The Cleveland Browns are two weeks away from their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. And after seeing their magical 2020 season end in Kansas City, they’ve got a score to settle.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Browns cornerback John Johnson III said that the Browns are going to have “a vindictive vibe” on September 12. While he conceded that they want to win every game regardless, he feels that this one will be special.
“That’s the last one from last year, it’s going to be the first one from this year so there’s definitely a little — it’s a vindictive vibe, you know,” Johnson said, via 92.3 The Fan. “We definitely want to get back at those guys but, you know, I always want to win the opener regardless of who it is so that’s what we got to go out there and do.”
THE HOSTS WITH THE MOST
Arrowhead Stadium was the site of the AFC Championship Game for the first time in 2019. In January, the Chiefs became the first AFC team to be at home in three straight championship games.
This season the Chiefs will aim to be the first team in NFL history to be host to four straight championship games. The Eagles were host to three straight NFC Championship Games (2003-’05) under coach Andy Reid. The games were played at Veterans Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field.
5) AFC West
THE GOOD: The Kansas City Chiefs are the most electric team in football. Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback and brightest star in the league. The Chiefs’ offense should continue to be prolific, while their defense might be better than expected. There is more depth at cornerback, more athleticism at linebacker and more potential disruption up front (with defensive tackle Jarran Reed added via free agency and Pro Bowler Chris Jones alternating between tackle and end). The Denver Broncos could be the biggest threat to the Chiefs within the division, as they have one of the best rosters in football. Pass rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb have the potential to make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks while the secondary could be the best in football. The one big issue for the Broncos — finding an answer at quarterback — is one the other two teams in the division don’t need to worry about. The Los Angeles Chargers had the Offensive Rookie of the Year in Justin Herbert last season, and Derek Carr arguably enjoyed the best year of his career for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Game: Browns at Chiefs
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: CBS (stream on Paramount+)
Talk about a big test right out of the gate ... for both sides! Maybe the matchup of the week, this playoff rematch pits Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb and Myles Garrett against Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu. And that’s only a small fraction of the big names set to square off at Arrowhead. This may give us an early, if premature, indication of whether Cleveland is still for real.
After their second consecutive preseason victory, one member of the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense earned recognition on Touchdown Wire’s weekly Secret Superstar list.
Chiefs DB Juan Thornhill has worked tirelessly to overcome not just the physical, but the mental struggles of his 2019 knee injury. During Friday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, the culmination of his hard work was on full display. He baited veteran backup quarterback Colt McCoy into throwing an interceptable ball into his coverage. Thornhill covered ground quicker than prime Lorenzo Cain chasing down a flyball in center field and made a diving highlight-reel interception.
Chiefs Charity Game
Friday night’s game will mark the 37th annual Chiefs Charity Game. Since its inception in 1985, and through the vision of Lamar Hunt and the Hunt family, the Chiefs Charity Game has raised more than $14.7 million for local charities that support children in need. Over the past three years, the Chiefs Charity Game raised more than $1.6 million to help keep children safe and families together through Cornerstones of Care. The 2021 Chiefs Charity Game marks the first year with MOCSA (Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault) as the game’s beneficiary.
Around the NFL
The decision comes after coach Vic Fangio, who informed the team of the decision Wednesday morning, had maintained through training camp that the battle was “even-steven.”
“The good news of this competition is we’ve got two quarterbacks that we feel we can go win with,” Fangio said Tuesday.
Bridgewater, 28, is with his third team in three seasons. He was 4-11 as a starter for the Carolina Panthers in 2020 and a perfect 5-0 while replacing the injured Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints in 2019. Bridgewater is 26-23 in his career in Minnesota, New Orleans and Carolina.
Michel, who scored the go-ahead touchdown to beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, now joins Sean McVay’s team.
After back-to-back 900-plus-yard seasons to open his career, Michel struggled in 2020. Participating in just nine games due to injury and a stint on the COVID-19 list, Michel compiled just 79 carries for 449 yards and one TD.
Enter Jones, who can actually best Lawson in all manner of rushing the passer, and who is currently very open to packing his bags and leaving the Cardinals — contract talks having stalled in the desert as well. Of course, this wasn’t what the Cardinals had planned when they signed J.J. Watt to play opposite Jones (who’s returning from a season-ending injury in 2021), but sometimes you have to adapt to the cards on the table. Because if they don’t want to ante up and pay Jones, and if the Jets don’t want to give Maye the bag he deserves, it could serve both well to make this swap.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo knows that. Focusing on tackling is always a big part of training camp and the preseason games — and the coach says he’s been seeing a positive trend in that aspect of his unit’s play.
“I think it’s been pretty good,” Spagnuolo said of the team’s tackling during his Tuesday press conference. “There’s always room for improvement there. We had less missed tackles this past game than the previous [one], so that’s a good sign.”
A tweet to make you think
The #Chiefs have a wide receiver battle in camp no one saw coming. #APOutOfStructure discussed who could be the odd man out when the #Chiefs cut down to 53. @Ron_Kopp | @stagdsp pic.twitter.com/bId21DZ19f— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) August 25, 2021