Cleveland could not be stopped through much of the first half, scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions to take a 22-10 lead into halftime.
But the second half was just about all Kansas City, as the defending AFC Champions came away with a 33-29 victory to start the 2021 season.
The Chiefs outscored the Browns 23-7 in the final two quarters with a couple of long drives, a couple of turnovers, and one typical bomb pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
But the game wasn’t sealed until late in the fourth quarter. The Browns got the ball back at their own 17-yard line with 2:49 left on the clock on one timeout remaining. Quarterback Baker Mayfield moved the chains with a 4-yard pass on third-and-2 to receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, and then a 19-yard pass to running back Kareem Hunt.
But on the next play, Mayfield tried to make too much happen while avoiding a sack, and threw an errant pass to the left side. Cornerback Mike Hughes was there to intercept the pass and that ended the Browns’ comeback hopes.
Mahomes finished the game 27-of-36 passing for 337 yards with three touchdowns, good for a 131.4 passer rating. All three of those passing TDs came in the second half, with two of them going to Travis Kelce. The tight end caught the go-ahead touchdown with 7:04 left in the game — an 8-yard completion.
Hill caught 11 passes for 197 yards to lead the game. Kelce had six receptions for 76 yards.
The Browns had scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, but then scored one in five second-half drives. Running back Nick Chubb fumbled in the third quarter to end what was seemed like a promising scoring chance. And punter Jamie Gillam botched a long snap deep in Cleveland territory to give Kansas City an easy scoring chance.
The Browns will have their home opener next week against the Texans. Kansas City will be on the road to face the Ravens on Sunday Night Football.