Dec 1, 2006

Chiefs Game Day Preview

12:00 PM (CENTRAL)
Regular Season Game 12 (PDF)

TV: CBS Regional Coverage (KCTV-5 in Kansas City) – Dick Enberg and Randy Cross.
RADIO: KCFX-FM (101.1) Mitch Holthus, Len Dawson, Bob Gretz and Bill Grigsby.

Kansas City makes its second appearance at Cleveland Browns Stadium as the Chiefs square off with the Browns on Sunday. KC last visited Cleveland on Opening Day in 2002. The Chiefs have won seven of their last nine games under head coach Herm Edwards and enter this week’s contest owning a two-game winning streak after posting back-to-back home wins vs. Oakland (11/19) and Denver (11/23).

The Chiefs registered an important 19-10 victory against the Broncos on Thanksgiving at Arrowhead, marking the fourth consecutive game Kansas City’s defense has held its opponent to 17 points or less. Over that four-game span, the Chiefs have allowed an average of just 13.3 points per game. The last time Kansas City boasted a similar streak of defensive prowess was in ‘97-98 when the club produced a six-game streak of limiting opponents to 17 points or less.

If Kansas City has aspirations of keeping pace in the AFC postseason chase, the Chiefs can’t afford to stumble at Cleveland. The Chiefs are currently tied with Denver (7-4) for second in the AFC West standings behind San Diego (9-2). Kansas City is one of six AFC squads that own seven or more wins, meaning that the Chiefs would qualify for a Wild Card berth if the playoff field was set after 11 games.

The Chiefs will face a Cleveland squad that has also been stingy in terms of scoring defense this season. Despite the Browns 3-8 record, Cleveland is traditionally tough at home, where Romeo Crennel’s squad has allowed just 18.5 ppg since he took the club’s helm in 2005. The Browns are coming off a 30-0 loss vs. Cincinnati (11/26).
The Chiefs are 2-0 since two-time Pro Bowl QB Trent Green resumed his role under center. Green’s return has been aided by the prolific production of RB Larry Johnson who leads the NFL in rushing (1,202 yards) and ranks second in yards from scrimmage (1,551), trailing only Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson (1,602). Up next for Kansas City is a home contest vs. Baltimore (12/10), while Cleveland travels to Pittsburgh for a Thursday night contest (12/7).

Kansas City owns a 9-8-2 (.526) record in regular season play vs. Cleveland. The Chiefs have won their last two meetings with the Browns and are seeking their first-ever three-game winning streak against Cleveland. Kansas City claimed a 41-20 victory at Arrowhead (11/9/03) in its most recent contest against the Browns as the Chiefs won their ninth consecutive game to start the 2003 campaign.

The Chiefs are 7-2-1 (.750) at home vs. the Browns, including a 6-2-1 (.722) mark at Arrowhead. Kansas City is just 2-6-1 (.278) at Cleveland in regular season play, but won a thrilling 40-39 decision in the 2002 season opener when a bizarre Hail Mary pass attempt with 0:02 left turned into a lateral to T John Tait who rumbled 28 yards to the Browns 25-yard line.

The Chiefs were granted one final, untimed play after Cleveland LB Dwayne Rudd removed his helmet in a premature victory celebration and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Morten Andersen trotted onto the field and proceeded to hit the game-winning 30-yard FG to give the Chiefs the victory.

Perhaps the most memorable Chiefs contest at venerable Cleveland Stadium came in ‘89 when Marty Schottenheimer made his return to Cleveland as Kansas City’s head coach. With the score tied at 10-10, normally sure-footed K Nick Lowery missed a 39-yard FG at the end of regulation and a 47-yarder with 0:17 left in OT, leaving the game deadlocked in a 10-10 stalemate.

The Chiefs and Browns have tied twice, meaning the only club Kansas City has tied more frequently than Cleveland is New England (three times). Kansas City’s lone win at Cleveland Stadium came by a 31-7 count (10/8/72)
The Chiefs and Browns have never met in postseason competition. The next scheduled regular season contest between the two clubs is slated at Arrowhead during the 2009 campaign.