September 11, 2021

By Fred Liggett
FredL@lstribune.net

The time has come for all the prep work to stop and all the playing to start as the 2021 NFL regular season has arrived. The season opens up with a must see match up for the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs as they host the Cleveland Browns. The action is so must see that CBS is bringing their number one broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to describe all the fun from the newly renamed GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

One of the first things to notice following kickoff is the mood of the teams as both can play the “not happy” card. For the visiting Browns it’s opening the 2021 season against the same team at the same site their 2020 season ended in an AFC playoff game. For the host Chiefs it’s to quickly get rid of the sour taste left from losing 31-9 in Super Bowl 55.

Both teams made off season changes to change the outcomes of their last game. The Browns revamped their defense to better handle high flying offenses like the one they will see in the Chiefs. The Chiefs retooled their entire offensive line to better handle the defensive pressure they faced against Tampa Bay.

Another change to witness as these two AFC powerhouses open the season is the fact Chiefs fans can fill the stands for the first time in 20 months. A sell out for this game was pretty easy at 76,416 seat stadium. Chiefs fans are eager to see in person the team who has won two straight AFC titles and five straight AFC West Division Championships. Many of them hope to be back in January for what would be the fourth straight AFC title game played in Kansas City.

Everyone wants to start off a new season on a positive note and the Chiefs hope to see some new faces help them achieve this goal. On offense the play of OL Orlando Brown and Joe Thuney will be a key to success. On defense the play of LB Nick Bolton and DL Jarran Reed will be a key to success.

Long time Chiefs fans can tell you the record of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid when he has more than a week to plan for an opponent. With the Browns expected to be a top challenger to the Chiefs for AFC supremacy one can bet Reid has been game planning for this one quite a while. Reid is 8-0 all-time against the Browns, just 4-0 as Chiefs head coach. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is 10-0 as a starter in September. All this leads me to believe that the result of the AFC playoff game on Jan. 17, 2021 and the season opener Sept. 12 will be the same. The Chiefs open the season at 1-0 with a hard fought victory at home. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.

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