July 28, 2014

Cleveland Browns beat up Kansas City Chiefs 30-7

I’ve been waiting for the Browns to have a convincing victory from beginning to end, and I think this one suffices as the Browns defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 30-7. Three wins in a row too, if you need them. Yes, the Browns started the game in a 7-0 hole after the first play from scrimmage after deferring, but that terrifying play was all the Chiefs could do all day to score. Brady Quinn, Peyton Hillis and Romeo Crennel didn’t get to exact any revenge for any various reasons they might have had, instead proving once and for all why the Browns need not regret the departures of any of the three of them.

There’s no such thing as a perfect game in the NFL and I’m sure there will be some detractors even as the Browns beat a bad team at home by more than three touchdowns. Sure, the Chiefs dropped a couple interceptions, Montario Hardesty put the ball on the ground and the Browns were far from perfect in the red zone. Those things matter so much less when the Browns win so big. It’s the benefit of the big win and the Browns deserve it to a large extent. 

The defense largely played excellent, physical football. Brady Quinn was on his back a lot of the game as the Browns amassed five sacks and an interception. The hits were big and the Chiefs paid the price as Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe were both banged up and played more limited roles than I’m sure the Chiefs planned on coming into the game.

So the Browns improve to 5-8 and continue to look to be improving, albeit against a decidedly bad team. It goes into the files of Pat Shurmur, Brandon Weeden and the rest as the auditions continue for next season. It will be up to Joe Banner and Jimmy Haslam to determine if this is the real thing or fool’s gold. One thing’s for sure, no matter what they decide it beats the alternative – losing in December – by a wide, wide margin.

Now, some notes on the rest of the game…

  • The Browns had to feel fortunate at halftime with a 10-7 lead. A special teams TD isn’t something you really hang your hat on as something to plan on repeating in the second half. The Browns’ offense had tons of work to do as Weeden was just 8/16 for 118 yards and Trent Richardson had only 24 yards on 9 carries. Josh Gordon and Greg Little had nice numbers with 57 and 52 yards respectively, but as a unit they just seemed inconsistent and largely ineffective as they mustered only a Phil Dawson field goal while punting four times.

 

  • The Browns were gashed early by Jamaal Charles on the first play from scrimmage for 80 yards. They over-pursued the rushing lane – namely James-Michael Johnson – and Charles missed D’Qwell Jackson and T.J. Ward on his way to proverbial pay dirt. It was extremely disheartening, but the Browns responded well on defense thereafter and even knocked Charles out of the game with a rib injury when Jabaal Sheard landed on Charles after a short gain. Charles did return to the game, but he didn’t seem quite the same. After being spotted 80 yards, Charles finished with the first half with a gaudy 128 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. For the game he had 165 yards on 18 carries.

 

  • What else is there to say about Phil Dawson? It wasn’t his most difficult kick, but on a 23 yarder Phil Dawson knocked through his 300th field goal. That wasn’t even the special teams highlight though as Travis Benjamin returned a punt 93 yards. Obviously punt return TDs don’t happen without a great team effort most times, but it’s undeniable just how much faster and elusive Benjamin looked than Cribbs has all season long. Oddly enough, even after Benjamin’s long punt return, Josh Cribbs returned punts the rest of the game.

 

  • Josh Cribbs is one of the best returners of all time and probably one of the most popular Browns of all time, but without any malice at all, you have to think it will be a tough sell for Josh Cribbs to be back as a free agent. That’s OK. We’ll reserve his spot in the team Ring of Honor just the same.

(AP Photo / Tony Dejak)

 

  • bridgecrosser

    Browns left some plays out there, got a few breaks on a dropped INT and that nice strip-of-INT by Watson, messed up a few times in the red zone and __still won by 23__ (over a bad team). Josh Gordon is a bad, bad man and Greg Little had a very nice game and obviously took advantage of some plays that were perfect her his skill set.

    Team is pointed in right direction, no doubt. I will reserve judgement on long-term analysis of the on-field play and congratulate them on taking care of business like some pros.

    PS – Hire Lombardi and perish.

  • JNeids

    And for at least today, the Browns rule the AFC North – only team with a W!

  • Grif_E

    “We’ll reserve his spot in the team Ring of Honor just the same.”

    Will we really? Meh whatever; I’m probably just a hater.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    he’s a record holder on a career basis . not Jerry Rice by any stretch, but special teams excellence should be rewarded .

  • King Me

    You must have missed the 2-3 year stretch where he was our primary source of TD’s.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    he’s a record holder on a career basis . not Jerry Rice by any stretch, but special teams excellence should be rewarded .

  • BenRM

    I don’t have much bad to say. It was a good day to be a Browns fan.

  • ThatAlex

    Are we already starting the Josh Cribbs farewell tour? I respect everything he’s done for the team and the city over the years, but if there’s ever a time to move on, it’s now. We’re already starting to see diminishing returns on his ability, and it seems like we already have his replacement in Benjamin groomed and ready to go.

  • Garry_Owen

    That was just plain fun, for once.

    I was thinking back on the long decade that this been, and the thought occurred to me that the real death spiral that defined this stretch began with the Dwayne Rudd game, against the Chiefs, at home. How sweet would it be if we could track our actual revival to this home game against the Chiefs?

  • saggy

    Cribbs deserves eternal love from Browns fans. dude WANTED to be here when we were absolutely crap. plus, he produced. he has my support.

  • bridgecrosser

    Browns still made the playoff that year if memory serves me correct. I’d say the Cinci game in (week 15?) of 2007 where they were out-coached and outplayed.

  • bridgecrosser

    I know this is vague but I think last week they showed that stat of most 40+ yard kick returns and he was at the top. That’s just as impressive as his TD record.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m sure you’re right, but in my mind it all started there.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    the gordon-little has the potential to be great. i mean great, great. i tweeted this i’ll stand by it — the potential to be stallworth-swann great.

  • Matt Tag

    ok, serious strategy question here. If the punt return TD was set up because the Chiefs had to stay back longer worried about a block attempt, why wouldn’t you attempt a block every time?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    so that seems an outrageous statement right? but i’m simply loving the hands on both these guys. all their catches are looking secure and away from their bodies.

    then, they both have truly prototype size and measure-ables. there’s more to WR evals than 40 times. little had the 2nd highest vertical in his draft, 40.5″, as well as top 5 performances in bench press and broad jump. the workout numbers for gordon are as stellar but it’s clear he has no problem getting separation and big (10+”) hands which, like height, can’t be taught.

    i hope we see more deep routes that of the ‘throw-it-up-and-let-them-get-it’ mode. that would seem a fit with weeden’s game too.

    put the catching + size + athletics + (seeming) dedication to craft/improvement and it’s hard not to be optimistic about all this.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    seriously. i’m a bit uncertain how to manage this whole ‘no complaints’ dealio.

  • Harv 21

    Gordon really looks like a #1, doesn’t he? His release off the line on the slant he dropped was stunning; the d-back could barely touch him. If he bonds with a good receiving coach or experienced veteran who can show him how to crisp up some precision routes, so the defense can’t tell which way he is going, he can be a premier receiver. It’s really all up to him.

    Little’s potential I see differently, more of a strength/size mismatch who can be a QB’s ultimate security blanket when he commits to knowing where he’s supposed to be on a route and when. This kid has had about as dramatic an in-season turnaround as I can remember from any Browns receiver ever. Maybe he’s stopped showboating because he realizes how stupid it looks to pose over a first down when Gordon is being so nonchalant about 40-yard TD bombs.

  • WFNY_DP

    The Browns got some help in the first quarter from an NFL kicker flat-out missing a sub-30 yard field goal. That was a momentum shift for the defense. The offense needed that opening drive of the second half followed up by the short field. Yeah, the Browns left some points out there, but you’ll never convince me (I was at the game, so maybe you *will* convince me with a better replay) that Richardson’s catch TD that was called back was Offensive PI. Certainly not nearly as much as was Bowe’s long catch over Haden in the 1Q.

    You can only play the teams on the schedule. The Chiefs are bad. The Browns beat them like they are bad. It’s all we can ask for.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    yes. i hope little doesnt prove us wrong. but for now there’s no silly antics, there’s looking band into hands, and he gives every indication of being a willing (and punishing) downfield blocker. all are signs of a true professional committed to becoming expert in his craft. such dedication is how you become great. [insert obligatory jerry maguire jpg here.]

    and gordon gives every appearance of effortless aj green-ness.

    hope it’s real.

  • cmm13

    Eh… dude also WANTED to get paid and figured he had best chance to hold this team hostage through the desperate fan base that loved him because he was the lone bright spot in a horrible team.

    It was a really smart move and if it was his idea and not his agent he should become an agent when his playing days are over.

  • Porchpexprss

    Stick to your gums. Rudd is patient zero for everything that has gone wrong on the field.

  • Henry Brown

    Personally I though it was Art Modell. And finally all connections to that person have been removed from ownership.

  • Henry Brown

    Cribbs was a big part of that TD. Respect our role players.

  • Henry Brown

    I wish more fans had this attitude. Nobody is saying he needs to be the center piece of the offense but at least give the guy some credit as a valuable member of the team and one who taught them how to love Cleveland at a time when it was basically a death sentence to come here.

  • Garry_Owen

    But what if I have gingivitis?

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder

    Richardson’s stricken TD catch was definitely not offensive pass interference, so you can rest easy on that.

  • http://twitter.com/Pelderskelter Patrick Elder

    Because that makes too much sense for football teams to do. Once a viable strategy is discovered they need at least 20 years and 4 or 5 people trying it once or twice then giving up to implement it consistently.

  • porckchopexpress

    You just stay away from those Cavity Creeps.
    And just remember this about our luck: If there is nothing good because nothing lasts, than there is also nothing bad, and Everything that comes here (Cleveland), comes here to pass.

  • porckchopexpress

    Art is the disease that killed the old Browns. Dwayne Rudd is the patient who led to all of the calamity we’ve known over the past 10 years (the earlisest symptoms appeared in the Jacksonville “Bottle” game the year before).

    That 2002 season began with the Rudd game which was an ending that has never been seen before or since.

    And how did that season end? Only with a historic 17 point 4th quarter collapse.
    The Browns never really recovered even ’07 had a bat poo crazy feel, and the finale in the Cincy game had a “well that figures” feel to it. And why did it feel that way? Because in ’02 we watched the Browns lose a game that was won, because for the first and only time in NFL history an official decided to call unsportsmanlike conduct for a player taking his helmet off after winning a game.
    Watch any game after a team has taken a knee in victory formation, players walking around helmetless as the seconds tick away, officials standing by doing nothing. But not that day, no on that day, a man in stripes had a flag and a destiny to fufill, and he made damn sure that a player whose actions had NO IMPACT on that outcome of the game didn’t go unpunished.
    No, this was not Art’s doing this was something bigger, more sinister. This must have been the work of a Dolan.

  • Garry_Owen

    Down with that shine, brother.

  • Gren

    I won’t miss his mouth. Unless he takes a big pay cut, I can’t see Banner re-signing him to another big contract (especially when there’s talk of Kick Off’s being abolished).

  • TSR3000

    I don’t think that is why it worked. Benjamin made two great cuts and has world class speed.

  • Natedawg86

    Britt looked very fast. I think you need that on PR. I think eventually he will be back there. I think that there is more of a chance for a guy to get destroyed on a kickoff than a punt so I can see using Cribbs still for KR.
    Love how our WRs have been playing. They seem BIG. They block too! Even found a way to fit Cribbs into the offense with a little wildcat. Worked this week…

  • Toddyus

    And I’m absolutely convinced that Cribbs was not down and the play should have been a touchdown. At a minimum, there is no way they could “confirm” the non-TD call. “Play stands” at best for lack of evidence.

  • JK

    Sooo.. Can we talk about keeping Shurmur yet?

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Just a quick note on the Rudd game. They threw the flag because he took his helmet off while the play was in progress. Rudd thought he had the game ending sack but the QB had laterally tossed the ball to a lineman.

    There’s no penalty for taking your helmet off after taking a knee because the ball is dead.

    Trust me on this one. I was at that game, and it nearly turned into a riot because the fans were so angry. It was definitely Rudd’s fault.