The Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns begin their 2021 NFL seasons at Arrowhead Stadium with a rematch of last season’s Divisional round playoff game. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. Arrowhead Time. The game will be broadcast by CBS-TV — locally on KCTV/5. Browns vs Chiefs.
The Chiefs finished 2020 with a league and franchise-best record of 14-2, giving them the AFC’s top postseason seed. They defeated the Browns and Buffalo Bills to advance to their second-straight Super Bowl appearance, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-9.
The team will begin the season with an entirely new offensive line (including three rookie starters) to protect superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who begins his fifth NFL season as the league’s top player. His main receiving targets — tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill — are back for 2021, along with second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who gained 1,100 yards from scrimmage in a 13-game rookie season.
On defense, star defensive tackle Chris Jones has been moved to defensive end — but depending on down and distance, he will likely line up in both positions. In the offseason, the team also signed former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed and drafted linebacker Nick Bolton, who will likely see significant time against Cleveland while second-year player Willie Gay Jr. is on injured reserve with a toe injury. All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu — activated from the team’s Reserve/COVID list on Saturday — and defensive end Frank Clark are both listed as questionable for the game.
Before being sent home in last season’s Divisional round, the Browns had won their first playoff game since the franchise was re-established in Cleveland before the 1999 season — and only their second since 1989. Under second-year head coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns finished the 2020 campaign with an 11-5 record in a super-competitive AFC North division that sent three teams to the postseason.
Led by fourth-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland offense features a strong rushing attack from running backs Nick Chubb and former Chief Kareem Hunt, who combined for more than 2,300 yards from scrimmage in 2020. Wide receivers Jarvis Landy and Odell Beckham Jr. are also dangerous threats — although Beckham is working to recover from a knee injury. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.