The Cleveland Browns versus the Kansas City Chiefs on a Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. EST, that’s why I’m watching. The Browns are 1-1-1 in the preseason and the Chiefs are 1-1. It’s the final preseason game for both as the regular season starts in about two weeks. What am I watching?
Browns Offense Vs. Chiefs Defense. It’s been reported the Browns starters will play between 20-25 plays. I don’t expect to see left guard Joel Bitonio, running back Nick Chubb and probably wide receivers Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore playing.
There should be a continuation of the rhythm the offense had in the Washington game. With the trade of QB Josh Dobbs, Dorian Thompson-Robinson will take over for Deshaun Watson and then Kellen Mond. The offense will again be very vanilla, but I hope the offensive line blocking will be much improved. Carrying the load at running back should be John Kelly, Demetric Felton, Hassan Hall and Jordan Wilkins. Wilkins needs to get more opportunities. The wide receiver position should feature everyone’s training camp darling, Austin Watkins, as well as Cedric Tillman and David Bell. The Chiefs defense might have a few starters, but look for players like linebacker Cole Christianson, defensive tackle Danny Shelton, defensive end B.J. Thompson, cornerback Trent McDuffie and safeties Byran Cook & Justin Reid. Last week against the Cardinals, Kansas City’s defense allowed 286 total yards, 184 passing and 102 rushing for an average of 4.4 yards per play.
Browns Defense Vs. Chiefs Offense. It goes without saying that defensive end Myles Garrett will not play. I would like to see all the other defensive linemen get the same 20 to 25 plays before being replaced, with the exception of defensive tackle Shelby Harris who still needs additional reps. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will continue to bring the pressure and blitzes from the secondary. Hopefully, linebacker Mohamoud Diabate will continue to build on his strong preseason. In the secondary, strong showings by safeties Ronnie Hickman and Nate Meadors and cornerback Caleb Biggers could secure their spots on the practice squad. The Chiefs offense will start with Patrick Mahomes, followed by Blaine Gabbert, Shane Buechele and Chris Oladokun. The Kansas City running backs who will get the most playing time will be La’Mical Perine, Deneric Prince and Jarick McKinnon. Rashee Rice, Juston Watson and Ihmir Smith-Marsette will be the main receiving targets. Last week against the Cardinals, the Chiefs had 504 yards of total offense, 393 passing, 111 rushing for an average of 8.7 yards per play.
It’s the final preseason game and the majority of the roster is settled. Only a handful of backup spots are available, so players have to impress for spots on the sixteen-man practice squad. All NFL rosters must be down to a maximum of 53 players by 4:00 p.m. EST on August 29. Here’s hoping for a clean, injury-free game.