hard as I’ve tried, I just can’t shake the feeling that this is one of those games.
Matt Lane, Chiefs 31-20
For all the hype surrounding a new coach in Cleveland and hyping the team up, I’m not sure bringing in an entirely new offensive coaching staff is going to help this struggling offense with a young QB. Baker Mayfield has had no consistency and is now getting a new system — or at least mentor — which can’t be good. The team may have some fire with Gregg Williams as their HC for the game, but you have to put up points to beat KC.
When Cleveland has the ball Nick Chubb could have success, especially running up the middle vs. a defense without Hitchens available to play. The interior of the Browns OL is pretty formidable and should be able to create movement vs. a struggling Chiefs run defense. The Browns’ passing game has been very hit or miss this year — with more on the latter in part to poor receiver play and in part due to awful offensive tackle play. Dee Ford and Breeland Speaks could be in for big games — again — both recording at least one sack. Hopefully, Jordan Lucas gets back on the field, because it’s a game where his speed and ability to actually read the field could make a big difference as Mayfield scrambles and tries to fit passes into tighter windows.
When the Chiefs have the ball, it’s paramount to slow down the aggressive Browns defense. The screen game to Hunt, Kelce, and the wide receivers — as well as misdirection plays like the shovel passes and end-arounds — should be used early and often. The Browns DL and LBs are quite good but are susceptible to over-pursuing which should be taken advantage of. Denzel Ward has been a very good CB for the Browns, but their second and third CBs have been very lackluster and should give plenty of opportunities for Sammy Watkins to have another game. This might be one of the few teams well equipped, athletically, to slow down Travis Kelce, so manufacturing him touches may be needed to get him into the game flow.
The first half ends up being a bit disappointing for Chiefs fans as the offense has a few more stalls than we are used to, but the defense does enough to keep the game neck-and-neck. As the second half begins, the Chiefs offense becomes too much as Sammy Watkins and Patrick Mahomes take over.
Gary McKenzie, Chiefs 42-13
I went and checked the first game for each interim head coach since 2010 — their record is 7-7. Most of the games where an interim coach is having their first appearance have ended in a blowout in some way shape or form.
I don’t think the Browns are blowing out the Chiefs, so instead ,I’m taking the Chiefs to blowout the Browns. Honestly, the coaching advantage for the Chiefs is so large that I can’t fathom the Chiefs losing this one...
All that said, the unpredictable nature of interim head coaches does have me a little concerned.
Matt Stagner, Chiefs 55-17
When you play a team like Cleveland, given all that’s going on around them, they are like a wounded dog. There are two possible outcomes: 1) you come out and dominate early, getting the subs some time by the fourth quarter, putting them out of their misery; or 2) you let them have hope, and they fight. With their back against the wall, they can be dangerous. I don’t see Mahomes letting up against his old college rival. In this analogy, Mahomes is “Travis” and he’ll deal with “Old Yeller” the only humane way possible.
Craig Stout, Chiefs 35-17
The Browns have had more change this week than a vending machine re-stocker, and while that screams “trap game”, this isn’t a team that’s set to rally around a new coach to produce a great performance. The Browns defense is worse in points per game and almost as bad in yards than the Chiefs defensive unit. The Browns offense, on the other hand, could only hang 23 points on Tampa Bay’s abysmal defense, and they’re switching out their entire offensive coaching staff.
With so much movement in the staff of the Browns, this isn’t the week that things magically come together for them. A poor offensive line and slower running backs should result in a better defensive performance by the Chiefs, with Baker Mayfield taking at least four sacks trying to bring his team back. Both Browns wins have come by holding the opposition under 17 points (NYJ and BAL). The Chiefs’ lowest point total for the year is 27, against a much better defense — in division, and on the road. A chaotic Browns team isn’t going to be the one to hold the Chiefs under 21 for the first time.
Kent Swanson, Chiefs 30-21
I don’t know how the Chiefs will be able to outwit new interim HC Gregg Williams, who apparently has been the hottest head coaching commodity of all time (Source: Gregg Williams).
The Chiefs will have a decided coaching advantage with the stability Reid and company provide. The Browns could come out with some looks that catch the Chiefs early, but I don’t think it’s sustainable. The Chiefs are a better football team with a better QB and coaching staff.
Pete Sweeney, Chiefs 35-21
I’d like to believe that a Cleveland Browns team coming in with a 2-5-1 record is better than it’s played — especially given it has participated in an unprecedented four overtime games and won only one of them. I’d like to believe the fire behind a Gregg Williams-head coached football team will make this a much better game, that maybe the defense will be able to keep up with the Chiefs offense. I’d like to believe that the Browns could win this game for their general manager John Dorsey, whom the Chiefs pushed out the door despite turning the franchise’s roster around and building this year’s entire offense (less Sammy Watkins) from the ground up. But I don’t believe any of that because even though the Browns’ desire will be there, Patrick Mahomes, at least right now, is flat out better than Baker Mayfield, and he will prove it, head to head, on Sunday. Maybe things will be different next year once Mayfield has a year under his belt.
Joel Thorman, Chiefs 30-23
The Chiefs should win this game. The offense has been good enough that I don’t see them faltering against a team like the Browns. But about the Browns... they’re not bad! The defense is pretty strong, the offense has the potential to be fun. They’ve played some close games against good teams and then also lost to the Raiders, so it depends which Browns team shows up.
Aly Trost, Browns 38-31
I’ve remained optimistic all season, but, for some reason, something feels different this time around. Whether it’s all the chaos going on over in Cleveland or the fact that at some time or another, the Chiefs have to be upset by a lesser team, I predict KC will fall to the Browns on the road this Sunday. A wild, hopeful crowd ignited by recent staff changes, a solid defense that’s ranked No. 1 against the pass and a team that is now guided by a new head coach has me going with a Chiefs loss.
Dane Van Why, Chiefs 38-24
The long-anticipated Cleveland head coaching change will have Browns fans in a fervor this week as Kansas City heads to The Rock and Roll Capital of the World. What may have at first seemed like an easy game to cross off the schedule may have turned into one where the Chiefs must prepare for anything and everything. I’m expecting a Gregg Williams-led Browns team to come out fast and slip a few new tricks past the Chiefs defense. But at the end of the day, the Browns are still the Browns, and the Chiefs offense is hard for anyone to stop at this point.
Here are the staff rankings:
|Dane Van Why||7-1|
Like last week, since every contributor picked the Chiefs to win, there is no movement in the standings.
Who’s winning on Sunday in Cleveland?
This poll is closed