January 16, 2021

By Fred Liggett
FredL@lstribune.net

After waiting two weeks to see the Kansas City Chiefs take the field for a playoff game Chiefs fans will be rewarded as the team begins its “Run It Back” tour against the surprising Cleveland Browns. The wait has been even longer for many Chiefs players who haven’t seen the field in 21 days. The top-seeded Chiefs host the highest-seeded team left in the NFL playoffs in the Browns who upset division rival Pittsburgh last week in a 48-37 victory.

Both the Chiefs and Browns love to start fast and the Browns had that on full display last week in taking a quick 28-0 first quarter lead over the Steelers. The Browns put points up on the board in every way imaginable, a rushing touchdown and a fumble recovery in the end zone to name two of them. Wasn’t all offense for the Browns as they got key plays from the defense which saw a deflected pass in the secondary become an interception and batted pass at the line of scrimmage turn into another interception.

The Browns, now 12-5 on the season, won last week’s playoff game while their head coach Kevin Stefanski was away from the team due to COVID-19. Already the team was without star Cornerback Denzel Ward with the same issue. Both the coach and player are now off the COVID-19 list and will be in Kansas City to help the team win their second playoff game in 18 years.

The Chiefs, at 14-2, hope to see the return of a few players as well. Missing practice this week was CB Rashad Fenton, LB Willie Gay, WR Sammy Watkins and limited in practice was rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Still missing is starting OL Mitchell Schwartz due to an ongoing back issue.

When you hold the NFL’s best record and the top seed in the AFC you’re going to get a lot of national attention. To no one’s surprise the Browns vs Chiefs playoff game seen on CBS will have their top announcing crew of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo on hand for the coverage. Some of this coverage will center on a Warden and a Landlord as in Browns DB Denzel Ward..aka the Warden and Chiefs Safety Tyrann Mathieu…aka the Landlord. Expect a portion of the coverage to center on current Browns RB Kareem Hunt who started his NFL career as a Chief. Hunt ran for 141 yards and scored three TD’s for KC in the last meeting between these two teams played in the 2018 regular season.

Some key numbers to look at this week include Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid having a 7-0 career record against the Browns. Another is Reid being 19-3 overall and 5-2 in the playoffs after a bye week. Expect this game to be very entertaining making the wait for it by fans worth it. The Browns, who are in the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, will not benefit from the turnovers they got last week in the Steel City as the Chiefs aerial attack proves to be too much in this playoff match up. Look for the Chiefs to continue their Run It Back tour for at least one more week. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.