Chiefs Browns: The Day After

The Chiefs had a few walking wounded on Monday as the players checked in after whipping up on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

KR Dante Hall underwent an MRI Monday that showed no break in his clavicle, which Hall thought might be broken after Sunday's win over Cleveland. The area is merely bruised and Hall said he expects to play Sunday in Cincinnati.

T John Tait's ankle was black-and-blue and still badly swollen Monday after he injured it against Cleveland. Tait has a long history of ankle injuries, and coach Dick Vermeil notes that he tends to heal quickly, but Tait will likely be listed as doubtful for the Cincinnati game when the first injury report comes out Wednesday.

FB Tony Richardson may be able to play against the Bengals despite breaking several bones in his left hand against Cleveland. It is a different injury to the same hand Richardson hurt during training camp this year. He missed three weeks of camp before playing with a soft cast. The Chiefs hope he can take a limited role against the Bengals with the same soft cast.

T Marcus Spears would move to right tackle if John Tait can't play in Cincinnati with his ankle injury. Spears was a starter at the position in 2001, and may be better prepared to play on the right side than the left.

WR Johnnie Morton sustained a groin strain in the win over Cleveland, but it doesn't appear severe enough to keep him out of the Cincinnati game.

"You know how it is with our linemen when they play Cleveland. They just have to get involved as receivers." - QB Trent Green, who threw two passes that illegally touched offensive linemen.

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Trent Green threw for more yards (400) in the overtime win at Green Bay, but he hasn't looked any better this year than he did in completing 29 of 42 passes for 368 yards and three TDs against Cleveland. His 119.9 QB rating was his best of the year, and pass protection was a big part of it. He threw seven balls to each of three different receivers (Eddie Kennison, Tony Gonzalez and Priest Holmes), with Kennison leading the way with 115 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- The Chiefs elected to throw against Cleveland's supposedly stout pass defense rather than run against a badly dented rush defense. Go figure. But the strategy worked because Priest Holmes was able to grind out 92 rushing yards, enough that the Browns had to keep a safety close to the box to defend against the run. The running game was at its best on third downs and in red-zone situations. The Chiefs converted 12 of 16 third downs and got a touchdown or a field goal on every inside-the-20 possession.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Kelly Holcomb was under pressure much of the day (three sacks) and consequently threw quick and short, particularly on third down when Browns receivers were consistently catching balls short of the marker. Greg Wesley contributed 42 yards on a pass interference penalty to a Cleveland scoring drive, but got an interception in mop-up time.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- With William Green suspended after a bye week DUI arrest, the Browns got 66 yards from backup James Jackson, but the Cleveland running game was no factor.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- This would have been an A had Gary Still merely brushed Cleveland's Chris Crocker and kept him from tackling Dante Hall just 16 yards short of Hall's NFL record fifth return touchdown of the season. Even though he didn't score, Hall's 77-yard return set up an easy score -- a field goal, which the Chiefs found disappointing. Jason Baker's punting was just ordinary and his kickoffs lacked depth on a cold day, but Morten Andersen converted both routine field goals of 29 and 27 yards.

COACHING: B -- Credit Al Saunders with an innovative offensive game plan that dared throw the ball against a Cleveland defense that had been very effective in limiting opposing quarterbacks. Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson mixed his blitz package effectively and kept the heat on Holcomb. Dick Vermeil continues to keep his players on an even keel despite the exhilaration of an undefeated season. Top Stories