|Date of game: 12/9/2012
Recap: Cleveland vs. Kansas City
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Trent Richardson rushed for a pair of touchdowns on Sunday, as the Cleveland Browns defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-7, at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Richardson finished with 42 yards on 18 carries, while Brandon Weeden was an efficient 17-of-30 passing with 217 yards for the Browns (5-8), who have won three straight games.
Kansas City quarterback Brady Quinn, who spent his first three NFL seasons in Cleveland after the Browns selected him with the 22nd overall pick in 2007, struggled against his former club, throwing for just 159 yards with an interception on 10-of-21 passing.
"It's disappointing to come back and lose the game," said Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel, who spent four seasons as the Browns' head coach before coming to Kansas City in 2011. "We didn't play very well in the second half and basically that's what it comes down to."
Jamaal Charles was the lone bright spot for the visitors, rushing for 165 yards and a score on 18 carries for the Chiefs (2-11), who snapped a six-game skid last weekend with an emotional 27-21 victory over Carolina less than 24 hours after linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, then traveled to the team's facility and killed himself.
The Chiefs seemed to carry that momentum into Cleveland, as the visitors scored on the first play from scrimmage.
Charles took a handoff over the right side, burst through the line, and juked past a defender before outracing the defense for an 80-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
After a quick punt from the Browns, Quinn converted a 3rd-and-8 with a 23-yard strike to Dwayne Bowe and then went back to Bowe two plays later for a 47-yard gain to the Cleveland 4.
The Chiefs would come away empty however, as Ryan Succop's 27-yard field goal clanked off the left upright to keep the margin at 7-0.
Cleveland countered with a deep drive of its own, as Weeden found Greg Little for 34 yards to the Kansas City 20. Weeden then hit Josh Gordon for 18 yards to the Kansas City 2, but the Browns couldn't punch it in, forcing them to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Phil Dawson to pull within 7-3 with just under four minutes left in the first.
After forcing the Chiefs into a 4th-and-3 on their next touch, Travis Benjamin fielded the ensuing punt at his own 7-yard line and shook past a defender before changing fields and racing down the left sideline for a 93-yard punt return TD to give the Browns a 10-7 lead on the first play of the second.
"Travis is the fastest man I've ever seen in person," Richardson said of Benjamin's punt return. "That punt return, he just sparked up the whole team because we feed off of each other's energy."
Neither offense made it across midfield from there and the Browns carried their three-point edge into the locker room.
Cleveland started the first possession of the second half from its own 40-yard line after Succop booted the kickoff out of bounds. Benjamin then took a reverse 15 yards and Gordon followed with an 11-yard reception.
Facing 2nd-and-6 from the Kansas City 13 later in the drive, Josh Cribbs took a direct snap around the left end for 12 yards before Richardson punched it in from one yard out to press the margin to 17-7 with 12:28 left in the third.
Cleveland got the ball right back three plays later, as Quinn's pass was tipped up in the air by Joe Haden and landed in the arms of Tashaun Gipson, who returned it 23 yards to the Kansas City 13.
Weeden then hit Gordon for 11 yards to the Kansas City 2, but back-to-back penalties wiped away a pair of scoring plays and the Browns had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Dawson to extend their lead to 20-7 with 8:42 left in the third.
After a Kansas City punt, Weeden converted a pair of third downs on the Browns' ensuing touch before Little took an end-around 17 yards down to the Kansas City 1 on 3rd-and-9 on the final play of the third quarter.
Two plays later, Richardson finished off the 12-play, 82-yard trek with a TD surge up the middle, giving Cleveland a 27-7 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
After a quick punt from the Chiefs, Cribbs returned the punt 38 yards to the Kansas City 35, setting up Dawson's 34-yard field goal to press the margin to 30-7 with just over nine minutes remaining.
The Chiefs made their way deep into Cleveland territory on their ensuing touch, but Quinn was sacked on 4th-and-8 from the Cleveland 16 to turn the ball over on downs.
The teams then exchanged three-and-outs before Cleveland ran out the clock to secure the victory.Game Notes
Dawson connected on three field goals and now has 302 for his career. He is
the 25th player in NFL history to convert 300 or more field goals ... Weeden
(5) now has the most wins as a starter by a Browns rookie quarterback ...
Bowe, who finished with two catches for 70 yards, left the game in the first
half with a rib injury and did not return ... Kansas City Chiefs running back
Peyton Hillis had spent the last two seasons in Cleveland. He finished with 11
yards on five carries.