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What to Watch For, Presented by Arby's

Posted Dec 5, 2012

Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns return to Cleveland Browns Stadium to host Tamba Hali and the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday afternoon.

The Cleveland Browns return to Cleveland Browns Stadium Sunday for the first of their final two home games of the 2012 regular season, starting with this week’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs from the AFC West Division.

Including Sunday’s game, the Browns will have hosted the Chiefs in three of their last four meetings. Cleveland is 1-1 in those two previous home meetings and carries a 10-10-2 regular-season record against the Chiefs. The Browns are 7-3-1 all-time in home games against the Chiefs.

When the Browns last played the Chiefs at Cleveland Browns Stadium, the team unveiled the “Ring of Honor” around the upper bowl of the facility. However, the Chiefs spoiled the day and clinched a 16-14 come-from-behind victory with a fourth-quarter field goal.

The Chiefs had more first downs (16 to 13), total yards (312 to 299) and did not fumble the football in the win. Conversely, the Browns punted eight times, forced just six from the Chiefs and committed nine penalties for 78 lost yards.

Individually, quarterback Seneca Wallace made his first start with the Browns in place of the injured Jake Delhomme and completed 16 of 31 attempts for 229 yards with a 65-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joshua Cribbs and an interception.

Former Browns running backs Peyton Hillis and Jerome Harrison combined for just 68 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

Cribbs set a then career high and led all Browns receivers with 74 yards and the one score on three catches, while tight end Benjamin Watson accounted for 62 yards on four receptions.

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell struggled with two interceptions, but still completed 16 of 28 attempts for 176 yards. Browns defensive back Sheldon Brown collected one of the interceptions, as did defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin, who registered the first interception from a Browns lineman since Kenard Lang on Nov. 30, 2003 at Seattle.

While Cassel fought through the turnovers, running back Thomas Jones gained 83 yards on 22 carries.

As the game unfolds, here are several things to keep an eye on:

Quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden completed 25 of 36 attempts for a Browns rookie record of 364 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday.

In the win, Weeden joined Derek Anderson, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe and Pro Football Hall of Famer, the late Otto Graham, as the only quarterbacks in team history to throw for 300 or more yards at least three times in a single season. Anderson (three in 2007) and Graham (three in 1950) each accomplished the feat once, while Kosar (three each in 1986 and 1987) reached the mark twice. Sipe tossed four 300-yard games in 1979, and again in 1983, and six in 1980.

If Weeden throws for 300 yards against the Chiefs, he would tie Sipe as the only Browns quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards at least four times in a single season.

Weeden needs one victory to become the team’s all-time leader in wins by a rookie quarterback. He is two touchdowns away from tying Tim Couch for the most touchdowns by a Browns rookie in a single season. Couch tossed 15 touchdowns in 1999. He is also 180 yards shy of joining Couch and Anderson as the only Browns quarterbacks to pass for 3,000 yards in a season since 1999.

On the season, Weeden has completed 247 of 433 attempts for 2,820 yards with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Weeden has thrown for 300 or more yards three times in 12 games and has four of the top five single-game passing yardage totals ever by a Browns rookie.

Weeden also has thrown the second and fifth-longest touchdowns by a Browns rookie quarterback. He has completed 71-yard and 62-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver Josh Gordon. Weeden ranks third among NFL rookies in passing yards, and second in both passing first downs (142) and completions of 20 or more yards (41).

Running back Trent Richardson. Through 12 games this season, Richardson has rushed for 827 yards and seven touchdowns on 229 carries. He also leads the team with 44 receptions for 339 yards. He has scored the second-most points (48) by a rookie in the NFL.

Richardson’s 1,166 yards of total offense rank second behind Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin (1,480), while his 827 yards rushing are third in the league among first-year players. He is second in the NFL in receptions by a rookie and third with 44 first downs.

With 100 yards rushing against the Chiefs, Richardson would be the first Browns rookie ever to rush for 100 or more yards in four games during a single season. With 116 yards rushing, Richardson would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jim Brown (942), for the most rushing yards by a Browns rookie. Browns Legend Kevin Mack rushed for 1,104 yards as a first-year player in 1985.

Richardson is two running scores away from tying Brown’s team record for the most rushing touchdowns by a Browns rookie. Brown rushed for nine scores in 1957. Two overall scores would tie Richardson with Brown and Eric Metcalf for the most total touchdowns by a Browns rookie (10).

Wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon leads the Browns with 646 yards and five touchdown catches on his 34 receptions this season.

Gordon is tied for first among all NFL rookies with the five touchdown catches and 646 yards receiving. Also, Gordon is first with the most receptions of at least 20 yards (12) among all first-year NFL players. His 19.0 yards per reception average is third among all NFL players with at least 20 catches.

With a touchdown Sunday, Gordon would be the first Browns rookie to have five or more receiving touchdowns in a season since Andre’ Davis caught six in 2002.

Kicker Phil Dawson. Dawson is 23 of 24 on field goal attempts this season after making two of three kicks in Oakland last Sunday. He is 11 of 11 from 40 or more yards, including a five for five mark from 50-plus. Since the start of the 2011 season, Dawson has made a league-best 12 of 13 field goals from 50 or more yards.

Dawson has converted 299 of 356 career field goal attempts with the Browns and ranks second in team history with 1,244 points. His 84.0 field goal percentage is first all-time in team history and the seventh-best total among those NFL kickers with at least 100 career field goals made.

Dawson needs one field goal to be the 25th kicker in NFL history to make 300 or more field goals and nine points for his sixth career 100-point season. Three field goals of 50 or more yards would tie Dawson with Morten Anderson (1995) and Jason Hanson (2008) for the most 50-yarders (eight) in a single season.

Dawson is nine-of-11 on field-goal attempts and 16-of-16 on extra-point tries in five games against the Chiefs. He converted a 33-yard game-winning field goal in overtime of a 31-28 win over Kansas City on Dec. 3, 2006.

Wide receiver Joshua Cribbs. The two-time Pro Bowler has 9,707 kickoff return yards, which stands sixth on the NFL’s all-time list. He is 82 yards away from passing Glyn Milburn (9,788) for fifth on the all-time list and 223 yards shy of being the sixth player in NFL history to gain 12,000 kickoff return yards.

Cribbs’ 11,777 combined kickoff and punt return yards rank sixth on the NFL’s career list.

His eight kickoffs for touchdowns are tied for an NFL record and he has added three more scores on punt returns. The combined 11 touchdowns are fifth all-time and with one more, Cribbs would equal Hall and Metcalf for third place. Cribbs is also 80 yards away from passing Dennis Northcutt’s mark for the most punt return yards (2,149) in franchise history.

Since the start of the 2011 season, Cribbs has nine returns of at least 40 yards. Each of those returns led to Browns scores -- five touchdowns and four field goals.

In three games against Kansas City, Cribbs has four receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown, 18 yards on five carries and 11 kickoffs for 375 yards, including 103 and 100-yard touchdowns in a Browns win at the Chiefs on Dec. 20, 2009.

Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin. Rubin returned to the lineup at Dallas three weeks ago after missing three of the previous four games due to an injured calf muscle. However, since his return, he has registered a sack for a nine-yard loss at Dallas and forced a fumble in the win over Pittsburgh.

Rubin has registered 197 total tackles since the start of the 2010 regular season, the most among all NFL defensive linemen.

With Rubin in the lineup, the Browns are looking to hold their fourth straight opponent to less than 100 rushing yards for the first time since 2003. The Browns also need four sacks to eclipse the total of 32 they had during the 2011 season.

Browns offensive linemen Joe Thomas and Alex Mack. Thomas has started each of the 92 games he has played since the Browns selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft and currently ranks sixth for most consecutive starts among active offensive linemen in the NFL. Mack has started 60 straight games for the Browns.

Defensive back Sheldon Brown. The 11-year NFL veteran has played in 172 consecutive regular-season games, a mark that ranks fifth among all active defensive players. He has caught at least one interception in each of his 11 NFL seasons.

Brown has 26 career interceptions and is tied for the fourth-longest active streak of consecutive seasons with an interception. Green Bay’s Charles Woodson has had an interception in 15 straight seasons, while Denver’s Champ Bailey (14) and Cincinnati’s Nate Clements (12) rank ahead of Brown and Baltimore’s Ed Reed (11).

Brown’s 145 pass breakups since 2002 are third, trailing only Atlanta’s Asante Samuel (156) and Denver’s Champ Bailey (151).

In his career, Brown has registered three interceptions in three games against the Chiefs. He had two interceptions against Kansas City on Oct. 3, 2005, one of which he returned for a 40-yard touchdown, the first of his career.

Tight end Alex Smith. Smith will play in his 100th career NFL game on Sunday.

Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali. Hali has registered six sacks this season and will be competing against a Browns’ offensive line that has given up only 21 sacks this season. Hali has collected 41 of his 59.5 career sacks in the last four seasons.

Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn. Quinn was inserted into the starting lineup earlier in the season and has since returned to the starting quarterback position after battling through a concussion. On the year, Quinn has completed 67 of 106 attempts for 635 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.

Last week, the former Browns quarterback completed 19 of 23 attempts for 201 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

Running back Jamaal Charles. Charles rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries and caught four passes for 11 yards in Sunday’s win against Carolina. On the season, Charles has rushed for 1,055 yards and three touchdowns on 222 attempts.

The Browns (4-8) come into Sunday’s game after a 20-17 road victory over the Raiders last Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs enter the contest at 2-10 following a 27-21 win over the Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium last weekend.

CONNECTIONS

Defensive back Dimitri Patterson spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons in Kansas City and played 20 games for the Chiefs.

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor served as the University of Missouri’s offensive graduate assistant (1997-99) and later, the running backs and special teams coach (2000).

Nolan Cromwell, the Browns’ senior assistant to the offense, is a native of Smith Center, Kan. and played college football at the University of Kansas from 1973-76.

Tight ends coach Steve Hagen was a graduate assistant at Kansas from 1985-86 and offensive line coach George Warhop was on the Jayhawks’ offensive staff (1984-86).

Assistant strength and conditioning coach Rick Lyle is a native of Kansas City and went to Hickman Mills High School. He played college football at the University of Missouri (1990-93).

Browns special teams assistant Shawn Mennenga coached for four seasons at Fort Hays State (2005-08) and served as the defensive coordinator (2001), as well as head coach (2002-04) at Culver-Stockton College in Canton.

Browns linebacker L.J. Fort is a native of Waynesville, Kan.

Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel coached the Browns from 2005-08 and led the club to a 10-6 record in 2007.

Former Browns offensive coordinators Brian Daboll (2009-10) and Maurice Carthon (2005-06) are on Crennel’s staff. Daboll is the offensive coordinator and Carthon is the assistant head coach.

Kansas City defensive line coach Anthony Pleasant played with the Browns from 1990-95.

Wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni is a graduate of the University of Mount Union (formerly Mount Union College) in Alliance, Ohio, where he helped the Purple Raiders win back-to-back NCAA Division III national championships (2001-02). He caught 68 passes for 1,332 yards and 17 touchdowns during his time in Alliance.

Former Browns cornerback Travis Daniels (2008), defensive lineman Shaun Smith (2007-08), safety Abram Elam (2009-10), running back Peyton Hillis (2010-11) and quarterback Brady Quinn (2007-09) play for the Chiefs. In 2010, Hillis ran for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns, en route to being voted onto the cover of Madden NFL 12, while Elam led the Browns in tackles during the 2009 season.

Quinn started 12 games over three seasons with the Browns and completed 184 of 353 attempts (52.1 percent) for 1,902 yards and 10 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He was a first-round pick of the team in 2007.

Quinn (Columbus/Dublin Coffman High School) and quarterback Ricky Stanzi (Mentor/Lake Catholic) are Ohio natives.

MEDIA

Fans can watch Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. ET on local CBS affiliate WOIO-TV 19. Bill Macatee will provide the play-by-play, while former Buffalo Bills special teams standout Steve Tasker (color analysis) will join him on the call.

The game is also available along the PNC Bank Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan (play-by-play), Doug Dieken (color) and Jamir Howerton (sideline reporter) on the call.

What to Watch For is brought to you by Arby’s -- Arby’s Value Menu starting at one dollar will have you coming back for more without emptying your wallet.

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