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Tony Grossi's Take: Pat Shurmur's creativity was a welcome sight in Browns' 30-7 win

Dec 09, 2012 -- 6:43pm

By Tony Grossi

Photo/AP


Tony Grossi’s Take on Browns’ 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs

Offense: It generated 23 points despite humdrum numbers by QB Brandon Weeden (17 of 30, 217 yards, 0 TDs) and RB Trent Richardson (18 carries, 42 yards, 2 TDs, 2.3 average). Weeden seemed baffled by good coverage by the Chiefs secondary. Montario Hardesty (52 yards, 10 carries) and Josh Gordon (eight catches, 86 yards) had good days. Josh Cribbs (12 yards) and Greg Little (15) set up TDs with well-timed gadget runs. Bottom line: Style points for trick plays.

Defense: They were one play from posting their first shutout under Dick Jauron. It happened to be the first play of the game, when Jamaal Charles ran 80 yards with a simple inside handoff. Angered by that, the unit swarmed to the ball, inflicted pain on Peyton Hillis and made it a bad afternoon for Brady Quinn. The big lead enabled the defense to tee off on Quinn. Six players shared in five sacks and Tashaun Gipson intercepted a pass deflected by Sheldon Brown. Bottom line: Almost perfect.

Special teams: A brilliant “block” formation on a Chiefs punt – using Josh Cribbs to rush the punter and Travis Benjamin drop back to return – resulted in a 93-yard TD return by Benjamin. Cribbs almost broke another return later, but had to settle for a return of 38 yards. What a day for Phil Dawson – four touchbacks and 3-for-3 on field goals, giving him 302 in his career. Bottom line: Impactful.

Coaching: When everyone was on guard for Chiefs offensive coordinator Brian Daboll reaching into his bag of tricks, Pat Shurmur stole his thunder. Shurmur loaded up his gamplan with five pieces of trickeration – Cribbs back in the Wildcat, Little running with a pitchout, Benjamin on a double reverse, Weeden throwing from the pistol formation, and Cribbs motioning into a rush-block role on a Kansas City punt. Bottom line: Three wins in a row and five in the last eight games … very interesting.

Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to tgrossi@espncleveland.com

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi

 

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