The Kansas City Chiefs had another dominant season in 2020, topping the AFC West for the fifth straight year with a 14-2 record and advancing to Super Bowl LV. However, the Chiefs were stunned by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and took a 31-9 beating.
After failing to defend their title, the Chiefs will need to regroup and bounce back stronger in order to reclaim lost glory. One of the players set to have another sizable role next season is wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The five-time Pro Bowler racked up 1,276 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 appearances for Kansas City in 2020.
Despite the production expected from Hill, the true X-Factor for this Chiefs squad is newly acquired offensive tackle in Orlando Brown Jr. After seeing how QB Patrick Mahomes was beaten up by Bucs defenders all game long in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs knew they had to reload their offensive line as soon as the buzzer sounded. Luckily for them, an opportunity to snag Brown presented itself as they traded away draft assets to land the 25-year-old stud from the Baltimore Ravens.
In his rookie campaign back in 2018, Brown was able to outplay a vet in James Hurst and got a chance to contribute as a starter for head coach John Harbaugh. The Oklahoma product never looked back and served as a reliable player for them over the past few years. Right from the get-go, Brown made his presence felt and was one of the main reasons why Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ running game has been so dominant.
Last season, Brown’s fellow lineman in Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury, which eventually allowed him to fill the left tackle position. Despite making the move to a new spot, Brown remained the same effective player and earned the second Pro Bowl honor of his young career. With Stanley returning to the fold, though, Brown wanted out and got his wish.
With Brown’s arrival in Kansas City, he will be tasked to handle the left tackle position and is expected to protect the blind side of a former NFL MVP in Mahomes. Certainly enough, his presence will allow the star quarterback to have more time to operate in the pocket and put him in a position to make good decisions on the field.
Indeed, the offensive line is still an undervalued unit for every team’s roster. For the rest of the league, the Chiefs’ subpar performance in Super Bowl LV highlighted the importance of linemen and showed how they could either make or break a team’s chances of winning the title.
Patrick Mahomes will still run the show, but it can’t be denied that Orlando Brown Jr. will also play a huge part in their 2021 campaign. Given his level of talent, there is no doubt that the newcomer will have a smooth transition and provide an instant impact for the team right out of the gate.
Hopefully, Brown will get to stay in the pink of health in order to provide sufficient pass protection for their QB1 and power the squad back to the top of the league in 2021.