The Cleveland Browns lost a tight game on Sunday to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The final score was 33-29; however, the Browns led most of the game.
A few mistakes near the end of the game gave the Chiefs opportunity to seize the game, and the defending AFC champions did just that.
Despite the disappointment for the Browns, there is still plenty to be optimistic about.
Here are three reasons the Browns are still Super Bowl contenders after their Week 1 loss.
3. Offensive Line Is Among The Best
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) September 12, 2021
The Browns offensive line is one of the best in the NFL.
In the first half of the game, it gave quarterback Baker Mayfield plenty of time and protection.
And it created holes for Nick Chubb to run through and score two touchdowns.
When left tackle Jedrick Wills left the game with an injury, the level of play dropped a little, but the Browns, under Kevin Stefanski, have employed a next man up strategy that will be in place if Wills is out for any length of time.
2. Defense Is Good And Will Only Get Better
The Browns spent the offseason making the defense better.
The roster is full of superstars who did not play together in the preseason.
This is not the same Cleveland Browns defense.
What a difference a year makes.
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) September 12, 2021
Unfortunately, the defense needed to be on point against former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.
There was no time to settle in.
More practice time and reviewing film from them being together on the field in a game situation will make them even better.
Against the Chiefs, there was also an unfortunate shortage at the safety position because Grant Delpit was inactive and Ronnie Harrison was ejected.
Presumably Delpit, who suffered a torn Achilles in the 2020 preseason, will be on the field soon, and Harrison will be back too.
John Johnson III is a good player, but he cannot do it alone.
1. The Team Will Fix The Mistakes
Four mistakes were all it took to lose the game for the Browns, who did not benefit from any Chiefs mistakes.
Those were Harrison’s ejection, Chubb’s fumble, Jamie Gillan‘s punting disaster, and Mayfield’s interception.
Stefanski will get these areas buttoned up with more reps and practice this week as the team prepares for its Week 2 game against the Houston Texans.
#Browns are going to be just fine. They went toe-to-toe with #Chiefs. Eliminate the fumble, dropped snap on a punt and Baker's INT and it's a win. Self inflicted wounds are very much correctable. See ya in LA.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) September 13, 2021
Wait people are mad the Kansas City Chiefs who have been to the Super Bowl the last two years beat us in the last quarter after fighting and struggling the whole time in the first game of the year?? #Browns
— Yvette (@yvettemlaboy) September 12, 2021
The Browns were good enough to beat about 95 percent of the other NFL teams.
It is unfortunate that they played one of the best in Week 1 and got a potential playoff preview.
In some respects, starting out with a tough game will help them get the necessary issues corrected and allow them to begin building momentum in the weeks ahead.
It is still very possible that the Browns and Chiefs could meet again later in the season in a playoff matchup.
The Browns will not lose to the Chiefs three times within the span of 12 months.
This franchise has worked too hard to get where it has in the past two seasons to let that happen.