With Crennel on board, the defense has bought into his simple defensive scheme which has escaped the Chiefs for the past few seasons: In order to win, they need to stop the run. Just as they did against San Diego, the Chiefs shut the door on the Brown's running game. Browns running back Jerome Harrison was held to only 33 yards on 19 carries by the Chiefs' stout run defense fronted by Shaun Smith, Ron Edwards, and Glenn Dorsey.
Browns running back Jerome Harrison had to nowhere to run against Chiefs defensive line.
The defense has yet to give up more than 14 points this season, and counting the pre-season, the defense has held opposing offenses to only 20 points max. Crennel's defense has clearly locked into the Chiefs' young mindsets and it's paying off in substantial improvement.
While it wasn't necessarily Crennel the one to credit for a pick six from Brandon Flowers, it's his aggressive defense that has helped the Chiefs succeed so far this season.
The Chiefs could have very well allowed another 286 yards to Jerome Harrison, but instead the team strategically knew that stopping Harrison was a priority.
With starting quarterback Jake Delhomme out for the game and backup Seneca Wallace struggling through the air, the Browns were primed to rely on their running game. This gave Crennel and the defense a chance to plug holes against Harrison and Peyton Hillis.
The passing defense, on the other hand, showed improvement but still has holes. It won't be fair for me to say that Crennel is to blame for allowing the secondary to get burnt for the second time in as many weeks in allowing a big touchdown. The Chiefs' secondary bit once again on a deep pass play much like last week's touchdown from Chargers receiver Legedu Naanee. This time, the secondary was tricked and allowed a 65-yard touchdown reception to Joshua Cribbs.
Chiefs Safety Eric Berry has to think pass first run second if he's going to become a complete player.
In both instances, it's been rookie safety Eric Berry to allow the big play, but his seven tackles on the game indicate that he was certainly more determined in stuffing the run. The Chiefs' coaches need to work with Berry in making him more acclimated in patrolling the backfield and leaving the dirty work to the linemen and linebackers. With the poor coverage, Brandon Carr was once again the one left to chase after the receiver towards the end zone.
Overall, I think Chiefs fans should be encouraged with the direction that the defense is going in because they have the perfect coordinator to pump new life into them. It's just going to take more time for everybody to get on the same page, especially Eric Berry, in order to make the Chiefs' defense a powerful force.
Honorable mention goes to the Chiefs' special teams coaches in working hard to stop Pro Bowl return man Joshua Cribbs. Even though they sacrificed field position in doing it, the Chiefs chose to squib their kicks in order to keep Cribbs from passing midfield.
Now for the offensive side of the ball. To say the least, it's still a puzzler to wonder why Jamaal Charles sits second to Thomas Jones in getting carries, especially when he broke off for a 20-yard run and then a 27-yard reception. There's no doubt that Matt Cassel has struggled so far this season, but the Chiefs' offensive minds need to look into relying on their running game in order to win tough games like this one in Cleveland.
We again saw short passes get dumped off behind the line of scrimmage, and the receivers barely gaining any yardage.
Matt Cassel was solid in the second half.
Throughout the preseason and now two games into the real deal, it's become apparent that the Chiefs' offensive staff is being way too careful with Cassel. By now, the coaches need to tell Cassel to stop taking too much time in the pocket or panicking and pass vertically, not horizontally.
The Chiefs not only outplayed the Browns but also outcoached them. You can definitely see the discipline pay off when the Browns commit nine penalties for 78 yards.
Meanwhile, the closest the Chiefs got out of hand was with Kendrick Lewis' helmet-to-helmet shot on Evan Moore and Tamba Hali's roughhousing near the Browns' bench. These incidents were both out of the coaches' hands, but more importantly, it's safe to say that the coaching staff has this team under enough control to tally two victories and a first place spot on top of the AFC West.
The coaching staff has brought this young Chiefs teams back to the basics in how to win football games. We saw it today in their simple game plan in stuffing the run, kicking away from return man Joshua Cribbs, and keeping composure until the final whistle blows.