The Browns should have maximized possessions after Patrick Mahomes exited
I spent much of Monday reading the official Browns Chiefs game book, carefully thinking about how the Browns could best handle the game after Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was knocked out with a concussion.
Brown's safety Karl Joseph caught a can of corn from the Chief's backup quarterback Chad Henne in the Cleveland end zone with exactly eight minutes of play. After 19:10 when Patrick Mahomes left and 22:10 at the end of the drive that Henne ended, the Browns had scored a touchdown and reduced the lead to five points (22:17). The interception of Joseph pushed the pendulum of the momentum directly in favor of the Browns.
Then things are going sideways for Cleveland. During seven games (and despite wasting time out along the way), the Browns moved 12 yards from their own 20 to their own 32, burning three minutes and forty-one seconds of time. Looking to finish fourth and ninth, the Browns stumbled upon Kansas City instead of choosing it.
The reasoning makes sense. If Mahomes had still played, the Browns should definitely have taken their chances in fourth and ninth. Why not prick the hen and then play defense?
One reason not to sting, of course, was the fact that the Browns were now on time-out due to an ill-advised replay challenge and the time-out that had to be used to avoid a game-delay foul on Cleveland's last run. It was Cleveland's last run as the Chiefs successfully milked the remaining 4:19 to seal the win.
The fair criticism of the Browns, therefore, is based on the fact that Mahomes didn't move any faster after going into the locker room. Before Mahomes got injured, it made sense to minimize possessions and shorten the game. According to Mahomes, the total talent gap narrowed if it did not go away. At this point, the Browns should have done everything faster to increase the frequency with which both teams had the ball - because in a Baker Mayfield versus Chad Henne battle, the Browns are more likely to score higher than the bosses.
Consider the first ride after Mahomes leaves. The Browns used eighteen games, consuming eight minutes and seventeen seconds of time.
Why not force the problem? Move faster. Play more games. Bring the ball back to the Chiefs and hope for a mistake that could result in an opening to win the game.
If the Browns had simply shown a greater sense of urgency during their last two trips, the Browns could have gone to Buffalo this weekend.
The Browns should have maximized ownership after Patrick Mahomes originally appeared on Pro Football Talk
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