KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
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TV: CBS, Dick Enberg, Randy Cross
SERIES: 20th meeting. The Chiefs lead the series 9-8-2. The Browns have a distinct home field advantage with a 6-2-1 record, but it might not mean much this time because the Browns are 1-5 at home this year.
2006 RANKINGS: Chiefs: offense 15th (6th rush, 21st pass); defense 12th (13th rush, 12th pass). Browns: offense 31st (30th rush, 25th pass); defense 19th (24th rush, 13th pass)
PREDICTION: Chiefs 16-13
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Browns need to find some way to force the Chiefs to respect the downfield passing attack. QB Charlie Frye is completing 62.6 percent of his passes, but he's not stretching the field often enough. Part of that is due to playing behind a poor offensive line, but Frye has to recognize chances to push the ball down the field and give his receivers a chance to make big plays. Otherwise, the Chiefs can stuff the box and sit on the running and short passing games. Kansas City's main goal offensively is not doing the Browns any favors in the way of penalties and turnovers. RB Larry Johnson will carry the workload until Cleveland proves it can stop the ground game. The Chiefs need to get QB Trent Green back playing at a high level, but they won't force the passing game any more than they have to.
FAST FACTS: Chiefs: WR Dante Hall has become just the sixth player in NFL history to top 10,000 yards in combined kick return yardage. ... Johnson has scored in nine consecutive games, the second-longest streak in franchise history. Browns: Loss would secure seventh losing season in eight years. ... TE Kellen Winslow leads all NFL tight ends with 66 receptions and seeks to become first Browns tight end to lead the team in receptions since Ozzie Newsome in 1985.
--TE Tony Gonzalez took a nearly full workout Thursday and will be ready to play in Cleveland despite nursing a still-sore shoulder that kept him out of the win over Oakland two weeks ago.
--LB Derrick Johnson took a nearly complete workout Thursday and should return to the starting lineup against Cleveland. Johnson missed two games (Miami and Oakland) with an ankle injury and played in a reserve role upon returning last week against Denver.
--QB Trent Green, in his last game against Cleveland (2003), completed 29 of 42 passes for 368 yards and three TDs, good for a 119.9 passer rating. The Chiefs are 18-8 with Green has a triple-digit passer rating.
--RB Larry Johnson, who entered the week as the NFL rushing leader (1,202 yards), ranks second in the league among non-kickers in scoring (90 points).
--CB Leigh Bodden is again on the doubtful side of questionable with a sprained ankle. Bodden's absence was significant against Cincinnati's talented receivers, but the Browns may be able to cover for him against Kansas City.
--NT Ted Washington may have to play more than his usual 25 snaps now that backup Ethan Kelley is out for the season. This also weakens the team's run defense as it tries to stop Chiefs RB Larry Johnson.
--TE Kellen Winslow will be motivated as he faces the tight end he considers the best in the league -- Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez. Winslow said he has great respect for Gonzalez, a player Winslow said reminds him of his Hall of Fame father.
--WR Braylon Edwards said his best weapon to combat negativity from his sideline blowup last weekend is to play well and play hard. If he follows through, that resolve could put him in position for a good game.
INSIDE THE CAMPS
Sunday's game in Cleveland could be the first winter-weather game of the season for the Chiefs, but coach Herm Edwards said his team is ready for it.
"It makes it real simple to know what to do," Edwards said. And with that he simulated a quarterback making a handoff to a running back.
"Even the passing coach ran it 40 times (Monday night) in the snow," Edwards added in a backhanded compliment to Seattle coach Mike Holmgren. "Forty times, I like that. I gotta send him a note congratulating him. Now the bar's been raised. I want to run it 50!"
To be sure, the Chiefs fashion themselves as a team built for cold-weather play. That's especially true with their running game, which is ranked sixth in the league as they head to a December game on the cold shores of Lake Erie.
Even so, the Chiefs have had a good running/winter game over most of the past several years, and they were still only 3-9 in December/January road games over the five seasons under coach Dick Vermeil. Edwards doesn't even try to figure out why that happened in the past. He just knows he needs to change it now.
"I don't like to bring up the past, but we haven't been real good," he said. "Three-and-nine the last five years on the road, that's all you have to say.
"Why? I don't know. We don't rent our helmets out. The same coaches go, the same players go, and we all have to find ways to play better. You've got to be able to win on the road, that's just part of the process if you are going to be a good football team."
The Browns haven't won in two weeks, but their run defense has improved.
That represents significant improvement. The Browns at one point in the season were giving up almost 150 yards rushing. Now they are giving up 133.5.
The change is significant because the Browns face Larry Johnson this weekend. Johnson is carrying the Chiefs offense, and he has run for at least 132 yards in five of Kansas City's past six games. In four of those games, he's topped 150 yards.
What will the Browns do with Johnson?
"We may have to throw ropes around him," coach Romeo Crennel said.