NFL Divisional Round: Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Browns Prediction and Analysis

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January 16, 2021 6:04 am

After a brief period of rest, defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs will return to action on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes and Co. will be eager to seal a spot in another AFC Championship game.

But Kevin Stefanski’s Cleveland Browns are riding the wave at the moment. We have a Patrick Mahomes vs Baker Mayfield clash on the cards, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Here’s a detailed look at both teams, along with injury updates and NFL Divisional Round predictions.

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NFL Divisional Round Preview

Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs return to action on Sunday

Super Bowl LIV Champions, Kansas City Chiefs, bagged the top seed in the AFC with a 14-2 record. They’ve given their star names enough rest over the last 3 weeks or so as they prepare for a deep run in the ongoing NFL Playoffs.

Head Coach Andy Reid was hit with a major dilemma after experienced WR Sammy Watkins was ruled out for tomorrow’s game at the Arrowhead Stadium.

TE Travis Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill will be key for the Chiefs’ offense as RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is also listed as ‘questionable’.

The Chiefs’ defense, led by Chris Jones and Tyrann Mathieu, will be kept busy by the Browns’ running game. They need to be careful or their complacency could cost them a spot in the AFC Championship game.

Can Baker Mayfield lead the Cleveland Browns to AFC glory?

Despite the absence of HC Kevin Stefanski and other key players, Baker Mayfield led Cleveland to a memorable victory over AFC North champion’s, Pittsburgh Steelers, last week.

They truly turned their COVID-19 crisis into a source of motivation and beat the Steelers by an 11-point margin. Coach Stefanski will be hopeful that the confidence in the locker room will push his team beyond their limits on Sunday.

The Browns have an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, with 3 players listed as ‘questionable’. G Joel Bitonio will return to the first-team setup after missing out on the Steelers clash due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

But the major emphasis will be on the Browns defense led by Myles Garrett, who will be tasked to stop the advances of the Chiefs’ offense.

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NFL Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Browns Update

Kansas City – Out

WR Sammy Watkins – Calf

LB Willie Gay – Ankle

Questionable

CB Rashad Fenton – Foot/Ankle

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire  – Hip/Ankle

TE Deon Yelder – Groin

Cleveland – Questionable

T Jack Conklin – Hamstring / Knee

LB B.J. Goodson – Shoulder

TE David Njoku – Hamstring

Chiefs vs Browns Prediction

Kansas City Chiefs 29 – 24 Cleveland Browns

Dec 14, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws the ball past Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (90) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Baker Mayfield, has the opportunity of a lifetime to silence his critics by leading his team to the AFC Championship game. But we believe he’s going to fall a bit short of achieving that dream because of one man, Patrick Mahomes.

The 2018 NFL MVP and his Chiefs teammates hell-bent on making it 2 consecutive Super Bowl wins as they aim to build a dynasty of their own. But this season is filled with a lot of surprises. Maybe we’ll see another in Missouri this weekend.

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Daniel Arambur

Daniel Arambur is an NFL journalist for EssentiallySports who is an admirer of the old guard in Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. He believes the latter has one more Super Bowl left in him before he bows out for good. Daniel bills Patrick Mahomes as one of the best up-and-coming quarterbacks in the league.

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