Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs
This has to be the most compelling game of the entire Week 1 slate. The defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs host the team that nearly beat them in the NFL Playoffs last season, the Cleveland Browns.
This is a matchup between two teams who are expected to win the division with Cleveland being every NFL pundit's darling heading into the season. Cleveland already had one of the best offensive lines in the league with weapons around Baker Mayfield and added several defensive pieces that should button up the holes from last season.
Myles Garrett is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and there is some talk about the Browns being one of the most well-rounded teams in the league. However, I do think that talk is a bit overblown.
While I still have the Browns winning the AFC North, I do not think the defense is going to be as "fixed" as some believe it will be. John Johnson was one of the team's biggest signings and I am not sure he is going to be as successful as he was in 2020 with LA Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. He could regress to what he was before.
Greg Newsome was also a solid pick but is still a rookie and will be tasked with stopping the potent Chiefs offense. I really loved Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah heading into the 2021 NFL Draft and he could make a huge difference but again, it is his first career NFL game against the best offense in the league.
This should be a shootout, which comes down to one question: who do you trust more, Patrick Mahomes or Baker Mayfield?
Despite Mayfield's playing better last season, the answer to that question is quite clear.
Final score prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 30, Cleveland Browns 26