The Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL. As Forrest Gump once said, “and that’s all I gots’ to say bout’ that.”
This week, the Chiefs will complete the third game of their three game home stand against the struggling Cleveland Browns. The Browns (3-4) are a team that definitely has enough talent to knock the Chiefs off their seven game winning streak. Kansas City needs to continue to take things one game at a time and I fully expect them to take this Cleveland team very seriously. With that said, lets take a look at the numbers.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS:
Cleveland head coach, Rob Chudzinski, confirmed Wednesday morning that he will start former Raiders quarterback, Jason Campbell, this Sunday in Kansas City. The Browns have desperately been trying to find the right guy to put under center for years now and their second first round pick of 2012, Brandon Weeden, just isn’t getting it done.
Campbell knows the Chiefs well, dating back to his days with the Oakland Raiders. Campbell, while with the Raiders, went 2-0 against the Chiefs, throwing for a combined 39/58 for 384 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He’s been very inconsistent in his career, throwing for 93 touchdowns and 109 interceptions in just 71 starts.
The last time Jason Campbell started an NFL game, was last season on Monday Night Football when he had to spot start for the Bears. To say the least, Campbell did not play well. He was 14/22 for 107 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. In his defense, he had to go up against one of the best defenses in the NFL, the 49′ers, in their own backyard. None the less, he’s had a hard time finding a starting spot and the Browns playing him just explains how desperate they are to find any kind of spark on offense.
The Browns are struggling mightily in almost every offensive category. They’re 26th in points (18.7), 26th in yards (313.7), and 23rd in rushing yards (86.3) per-game. However, for all their troubles on offense, their defense is one that is loaded with a ton of talent and their stats reflect it.
The Browns defense currently ranks as the 7th best in the league. They’re only giving up an average of 22.3 points per game and have done a solid job of rushing the passer with their 20 sacks through the first seven games. The Browns spent a lot of money, and draft picks, to stack up their front seven, and they have a lot to hang their hats on for the future. Guys like Barkevious Mingo and Paul Kruger, have been great additions for them. Mingo, the Browns first round pick out of LSU, has 19 tackles and three sacks through his first seven starts. At times, the Browns defense has looked dominant and Kansas City will for sure have their hands full once again this Sunday.
MATCH-UPS TO WATCH:
The Browns selected cornerback, Joe Haden, with their first pick of the 2010 NFL draft and he’s been solid for them since. Haden has battled injury issues, and suspensions, while with the Browns but is still one of their best players on defense. He’ll be one-on-one with Dwayne Bowe most of the day and it will be interesting to see who wins more in that battle.
Jordan Cameron has emerged as one of the best young tight ends in the NFL. He’s the Browns leading receiver with 45 catches, 515 yards and 6 touchdowns. He combines deceptive speed with great hands to make for one of the best pass catching players in the league right now. The Chiefs defense will need to shift a lot of focus his way to make sure he doesn’t eat them alive, especially on third down.
Though he’s only been there for a short time, Willis McGahee is the Browns leading rusher and the Chiefs know him well from his days in Denver. The Browns have had a very stagnant running game, but you have to think they’ll rely on him with it being Campbell’s first start. The Chiefs currently rank 20th against the rush, which is a little inflated if you ask me, so they cannot allow McGahee to get going. The Chiefs need to force Campbell into third-and-long situations and allowing McGahee to have a big day on the ground will likely eliminate that from happening.
Chiefs running back, Jamaal Charles and his offensive line will be facing the 9th best defense against the run. If you can remember to last season, Charles broke off an 80 yard run for a touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage against the Browns. This is a better Browns defense from then, but Charles getting a big play like that could be a huge swing in how this game plays out. Jamaal has had solid games against the Browns before, totaling for 54 carries, 368 yards and two touchdowns. That’s an average of 122.7 yards per game against Cleveland. Lets hope that continues.
The Chiefs record vs. the Browns is 10-11-2, in recent favor of the Browns. The last time Cleveland came to Arrowhead in 2009, former Browns kick returner, Josh Cribbs, returned two kicks for touchdowns in what was one of the weirdest losses in Chiefs history. This year, however, is a different story considering Kansas City is one of the best teams in the NFL.
This will be the second time in a row, and third time this season, that the Chiefs will face a team whose starting a quarterback that did not start the week before. The early line has the Chiefs at 6.5 point favorites at home, and I will take the Chiefs and the points. Arrowhead will be hostile for Jason Campbell and I look for the Chiefs to force him into a few turnovers and get enough done on offense to cover that spread.
The game starts at 12 PM. CDT on CBS.