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On the Road Again, Chiefs Set for Road Test in Cleveland

Posted Dec 8, 2012

Something has to give tomorrow when the Kansas City Chiefs visit Cleveland to face the Browns. The regular season series between the teams is split at 10-10-2, while the Chiefs have a 3-7-1 record as the visitor, including a 2-1 (.667) mark at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

With all that has happened in the last seven days, the Chiefs have showed resolve and strength and are ready to play football, thanks in part to the advice they received from head coach Romeo Crennel.

“When you go out there on that field and you cross the white line, when the ball is snapped, the opponent, they’re going to try to beat you and if you’re not mentally ready, then you’re going to get beat and you’re going to lose,” Crennel said.

When Sunday at noon rolls around, Crennel knows what to expect from a Browns team that has won its last two games.

“They’re a young team and they’ve gained some confidence in their ability to do what their coaches are asking them to do,” Crennel admitted. “And their coaches are putting them in positions that they can use their ability and their strong points and they’re playing to the strong points and trying to minimize the weaknesses and they’re doing a good job of it.”

Kansas City will be led by QB Brady Quinn, who completed a single-game franchise-record 82.6% of his passes (19 of 23) for 201 yards and two TDs during last week’s win against Carolina. Despite their 4-8 record, Quinn knows the Browns are a force to be reckoned with.

“They have two extremely-good corners. You look at DB Joe Haden, he’s extremely athletic and makes good plays on the ball, DB Sheldon Brown as well,” Quinn admitted. “You look at their secondary, DB (T.J.) Ward is pretty solid coming up in the run game, a physical player. LB D’Qwell Jackson does a great job leading that team. And their front four, they mix in some different guys here and there, but they’re all extremely powerful and talented. They’re definitely underestimated because they play in such a tough division.”

The Chiefs will be facing a Browns team that has been recently stingy against the run. In the three weeks following their bye break, the Browns have allowed an average of 65.7 rushing yards per game.

“I expect a physical game,” Chiefs T Eric Winston said.

“If you look at those guys, they’re big up front, they’re tough guys. We’re going to have to create some space in there and get some seams to get Jamaal into and get him to some open field. It’ll be a grind-it-out game I think, maybe on both sides. We’re going to have to bring our lunch pails and our hard hats and be ready to get after it.”

Like Winston, Chiefs WR Jon Baldwin agreed that getting RB Jamaal Charles space to run will do great things for the team.

“That’ll be one of the main keys, being able to establish the run game so it will open up the pass game for us,” Baldwin said. “We’re going to do the best thing we can do, as far as getting open and with Jamaal running how he’s been running, it’s going to open it up for the receivers on the back end.”

The opposing running back, Trent Richardson has been as good as advertised in his rookie season. The 5’9, 230-pound RB has rushed for 827 yards and seven TDs. He, fellow rookie, QB Brandon Weeden and the Browns are sure to make Sunday’s contest physical and Chiefs LB Brandon Siler can’t wait.

“They’re a physical football team and they run the ball well,” Siler admitted.

“They have a good running back and a good offensive line. When you have that, and you’re a physical linebacker, you kind of smile at the opportunity to play these kind of games because you know that they’re going to do what they’re going to do and they’re going to come down hill at you and they’re going to hit you in the mouth if they can and we look forward to that.”

Tomorrow’s matchup is game number 23 between the teams. A little more than three hours after kickoff however, the more important number could be three, as in Kansas City’s third win of the season, its second away from Arrowhead.

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