Browns-Chiefs: Report Card

It's not that big a mystery - you get better grades if you win...

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Both Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye were able to complete passes and move the team. Frye had only two incompletions the first half, and Anderson seemed to get rid of the ball quickly when he replaced Frye in the second half. The Browns scored three touchdowns through the air, and the two passers combined for 293 yards. That's a good day by any measure.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- For the first time this seasons, Reuben Droughns looked like the back who ran for 1,200 yards the past two years. Droughns showed strength and quickness and hit the holes well. Perhaps he is over the injuries that nagged him earlier, or perhaps Droughns was revived by the threat of losing his job. No matter -- he ran well, and he and Jason Wright seemed to be a good combination.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- Trent Green threw four touchdown passes, which isn't good. The Browns had trouble covering Tony Gonzalez, and they gave up a lot of plays in the passing game early. The only thing that saved this grade from being lower was that in the fourth quarter and overtime the Browns found a way to get off the field on some key third downs. That enabled the Browns to wipe out a 14-point deficit and win in overtime.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Larry Johnson got 110 yards, but he was not the dominant force he had been in previous games. Johnson's 3.9-yard average indicates he had to work for his yards, and for the first time in eight games, he did not find the end zone. Since struggling against the run early, the Browns run defense has tightened up.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- Phil Dawson again proved to be one of the league's most reliable kickers. His overtime winner was perfect. Dawson also popped a kickoff high late in regulation that his team was nearly able to recover. This guy is one of the league's best kickers. The rest of the special teams were solid, with no major breakdowns.

COACHING: A -- A coach who has lost his team does not get the effort the Browns got Sunday against the Chiefs. All last week Romeo Crennel had to answer questions about his job security. He just kept preparing his team, and the team responded. Almost every player after the win spoke up for the coach, a fair and true indicator of the respect the team has for its coach.


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