By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
It has been nearly five years since the Kansas City Chiefs have lost a game in the opening month of the NFL season.
Patrick Mahomes himself is 10-0 in the month of September with 32 touchdowns and no interceptions.
However, the Chiefs have a tough test in front of them this Sunday as they open the 2021 season at home against the Cleveland Browns - a team they beat 22-17 in the AFC Divisional playoffs in January.
While the matchup itself is an exciting one, Mahomes is just excited to play in front of a full Arrowhead Stadium again.
"I told some of the guys," Mahomes said, "I was like, 'Man you're going to have to keep me calm. I think running out of that tunnel at Arrowhead and seeing those fans and them going crazy and just enjoying that moment will be special and I'm sure it'll help us on the football field as well."
Arrowhead was limited to 22 percent capacity during the 2020 season - still a lot more than most NFL stadiums last year.
The focus for Chiefs Kingdom is of course getting to a third straight Super Bowl and trying to win it. While tight end Travis Kelce says anything short of a Super Bowl win this year is a failure, head coach Andy Reid isn’t looking that far ahead.
"I don't think you go there right now," he said. "I mean, you work on what you can control and right now, it's the game plan and making sure we master it and master the opponent the best we can before game time."
The Chiefs face a fellow AFC title contender in Cleveland - a dangerous offense that returns receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Tight end Austin Hooper, along with running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt On defense, the Browns feature prolific pass rushers in Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce knows this is a big test. But to him, that's what makes this season opener so exciting.
"Even more anticipation because it's the first game of the year," he said. "We did meet up in the playoffs last year. The Browns have been getting better over the years. And now, obviously they're a playoff team. They're a championship caliber team, so we just have to go out there and be ourselves and execute."
The Chiefs are mostly healthy, however safety Tyrann Mathieu was still in COVID protocol as of late Friday. His status for Sunday's game is unclear. Juan Thornhill is likely the first in line next to Daniel Sorensen in base defense, but the Chiefs also have Armani Watts available on the back end.
The Browns look to change their fortunes in season-opening games. They're 1-20-1 in season-openers since moving back to Cleveland in 1999.
Kickoff in Sunday’s game is set for 3:25 p.m. You can hear the game on our Q Country 92.7 FM with coverage starting at 2 p.m.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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