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Sport The Browns should have maximized possessions after Patrick Mahomes exited

08:55  19 january  2021
08:55  19 january  2021 Source:   nbcsports.com

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Patrick Mahomes , considered by many to be the NFL’s best player, suffered an injury in Sunday’s AFC The Chiefs ran Mahomes on an option play on third-and-short, despite Mahomes already dealing with a toe injury. Mahomes was dragged down by linebacker Mack Wilson and stayed down.

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I spent much of Monday reviewing the official game book from the Browns-Chiefs game, thinking carefully about the best way to critique the manner in which the Browns handled the game after Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes exited with a concussion.

Browns safety Karl Joseph caught a can of corn from Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne in the Cleveland end zone with exactly eight minutes to play. Down 19-10 when Patrick Mahomes left and 22-10 at the conclusion of the drive finished by Henne, the Browns had scored a touchdown and had cut the margin to five points, 22-17. The Joseph interception shoved the pendulum of momentum squarely in the Browns’ favor.

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Patrick Mahomes will have to clear the five steps of the NFL's return-to-play protocol before he can return to normal football activities. Patrick Mahomes had to exit the Chiefs divisional-round victory over the Browns when he suffered a concussion in the third quarter.

Mahomes exited in the game in the third quarter. His head hit the turf as Wilson was bringing him down, and he seemed to still be Henne's five-yard completion to Tyreek Hill on 4th-and-1 helped seal the win in the fourth quarter. Wilson said after the game he has "never been a dirty player in my life."

That’s when things when sideways for Cleveland. Through seven plays (and despite wasting a timeout along the way), the Browns moved 12 yards, from their own 20 to their own 32, burning three minutes and forty-one seconds of clock time. Facing fourth and nine, the Browns punted to Kansas City instead of choosing to go for it.

The reasoning makes sense. If Mahomes had still been playing, the Browns definitely should have taken their chances on fourth and nine. With Henne, why not punt and then play defense?

One reason not to punt, of course, came from the fact that the Browns had only one timeout remaining, due to an ill-advised replay challenge and the timeout that had to be used to avoid a delay-of-game foul during what would be Cleveland’s final drive. It was Cleveland’s final drive because the Chiefs successfully milked the remaining 4:19 to seal victory.

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— The Kansas City Chiefs had lost Patrick Mahomes to a concussion and were in danger of losing the game. With their star quarterback reduced to a spectator, the oft-forgotten bunch opposite Mahomes ' high-powered offence forced the Browns to punt in the waning minutes.

The Kansas City Chiefs had lost Patrick Mahomes to a concussion and were in danger of losing the game. — along with a gutsy call With their star quarterback reduced to a spectator, the oft-forgotten bunch opposite Mahomes ' high-powered offense forced the Browns to punt in the waning minutes.

Thus, the fair criticism of the Browns comes from the failure to move more quickly after Mahomes went to the locker room. Before Mahomes was injured, it made sense to minimize possessions and shorten the game. Post-Mahomes, the total talent gap narrowed if not disappeared. At that point, the Browns should have done everything more quickly, in order to increase the number of times both teams had the ball — because in a battle of Baker Mayfield vs. Chad Henne, the Browns are more likely to score more points than the Chiefs.

Consider the first drive after Mahomes left. The Browns used eighteen plays, consuming eight minutes and seventeen seconds of clock time.

Down 12 at the time that drive began, why not force the issue? Move faster. Run more plays. Get the ball back to the Chiefs, and hope for a mistake that could lead to an opening to win the game.

If the Browns had simply displayed a greater sense of urgency during their final two drives, the Browns could have been going to Buffalo this weekend.

The Browns should have maximized possessions after Patrick Mahomes exited originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

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