Thumbs up/thumbs down on Browns’ 30-7 victory over Chiefs

By Nate Ulrich
Beacon Journal sports writer

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Game in review

Browns 30, Chiefs 7

Offense: After a lackluster first half, the offense came to life with touchdown drives of 60 and 82 yards that were capped with 1-yard runs by rookie Trent Richardson. The Browns had some close calls, including quarterback Brandon Weeden’s two passes that were nearly intercepted and running back Montario Hardesty’s fumble at the goal line that he recovered, but they did not commit a turnover. Thumbs up.

Defense: Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles drew blood right away by rushing for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. The defense, however, rallied by limiting former Browns quarterback Brady Quinn to 159 passing yards, tallying an interception and shutting out the Chiefs the rest of the way. Thumbs up.

Special teams: Rookie Travis Benjamin gave the Browns a huge lift and a 10-7 lead by returning a punt 93 yards for a touchdown with 14:40 left in the second quarter. Josh Cribbs added a 38-yard punt return in the fourth quarter that led to Phil Dawson’s third successful field goal of the game, a 34-yard attempt. Thumbs up.

Coaching: Fighting to save his job, coach Pat Shurmur pulled out all the stops. He used Cribbs as a Wildcat quarterback (two carries for 15 yards), wide receiver Greg Little as a running back (one carry for 17 yards) and called a reverse for Benjamin (15 yards). Special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor forced the Chiefs to adjust by instructing Benjamin to drop back and Cribbs to move up just before the punt return for a touchdown. Thumbs up.

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