The Browns (3-5) lost to the Kansas City Chiefs (8-0) today at Arrowhead Stadium. Below is our game day blog.
Final: Chiefs 23, Browns 17
On fourth-and-7 at the Browns’ 31 with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs leading by three points, QB Jason Campbell rolled to his right under pressure and threw across the field to wide receiver Davone Bess. Bess dropped the ball as he slid for it. It looked as if Bess would’ve had a first down had he held onto the ball. Bess also dropped two passes earlier in the game and fumbled while returning a punt.
The Chiefs took control at the Browns’ 31 with 1:59 left and held on to prevail. They extended their advantage to 23-17 with Ryan Succop’s successful 40-yard field goal.
Trailing by three points, the Browns started a drive at their own 28-yard line with 11:48 left and drove to the Chiefs’ 36 after tight end Jordan Cameron caught a 37-yard pass from Campbell while falling backward. But the drive sizzled after a holding penalty called on Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas negated running back Willis McGahee’s 10-yard gain on first-and-10 at the 36. The next play, Campbell took his first sack of the game when he held the ball for a while and defensive end Justin Houston got to him after brushing off right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
The Browns pinned the Chiefs back at their own 1-yard line after Spencer Lanning’s punt and held them to a three-and-out. The Chiefs punted, Bess made the catch at the 50, took a step or two and then dropped the ball, allowing linebacker Frank Zombo to recover at the Chiefs’ 47 with 7:02 remaining. Bess was filling in for Travis Benjamin, who suffered a right knee injury during the third quarter.
End 3Q: Chiefs 20, Browns 17
The Browns began the second half with a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that cut the Chiefs’ lead to 20-17 with 9:58 left in the third quarter. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski gambled in the red zone, electing to go for it on fourth-and-1 on the Chiefs’ 19 instead of settling for a 37-yard field goal. Running back Willis McGahee ran off right guard for a 2-yard gain and a first down. The next play, Campbell completed a short pass to running back Fozzy Whittaker in the right flat, and Whittaker ran the rest of the way for a 17-yard touchdown.
End 2Q: Chiefs 20, Browns 10
The Browns went three-and-out during their first three possessions and didn’t gain a first down until 3:30 remaining before halftime when quarterback Jason Campbell connected with tight end Jordan Cameron for a 19-yard gain. The next play, Campbell, handed off to Willis McGahee, the running back pitched the ball back to Campbell and Campbell connected with wide receiver Josh Gordon for a 39-yard touchdown on the flea flicker. Gordon beat cornerback Sean Smith’s coverage with a post-corner route and scored with 2:44 left in the second quarter, trimming the Browns’ deficit to 13-7. The Chiefs struck back immediately with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Wide receiver Dexter McCluster ran wide open on a seam route after cornerback Buster Skrine bit on another route. Cornerback Joe Haden tried to catch up to McCluster but couldn’t as he caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Smith with 1:11 left in the second quarter. During the ensuring drive, Gordon caught a pass from Campbell while running a short crossing route on third-and-3 at the Browns’ 26 and turned it into a 47-yard gain. Wide receiver Davone Bess dropped a pass thrown behind him on second down, and Campbell over threw a pass intended for wide receiver Greg Little in the end zone. As a result, the Browns settled for Billy Cundiff’s 44-yard field goal that trimmed their deficit to 20-10 with 10 seconds left before halftime.
End 1Q: Chiefs 6, Browns 0
The Chiefs took a 3-0 lead during the first drive of the game when Ryan Succop capped a nine-play, 64-yard march by making a 42-yard field goal with 11:22 left in the opening quarter. Cornerback Joe Haden cut in front of running back Jamaal Charles and dropped a would-be interception on third-and-2 at the Browns’ 24. The Chiefs then settled for Succop’s first field goal. The Browns failed to answer during the ensuing series, going three-and-out. The Chiefs then marched 47 yards in 10 plays and extended their lead to 6-0 via Succop’s 35-yard field goal with 4:46 left in the first quarter. On third-and-9 at the Browns’ 15, outside linebacker Paul Kruger beat Chiefs rookie right tackle Eric Fisher and sacked quarterback Alex Smith for a 3-yard loss to force the field goal. Quarterback Jason Campbell and the Browns went three-and-out on both of their possessions. The Browns gained 11 yards in six plays during the first quarter.
Inactives: Browns – Outside linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle), center Patrick Lewis, offensive tackle Martin Wallace, guard Garrett Gilkey, tight end Keavon Milton and defensive end Billy Winn (quadriceps). Notes: Groves is inactive for the fifth time in six games. He suffered a high-ankle sprain Sept. 15 against the Baltimore Ravens, returned last week against the Packers and aggravated his ankle. Groves was listed as doubtful heading into today. Winn will miss his fifth consecutive game after suffering a strained quadriceps Sept. 22 against the Minnesota Vikings. Winn entered today listed as questionable. He did light exercises today during pregame warm-ups. Chiefs – Quarterback Tyler Bray, tight end Kevin Brock, safety Bradley McDougald, linebacker Dezman Moses, center Eric Kush, guard Rishaw Johnson and defensive tackle Jaye Howard. Notes: Two Chiefs starters, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (groin) and free safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle), are active today despite entering the weekend listed as questionable.
Lineup changes: Browns – none announced. Chiefs – none announced.
Ryan Lewis’ top storylines: 1. Jason Campbell is making his first start for the Browns after being named the starter last week by coach Rob Chudzinski. Campbell started six games last season for the Chicago Bears after starter Jay Cutler was injured. Campbell is 2-1 in his career against the Chiefs, winning the past two meetings while playing for the Oakland Raiders. 2. The Chiefs and Browns combined to win only seven games last season, but the two have gone in different directions in 2013. The Browns enter 3-4 but are reeling after back-to-back losses. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are the last undefeated team in the NFL at 7-0. Both teams gutted their respective coaching staffs in the offseason, with Andy Reid coming to Kansas City from the Philadelphia Eagles and Rob Chudzinski leaving the Carolina Panthers. 3. The Browns’ run defense hasn’t been as stout as in the first several games this season, and the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles will be a tough test. Charles is third in the NFL with 561 rushing yards and six touchdowns, and he is just as dangerous in the passing game with 36 catches for 337 yards receiving and two touchdowns in 2013. 4. The Browns have struggled in recent weeks to take care of the football. The Chiefs, meanwhile, lead the NFL in turnover differential at plus-11 (19 takeaways, eight giveaways). The Chiefs are also third in the NFL in takeaway points with 67, behind only the San Francisco 49ers’ 75 and Chicago Bears’ 69. 5. The Browns could again be without a full compliment of pass rushers, as outside linebacker Quentin Groves did not practice all week with an ankle injury that he suffered in the first half of last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Jabaal Sheard, Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo could see an increase in snaps.
Links to preview stories via Ohio.com: 1. Browns quarterback Jason Campbell shifting roles again, this time as starter in showdown against undefeated Chiefs. 2. Browns vs. Chiefs key matchup: Jason Campbell, offensive line vs. Chiefs’ pass rush. 3. Five must-know numbers for Sunday. 4. Predictions from Nate Ulrich, Marla Ridenour and Ryan Lewis. 5. How they rank. 6. Quote of the week. 7. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden taking ‘100 percent of the responsibility’ for being benched. 8. Browns promote LB Darius Eubanks from practice squad to active roster, waive LB Brandon Magee. 9. Veteran receiver Davone Bess vows to fix problem with dropped passes. 10. Norv Turner, Willis McGahee say trade rumors affecting Josh Gordon. 11. Ray Horton predicts turnaround: ‘You’ll see kind of a different Cleveland Browns defense’. 12. Browns quarterback Jason Campbell to start against unbeaten Chiefs in place of benched Brandon Weeden. 13. Receiver Josh Gordon tired of trade rumors, still believes his exit possible.