Game Preview: Browns-Chiefs

Posted Dec 8, 2012

The Cleveland Browns host the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC showdown at Cleveland Browns Stadium Sunday.

On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns go in search of their third consecutive victory and fourth home win in the last five games against the Kansas City Chiefs, a team coming off of a 27-21 triumph over the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

In the win over Carolina, Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn completed 19 of 23 pass attempts for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He spread the ball out to eight different players, including wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and tight end Tony Moeaki, who each caught four passes. Bowe gained 64 yards and Moeaki accounted for 54 and one of Quinn’s touchdown receptions.

“When I look at a quarterback, I look at how a team rallies around a guy and how hard they play for the guy,” Browns defensive back Sheldon Brown said. “When I watch film and when I watched the game last week, their team rallied around him. They made plays for him and he managed the game well. That’s what I’m expecting them to do the rest of the year.”

On the season, Quinn has completed 67 of 106 attempts for 635 yards and two touchdowns against four interceptions. He has been sacked seven times for 37 yards and carries a 70.3 quarterback rating.

“He played very well last week,” Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said. “I thought he handled their team very well. He threw the ball well. They controlled kind of the tempo of the football game with their run game and their pass. They mixed it well. He did a very nice job. Obviously, we hope we get the upper hand on him. Clearly, we want that. He played extremely well for them a week ago and that’s what we look at. We’ll spend most of our time on their recent game.”

Bowe has been a popular target for both Quinn and fellow quarterback Matt Cassel. He leads the Chiefs with 731 yards and three touchdowns on 57 receptions. He averages 12.8 yards per reception, third on the team among players with at least 18 catches this year.

“He has a big target in Dwayne Bowe, who had Pro Bowl numbers in his career and he’s a threat down the football field,” Brown said. “You don’t really have to be very accurate when you’re throwing the ball to a big target like that. Then, you’ve got a guy like Jamaal Charles, who can hit the home run and then, you have a short-yardage running back in Peyton (Hillis). It’s a good offensive football team that you better be ready to play.”

Offensively, the Browns will be competing against a Chiefs defense that has allowed an average of 349.3 yards per game, 129.3 on the ground and 219.9 via the pass. However, the Chiefs have been able to generate 21 sacks, 16 of which have been generated by linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

Houston leads the team and is tied for fifth in the league with 10 sacks for 69 lost yards, while Hali has registered six stops for 39 lost yards.

“You can tell that he runs a real strict (system),” quarterback Brandon Weeden said of Romeo Crennel’s defense. “The guys don’t make mistakes. They line up and they play. They’re not going to try and mess with you and give you all sorts of exotic looks and do all kinds of crazy things. They’re going to play sound football and they rely on not making mistakes, a lot like Pittsburgh, where they want to keep things in front, match up and do what they do and not let us dictate it. You can tell they’re a well-coached football team. Derrick Johnson’s been doing it in this league for a long time. He’s kind of the guy that gets them lined up.”

Running back Trent Richardson added, “They’re a team that likes to flow to the ball. Sometimes, they try to two-gap with their linebackers coming downhill. They’re trying to flow to the ball every time they have a chance to. They’ve got Eric Berry over there and I played him in college. I’ve always known him to be a knockout hitter. He always tries to knock you out. I played with Javier (Arenas). He’s a great competitor and he never gives up.”

Weeden comes into Sunday’s game after completing 25 of 36 attempts for a Browns rookie record, 364 yards, with a 44-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Gordon in a 20-17 win at the Oakland Raiders last weekend.

In addition to Weeden’s production against Oakland, Richardson rushed for 72 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. He also caught three passes for 23 yards in the victory.

“Trent is kind of a grind-it-out runner,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “He can handle carrying the football numerous times. There are times where it doesn’t look like it’s always a pretty run and then, it’s four or five yards. I think that’s what’s important because, down-to-down, you want efficient runs. He’s shown, throughout the year, that he can get the ball in the end zone. That’s also important. You want to put players on the field that know how to get it in there.”

For the sixth consecutive week, Richardson has been on the team’s injury report for a chest/rib injury sustained in a 34-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 14. However, he was a full participant in practice throughout the week and is ready to play against the Chiefs.

“I’m not 100 percent, but I know, in my head, I can’t let my team down,” Richardson said. “Injured or not, if I feel like I can play, I’ve got to keep going. That’s what my mom always taught me, never to give up and just keep fighting. My mindset when I’m in the game is, ‘I’ve got to do something and put my team in situations to win.’”

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