Put Monday Night in your rear-view mirror, Kansas City. Yeah, it was fun, but in the NFL, the time for celebrating is short.
The Chiefs pulled off a great upset against the San Diego Chargers, but it’s a short week and the time to prepare for the Cleveland Browns is short. Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel also returns to Cleveland for the first time since he was fired (more on this later in the week).
Since this game was blacked out last year, I may have to remind you that the Browns set all sorts of rushing records against the Chiefs last year and embarrassed them in front of less than 50,000 people at Arrowhead Stadium on a cold December afternoon.
So it’s time to move on. As awesome and special Monday night was, this team is about to go on the road into one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, the Dawg Pound at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Chiefs have a fantastic chance to be sitting at 2-0 after this weekend. The Browns were absolutely embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that won two games last year, last week. The Chiefs are riding a tidal wave of emotion after defeating one of the best AFC teams this decade.
So what is in the Chiefs’ favor?
The Chiefs held rookie Ryan Mathews, who some think will be a thousand yard rusher in his rookie season, to 3.9 yards a carry. Ok, not the greatest number, but when you look at what the Chargers traditionally do to us on the ground, this was a big positive.
The task will be to contain Jerome Harrison, who nearly broke the NFL single game rushing record against the Chiefs last year.
But fumbles were an issue last week for the Browns and if the Chiefs can win the turnover battle, then we’ll be A-OK.
The Browns were hardly challenged by Tampa’s running attack last week, as Cadillac Williams could only gain 75 yards on 22 carries. But that’s Cadillac Williams, not Jamaal Charles, who gashed the Browns for 154 yards last year. Add Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster into the mix, and the Chiefs may just break some records of their own this Sunday on the banks of the Cuyahoga River.
This will be a rush-heavy game, no doubt. The key for the Chiefs is to stop the Browns rushing attack, while maintaining possession and racking up yards on the ground. Do that, and you’ll force Jake Delhomme (yes, that Jake Delhomme) to open up the passing game, which will benefit the Chiefs and their awesome, young secondary.
Hehe, we’re good at them. But so are the Browns. CONTAIN, CONTAIN, CONTAIN Josh Cribbs, who ran back TWO kickoffs for touchdowns against the Chiefs last year. May even need to consider kicking to him at all.