Browns at Chiefs Pre-Season Game Preview | Saturday 1 PM 8/26/23

August 25, 2023

Andy Billman Tony Camino

Preseason Game 4 Breakdown and Betting Prognostications

3 Things Preview Browns at Kansas City Chiefs:

1 – Offensive Preview 

I believe most Browns Backers feel better after watching the first-team offense (aside from RB Nick Chubb) in one drive against the Commanders.  That said, it would be reassuring to see the first team again, which is what is going to happen on Saturday.  Obviously, the main focus, as it should, will be on QB Deshaun Watson.  For the final roster, a position battle to watch will be at wide receiver as Austin Watkins Jr. has been a hot topic all week if he’s going to make the team.  He’s battling David Bell and Jakeem Grant Sr. Grant is making his debut on Saturday 

and more than likely will be the full-time returner.  Watkins has been better than Bell and Grant has been nowhere to be seen in over a year recovering from an injury, so will the Browns go on faith rather than play on the field?  We will find out. Anthony Schwartz seems to be all but gone. 

And then there’s the backup running back discussion.  Jerome Ford is still healing from an injury and it is clear from the Browns’ actions that they are not thrilled with Demetric Felton, John Kelly Jr., and Hassan Hall.    Big moment for Jordan Wilkins to take control of a very open spot for the third running back spot.  Very hard to gauge what is going to happen at running back after Chubb.

Jack Conklin is still out at right tackle, so we will see who the projected backup will be between James Hudson III and Dawand Jones. Outside of that, the offensive line for the most part is set outside of the backup center between rookie Luke Wypler and Nick Harris.

2 – Defensive Preview

A lot of confidence on this side of the ball heading into the season, so from my perspective not as many roster questions compared to the offense.
One group worth watching is who are they going to keep at defensive tackle behind Dalvin Tomlinson, Shelby Harris, and Siaki Ika.  After those three it is anybody’s guess who will make the club.
There’s been a lot of debate about LB Mohamoud Diabate and S Ronnie Hickman making the club this week, and both have played well throughout camp.  

3 – Cade York

And then there’s K Cade York.  The Browns are still sticking with York up to this point. I’m not sure if can make up for all the misses in one preseason game, but he can try. 

Browns Notes

Thanks to the Hall of Fame game, Cleveland has had an additional opportunity to observe their team’s preseason performance this year. In their most recent match, they secured a tie against the reigning NFC champions, the Eagles. The struggles faced by kicker Cade York during this game highlight the potential significance of the extra match, possibly preventing critical missed kicks in future crucial games. All attention will be focused on York’s kicking performance this upcoming Saturday.

Joining the spotlight are defensive tackle Jordan Elliot and safety Ronnie Hickman, both of whom were not initially projected to secure a spot on the 53-man roster. However, their impressive performances have put them in contention, making them uncertainties no longer.

On the offensive front, most positions appear to be solidified except for the offensive line. Several players are competing for a permanent roster position, aiming to avoid being relegated to the practice squad after Saturday’s game. While wide receiver Austin Watkins has displayed commendable performance, his final opportunity to secure a spot might hinge on a strong showing based on his previous snap counts.

In the roles of quarterback, tight end, and running back, the Browns have a stable setup unless unexpected injuries arise. Cleveland’s strategy involves fielding a majority of their starters, providing the entire team with a chance to showcase their skills against the reigning champions.

Chiefs Notes

The second preseason match in Kansas City unraveled much like a clash in the regular season between the same teams probably would. The Chiefs completely dominated Arizona, as each of the four quarterbacks who stepped up managed to lead touchdown drives. However, it’s evident that no team typically carries four quarterbacks (some even opt for just three). This places the spotlight on Shane Buechele and Chris Oladokun to demonstrate their suitability for the backup roles behind Patrick Mahomes and Blaine Gabbert. Apart from this, the sole contention for a roster position rests between Blake Bell and Matt Bushman, both vying at the tight end position. While other openings exist on the offensive front, especially at wide receiver and conceivably at running back, the competition for these roles involves numerous contenders who are still in the running.

Shifting to the defensive aspect, the status of Chris Jones’ ongoing holdout might dictate a roster position. Should this stretch into the regular season, an additional player could find employment by week one. At the linebacker position, the Chiefs appear to be in good shape, with Jack Cochrane potentially securing his spot on the roster. In the secondary, a quartet of players is locked in a struggle for one or two positions. Deon Bush holds an advantage due to his veteran status, yet Nic Jones, Kahlef Hailassie, and Ekow Boye-Doe have the opportunity to secure a place by delivering strong performances against Cleveland.

Pay The Man His Money Picks

After a 3-0 Hall of Fame Game, Cade York ruined the over in the last game against the Eagles. The regular season will offer much more diversity and depth, including player props and various other markets. While there isn’t a wide array of choices for this final rehearsal game, there is one I would lean towards. I’m saving my money for the regular season and college football, but here’s a solid option if you’re looking for something to keep an eye on.

Pre-Season Picks Record: 3-3

Best Bets for Browns at Chiefs Preseason Week 4

The Pick: Under 41.5 Points (-108)

This game looks like it might kick off with a scoring spree, as both teams are probably going to field their starters for the first few drives. These high-powered offenses will likely play it safe and not reveal too much, giving the defense the upper hand. It wouldn’t be too surprising if both teams manage to score early on, but the line seems a bit too steep for this scenario.

Once the main players get a drive or two, the second-stringers will take over. The players who rotate in and out will handle the end of the first half, while those who are fighting for a spot on the team will likely get their chance in the second half. Since this is the last preseason game and people are competing for spots, things could get intense toward the end.

With almost two full rosters playing, it’s hard to predict how this game will go. That’s why I won’t be placing any bets. The initial line seems way too high, but considering the Chiefs’ defensive depth, the Browns might find it easier to score throughout the game.


One more dress rehearsal before the real thing – it’ll be exciting to get a look at some starters before week one against the Bengals. I don’t expect any complex concepts to be run, but getting real game reps with each other is essential to being ready to go from the jump. The defensive line looked dominant in the few drives against the Commanders, and they’ll look to carry that momentum right into the season.

The main concern on the roster at this moment is the kicker position. With a very shaky run to end last season combined with a miserable preseason, Cade York really needs a clean game to get his confidence right. The talent is there and we all know it, but this team cannot afford to lose games on kicks. A clean game from York and getting out healthy would be a win in my book.

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