Joe Thomas doesn’t think that Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round game between the Browns and Chiefs will go as expected.
After pulling off an upset that has singlehandedly altered the perception of their franchise, the Cleveland Browns are looking to do themselves one better. Beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road is one thing, but the Browns must now go to Arrowhead and topple the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs if they want to keep this miraculous dream season alive.
It’s a tall task, one that could be deemed near-impossible.
But while most of the smart money — and perhaps all of the money — is on the Chiefs to roll through the bottom seed in the AFC playoffs, not everyone is counting Cleveland out.
Browns legend Joe Thomas has been watching what he’s dubbed a ‘resuscitation’ of Cleveland football and isn’t expecting a flatline anytime soon. Not even against Patrick Mahomes and the best team in football.
Will Browns upset Chiefs in AFC Divisional Round?
Thomas spoke with TMZ, not in a gotcha moment but in an interview where he could produce a well-thought-out answer and articulated why he thinks the Browns aren’t done shocking the football world.
“The Chiefs have played a close game just about, well I think a one-score game every game the last half of the season, and I think with the Browns rushing attack and the way Baker Mayfield is playing with that killer mentality, I like the Browns in this one.”
Cleveland has been an amazing story, but let’s pump the brakes on talk of an upset.
Kansas City appears to still be in the infancy of being the next great NFL dynasty. Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the known universe, with an MVP and Super Bowl ring, and he still hasn’t entered the prime of his career yet. Andy Reid is the best offensive mind in football and will go down as one of the greatest coaches of all-time.
Upsetting the Chiefs would be absolutely monumental, full stop.
Thomas played his entire 10-year career in Cleveland and has etched his name into the fraternity of all-time Browns greats. So he might be a little drunk on the Cleveland Kool-Aid, but he’s spot on about what this playoff run means to the franchise and its fans.
Just two weeks ago, the Browns had the longest active playoff drought in the NFL. The Wild Card game was played without a head coach, on the road, and now they’re in the Divisional Round. It’s truly incredible what Cleveland has managed to do in completely reversing its fortune.
Not only has the team been invigorated with the confidence of having bucked the weight of history off its back, but this is the payoff for fans who have suffered for two decades-plus watching Browns football.
Cleveland is playing with house money heading into Sunday’s showdown in Kansas City. If they win, it’ll be one of the greatest playoff upsets in the history of football. A loss would sting, but it wouldn’t take any air out of the momentum that Cleveland is building towards being a true threat in the AFC for years to come.
These aren’t the same old Browns. Win or lose on Sunday, the identity of Cleveland football has been drastically and radically altered.