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Final: Browns' 2nd-half rally falls short at Kansas City


KANSAS CITY -- The Browns ran their way back into the thick of Sunday's game but came up short against one of the NFL's hottest teams.

Cleveland largely ditched the pass in favor for the run and had a chance to stun the Chiefs in front of their home crowd, but ran out of offense at the end of the 17-13 loss at Arrowhead Stadium.

The loss dropped Cleveland to 3-12 with one game to play. The win was Kansas City's ninth in a row and moved the Chiefs to 10-5.

Duke Johnson Jr. completed just 13-of-32 passes for 136 yards, but kept the chains moving in the second half with his feet. He set a Browns record for most rushing yards by a quarterback, finishing with 108 on 11 attempts. It was his biggest rushing performance since the midpoint of his final college season at Texas A&M.

Manziel led the way with 108 and Isaiah Crowell added 88 and a touchdown to pace a rushing attack that compiled 232 yards against a Chiefs defense that came into Sunday's game ranked seventh in the NFL at stopping the run.

It just wasn't enough, as the Browns came up with just three points on their final three possessions, all of which went deep into Kansas City territory.

Trailing 17-3 at the half, the Browns drew within a touchdown after an impressive start to the second half. Manziel broke off a 34-yard run early in the possession, and Cleveland kept running until it was in the end zone. Crowell capped the drive with his fourth rushing touchdown of the season, a 10-yard down the right sideline.

The Browns got the ball right back and held onto it for more than 12 minutes. The bittersweet ending to a drive that featured a fake punt conversion and even more Manziel scrambles was a short Travis Coons field goal to draw the Browns within four midway through the fourth quarter.

A fourth-down pass by Manziel from Kansas City's 30-yard line sailed well over its intended target to give the Chiefs the ball with less than 3 minutes to play.

On their final possession, Cleveland picked up first downs with a Manziel scramble and Gary Barnidge catch, which put the Browns at Kansas City's 32-yard line with less than 30 seconds to play. Manziel completed a fourth-down throw to Darius Jennings, but the rookie receiver was tackled in bounds and the Browns couldn't run another play, ending the game.

Alex Smith led the Chiefs with his arm and feet, throwing for 125 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 54 rushing yards.

The start to Sunday's game was the opposite of last week's, and that was bad news for the Browns. One week after driving down the field on a lengthy scoring drive to start the game, Cleveland was on the wrong end of a clock-draining possession. The Chiefs survived a first-down holding penalty early in the drive and moved 65 yards on 11 plays, capping it with an 11-yard Jeremy Maclin touchdown catch.

The Browns didn't run their first offensive play until the 7:09 mark of the first quarter and possessed the ball for 8:46 of the first half.

Cleveland's lone first half points came on a 45-yard Coons field goal. It could have potentially been a touchdown drive, but Manziel was flagged for an illegal forward pass on a third down deep inside Chiefs territory.

The final two minutes of the half were once again unkind to the Browns defense, as Kansas City scored its second touchdown in swift fashion after taking over at its own 44-yard line with 1:35 left in the second quarter. A long Smith run got the Chiefs rolling, and a Travis Kelce 13-yard touchdown catch shortly thereafter made it 17-3.

Coons' 51-yard attempt at the end of the first half was blocked. It was the fourth attempt he's had blocked in the last five games.

The Browns close the 2015 season next week at FirstEnergy Stadium against the Steelers.

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