The Browns won their first playoff game since the 1994 season last Sunday, but they will face an even more difficult task to make it to the AFC Championship game for the first time since the 1989 season. They’ll have to beat the defending Super Bowl champions and the Super Bowl favorites, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs will be very well rested, as they locked up the top seed in the AFC in Week 16, so their starters have had two weekends off. The Chiefs are mostly healthy, but they will be without wide receiver Sammy Watkins and breakout rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable. The Browns will get corner Denzel Ward, offensive lineman Joel Bitonio, and most importantly, head coach Kevin Stefanski back on Sunday. Browns All-Pro lineman Jack Conklin is questionable, but he did practice on Friday. The Chiefs’ high-powered offense will provide a very difficult task for a Browns defense that gave up 37 points last week, despite forcing five turnovers. The Chiefs defense isn’t fantastic either, but the Browns offense will need to score often to give them a chance.
Key #1: Convert on All Chances
The Browns absolutely have to take advantage of all of their chances on Sunday which is something that they have done well this season. The Browns have scored a touchdown on 72% of their red-zone possessions and the Chiefs are the absolute worst team at stopping teams from punching it in once they get into the red zone. They also need to take advantage of when or if the Chiefs shoot themselves in the foot with penalties, or when Patrick Mahomes gives the Browns secondary a chance to make plays. The Browns may have to be aggressive on fourth downs, something that has backfired for other teams in this postseason.