Browns pull out victory over the Kansas City Chiefs

The Cleveland Browns showed their unwillingness to quit this season as the team came from behind in the second half to defeat the struggling Kansas City Chiefs 41-35 in Arrowhead Stadium. As predicted, this would not be an easy test for the Browns as the the Chiefs matched up well against Cleveland. The Browns running game and special teams play kept them in this ball game but the Chiefs offense kept them in the hunt.

Tied 3-3 in the 1st quarter, the Browns were able to score the first touchdown of the game with a 100 yard kickoff return from Josh Cribbs. With the touchdown, Cribbs broke an NFL record for most kickoff returns in a career. A field goal by Phil Dawson early in the second quarter made it a 13-3 Browns lead, however, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell helped keep Kansas City in the ball game. On the ensuing drive, Cassell would find Chris Chambers in the endzone to make it a 13-10 ball game. With the help of great running by Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs would take the lead on their next drive to go up 17-13. The Chiefs would tack on another touchdown after a botched snap by Browns long snapper Brian Pontbriand wasn’t recovered in time by punter Reggie Hodges to make it a 24-13 game.

The Browns special teams would counter on the kickoff as Josh Cribbs struck again this time going 103 yards into the endzone to cut the lead to four. At halftime, the Chiefs led 24-20 and had more yards on offense then the Browns.

Starting in the third quarter, Browns running back Jerome Harrison started his first of many long runs of the day by going 71 yards from the line of scrimmage into the end zone. The score and the extra point gave the Browns a 27-24 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, Harrison would strike again with an eight yard scamper to put the Browns up by ten. Kansas City was not going to go down quietly as a drive on the ensuing possession resulted in a Ryan Succop field goal to make it a 34-27 ball game in favor of the Browns.

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel and his receivers struggled at times during the second half but connected late in the fourth quarter. With 2:20 left in the fourth quarter, Cassell connected with Mark Bradley down the middle and an extra point afterwards tied the game at 34 a piece.

On the Browns next possession, the Browns offense went to work as both Jerome Harrison and a sneaky Brady Quinn both rushed to drive the ball down to the Chiefs 28 yard line. A couple plays later, Jerome Harrison found the back of the endzone again and with the extra point, Cleveland was once again in the lead, 41-34.

The Chiefs were not done yet as Cassell was able to drive the Kansas City offense from their own 19 yard line down the the Browns 26. A last minute Hail Mary came up short as Cassell’s pass clanged off the uprights sealing the victory for the Browns.

When looking at the Browns offense, the team continued to struggle passing the ball but special teams play by Josh Cribbs and Jerome Harrison kept them in this ball game. Harrison rushed for 286 yards and three touchdowns on the day as the Browns finished with 351 total yards rushing for the game. Quinn only finished with 66 yards passing but managed to keep the Browns in the game by running the ball himself. The Browns are slowly growing as an offense but will need to learn to attack by air if they want to be among the NFL’s best.

The Browns defense was not as strong as it has been in earlier weeks. Even though Cassell has not had the greatest season for the Chiefs, he was not afraid to throw deep as the first year starter for Kansas City finished the game with 323 yards passing. The Chiefs receivers dropped key passes at times but overall, Cassell and great running by teammate Jamaal Charles kept the Chiefs in this game. The Chiefs actually finished with 491 total yards on offense compared to the Browns 417.

The Browns are slowly improving but will need to play more consistent on defense and establish a passing game for their game next week against the Raiders. Similar to the Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders are in a position where they do not have much else left to lose and will be more then ready to play the Browns next week. The Raiders will be ready to come out firing and the Browns will have to be ready.

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~ by jeffrsabo on December 20, 2009.

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