The undefeated Kansas City Chiefs came out with a dominant start against the Cleveland Browns and took immediate control of the game. Their offense was able to come out and put together drives and control the clock. Initially, they were able to use a combination of running the ball and underneath passing from quarterback Alex Smith.
The first two times the Chiefs were able to get the ball, they were able to drive down but were stopped and held to a pair of Ryan Succup field goals and getting out to a 6-0 lead. On their third drive, they were finally able to get into the end zone when Smith hit Anthony Sherman in the flat who was able to get a wall of blocks and run down the left sideline and get into the end zone, which put them up 13-0.
The Browns were unable to get a first down until midway in the second quarter. They were able to get on the board when they ran a flea flicker. Jason Campbell handed it Willis McGahee who went forward, turned around and tossed it back to Campbell who threw the ball deep and completed a pass to Josh Gordon behind the defense who was able to score for a 39 yard touchdown, putting the Browns into the game and down only 13-7. The Chiefs, who did not punt until the third quarter were able to come right back with a response came back with a three play drive that was capped off with a 28 yard pass from Smith to Dexter McCluster .
With time running down in the half, Campbell completed a pass to Davone Bess for a moderate gain that went out of bounds followed up by a clunky running play to McGahee that went nowhere, which resulted in a bunch of time to roll off of the clock before the Browns could get up to the line and run a play. With under a minute to go and looking like a drive that would not yield anything significant, Campbell hit Gordon on a slant that was opened up by a rub that allowed Gordon to run down the field, get to the right sideline and continue running until he was knocked out of bounds for a 47 yards. The Browns then had three straight incompletions that forced them to attempt a 44 yard field goal. Billy Cundiff hit the field goal and the Browns went into the half only down 20-10 after it looked like the Chiefs would just run them off of the field.
When they came out in the second half, the Chiefs’ offense struggled to make plays and were unable to score any points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Browns were able to come back right out of the half with a 10 play 80 yard drive that was capped off with a 17 yard touchdown pass from Campbell to Fozzy Whittaker on a wheel route where the linebacker covering him was cut off by the outside route from the receiver.
The rest of the quarter was a series of offensive drives that both teams could not get to go anywhere that ended in punts. The first big play of the fourth quarter was when the Chiefs punted the ball and Bess was back there in place of an injured Travis Benjamin who fielded the punt and then managed to cough it up to the Chiefs who took the ball over at midfield. This really flipped the field and got the Chiefs from the shadow of their own end zone and put them in position to make put a drive together.
One of the more notable plays was when the Chiefs tried to run a flea flicker of their own. It resulted in Smith getting in plastered by Barkevious Mingo coming off of the edge and flattening him for a big time sack. The Chiefs were able to flip the field and put the Browns deep on their end of the field, but were unable to score points with the opportunity.
The Browns were unable to get anything going with their possession and were forced to go for it on 4th and 7 to go. On the most important play of the game, Campbell initially could not find an open receiver, rolled out to the right and bought extra time before throwing the ball all the way across his body to the middle of the field and found Davone Bess wide open, who could not make the catch in what was just a terrible game from a normally consistent player. Bess had three drops and the fumbled punt return on the day.
The Chiefs took over right on the cusp of the red zone with 2:12 left in the game. They ran clock for three plays and then kicked a 40 yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the game. The Chiefs kicked off to the Browns who downed it in the end zone that came out to the 20 yard line. The Browns threw a quick rub slant to Gordon that looked like the one they ran before the end of the first half, but Gordon could not get outside or out of bounds, was tackled in the middle of the field and the clock ran out before Campbell could get off another snap. The Chiefs held on to win 23-17.