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Fast Start by Chiefs Doesn't Stall Browns

Posted Dec 10, 2012

With the exception of an opening-kickoff return for a score, the Kansas City Chiefs could not have started Sunday’s 30-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns any better.

Instead, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles did what he does best, channeling his inner high school-track-champion speed, bolting 80 yards in 12 seconds on the game’s first play from scrimmage for the score.

The 62,422 fans (discounting those from the Chiefs Kingdom) were left jaw-dropped in silence, having been struck by Charles and the Chiefs.

Unlike the historic 18-point comeback against the Saints in the Bayou, the long-distance dash by Charles, created by strong blocking up front, would not lead to a victory; instead, it served as the team’s only score.

Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel has stressed many things during the season, including his team’s inefficiency in the red zone. The bug struck again in Cleveland.

Kansas City crossed midfield three times all game, including the TD run by Charles. The other two times, the Chiefs had red zone-scoring opportunities thanks to “big plays,” which consisted of gains of at least 20 yards.

Kansas City totaled four “big plays” all game, including Jamaal’s cloud-of-dust TD run. The Chiefs struck two more times on the very next drive, when QB Brady Quinn connected with WR Dwayne Bowe (23 yards and 47 yards). Quinn later found WR Jamar Newsome for a 25-yard gain in the fourth quarter.

However, both trips to the red zone led to zero points for the Chiefs. On its second drive of the game, Kansas City moved the ball to Cleveland’s three-yard line, before Chiefs K Ryan Succop later missed his fourth field goal of the season, after his 27-yard attempt connected with the left upright.

Later in the fourth quarter, after Newsome’s 25-yard grab, Quinn was sacked on a fourth-and-eight situation from Cleveland’s 16-yard line and again, the Chiefs came away empty-handed.

Kansas City ended the day with 180 yards rushing and 130 net-passing yards, but the most-telling number on offense was zero, the number of points scored when inside the red zone.

Crennel has talked about Charles being able to score touchdowns the way he did on Sunday, fast. Until the Chiefs combine big-play scores with cashed-in opportunities in the red zone, the offense will continue to be challenged, whether at home or on the road.

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