Cleveland Browns schedule: Predicting the first loss on 2021 schedule and why it’ll happen

The Cleveland Browns might be the biggest winners of the offseason, but they’ll be losing early in 2021.

Find a flaw in the Cleveland Browns‘ offseason. You can’t? Good. You shouldn’t.

Everything general manager Andrew Berry did during the 2021 offseason was to build on the success in 2020. Baker Mayfield led a franchise that lived in the cellar to its first postseason appearance in 18 years. Cleveland also was a quarter away from the AFC Championship game as they trailed against a Chad Henne-led Kansas City Chiefs club in the divisional round.

Berry saw the mistakes and made sure the fix the flaws.

Cleveland upgraded its pass rush with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney. They also added stability in the secondary with Los Angeles’ John Johnson III and Troy Hill in the slot. On draft night, Berry struck gold again with plug-and-play cornerback Greg Newsome from Northwestern and do-it-all linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah from Notre Dame.

On paper, it’s enough to say Cleveland is a top-three roster in the AFC. With that being said, they’ll be facing the top roster Week 1 in a rematch against Kansas City. And the Chiefs? They’ll be playing more pissed off than usual.

Chiefs will be out for blood in Week 1

Kansas City has more to prove than just being the top team in the conference. Last February, a beautiful performance from Patrick Mahomes was wasted against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 31-9 loss in Super Bowl LV. The 2019 MVP was seen running for his life on every play and had little time to attack.

Kansas City upgraded nearly every position in this offseason. They stabilized the offensive line with the additions of Joe Thuney, Orlando Brown Jr. and Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey on draft night. They also bolstered the defense with Missouri’s Nick Bolton, a thumper to pair with rangy second-year defender Willie Gay Jr.

Overall, the Chiefs still have one of the best secondaries in the league. They also have a quality pass rush with the addition of Jarran Reed up the middle. The three-man set of the former Seahawk, plus Chris Jones and Frank Clark, might be too much for any stable offensive line to block.

Although the Browns have an offense that could finish top five, the defense will take time to mold. Clowney is coming off season-ending surgery, and names like Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit missed most of last season. It also usually takes two games for new players to adjust to the right system.

Cleveland should be the favorites to win the AFC North. Heck, down the line, this could have been a line more favorable to the Browns. For now, an angry Mahomes and a Chiefs roster looking to show they still are the team to beat doesn’t bode well for anyone.

It certainly doesn’t help the Browns that the game will be played in Kansas City as well.

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