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Chiefs lack offensive punch against Cleveland

  • Kansas City Star
  • Published Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, at 4:36 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, at 6:52 a.m.

— If their 30-7 loss to the Browns proved anything to the Chiefs on Sunday, it’s that they’re getting a great bargain paying about $9.5 million to Dwayne Bowe this year.

Their offense was operating quite nicely with Bowe in their lineup in the opening minutes. The Chiefs scored one touchdown and should have scored again on their next possession, failing only when the offense bogged down inside the Cleveland 5 and they missed a short field goal attempt.

The game unraveled for the Chiefs when Bowe left their lineup for good late in the first period with injured ribs. They had 149 yards and a touchdown at the point when he was done for the day.

They had 161 yards and zero points over the game’s final 49 minutes. His departure was clearly the moment the day destructed for the Chiefs.

The issues now are whether he will play next week against the Raiders in Oakland and how the Chiefs, whose offense struggles even with their best receiver in the lineup, can expect to score any points if he doesn’t.

“Dwayne Bowe is one heck of a player,’’ quarterback Brady Quinn said. “He’s a tremendous teammate. He’s a warrior out there and he will fight for you doing whatever he can.

“We’ve got to move forward. But he’s a guy you obviously want to have on your team.’’

Coach Romeo Crennel said he wasn’t yet certain about Bowe’s ability to play against the Raiders. But Bowe left for the locker room shortly after being injured and never returned, a likely sign his injury is more than a bruise.

“They haven’t told me (about Bowe’s availability for the Oakland game),’’ Crennel said. “I’ll wait until they finish evaluating and let me know.’’

Quinn showed the strain of trying to lead an offense minus its best receiver. He completed 86 percent of his passes in last week’s win over Carolina but was just 10 of 21 with five sacks and an interception against the Browns.

His only pass completion of over 25 yards was a 47-yarder to Bowe down the right sideline. Quinn was two of four for 70 yards with Bowe in the game, eight of 17 for 89 yards without him.

As a result, the Chiefs watched their 7-0 lead disappear. They came close to scoring just once after Bowe left but turned the ball over on downs at the Cleveland 16 in the fourth quarter.

“We let the score get away from us,’’ Quinn said. “When you’re basically a one-mode offense, it makes it hard. The defense can dictate things.’’

Crennel said he expected the Chiefs to continue to have problems moving the ball if Bowe can’t play.

“Probably so,’’ Crennel said. “He’s one of the better receivers that we have. If he’s not there, someone else will have to step up.’’

The Chiefs were without running back Jamaal Charles for a portion of the game. He also had an injured rib, though he was able to return to the game.

While Charles was out, the Chiefs were left with a group of offensive skill players that included Peyton Hillis, who is averaging a meager 3.2 yards per carry this season, Steve Maneri, a converted offensive lineman, Terrance Copper, mainly a special teams player, and Jamar Newsome, who spent most of the season on the practice squad.

In that light, it probably shouldn’t be a shock to the Chiefs that their offense went AWOL without Bowe. The Chiefs converted just once in 11 tries on third down and that success was, predictably, a 23-yard pass from Quinn to Bowe.

But Quinn said the Chiefs had enough talent still on the field to be productive.

“Regardless of the circumstances, as a competitor, I always feel we have enough,’’ he said. “We’ve just got to do a better job of competing up front. We can’t continue to have penalties, keep pushing ourselves back. This team right now needs to continue to play consistent, error-free football in order to give ourselves a shot.’’

Kansas City70007
Cleveland37101030

First Quarter

KC—Charles 80 run (Succop kick), 14:48. Drive: 1 play, 80 yards, 0:12. Kansas City 7, Cleveland 0.

Cle—FG Dawson 23, 3:53. Drive: 11 plays, 76 yards, 4:00. Key Plays: Weeden 15 pass to Gordon; Weeden 34 pass to Little; Weeden 18 pass to Gordon on 3rd-and-10. Kansas City 7, Cleveland 3.

Second Quarter

Cle—Benjamin 93 punt return (Dawson kick), 14:40. Cleveland 10, Kansas City 7.

Third Quarter

Cle—Richardson 1 run (Dawson kick), 12:28. Drive: 7 plays, 60 yards, 2:32. Key Plays: Benjamin 15 run; Weeden 11 pass to Gordon; Weeden 17 pass to Little; Cribbs 12 run. Cleveland 17, Kansas City 7.

Cle—FG Dawson 24, 8:42. Drive: 5 plays, 7 yards, 2:23. Key Plays: Gipson 23 interception return to Kansas City 13; Weeden 11 pass to Gordon; Weeden 13 pass to Watson. Cleveland 20, Kansas City 7.

Fourth Quarter

Cle—Richardson 1 run (Dawson kick), 14:17. Drive: 12 plays, 82 yards, 6:25. Key Plays: Weeden 7 pass to Watson on 3rd-and-1; Hardesty 25 run; Weeden 23 pass to Watson on 3rd-and-11; Little 17 run on 3rd-and-9. Cleveland 27, Kansas City 7.

Cle—FG Dawson 34, 9:04. Drive: 6 plays, 18 yards, 2:50. Key Plays: Cribbs 38 punt return to Kansas City 35; Weeden 10 pass to J.Cameron. Cleveland 30, Kansas City 7.

A—62,422.

KCCle
FIRST DOWNS1220
Rushing69
Passing410
Penalty21
THIRD DOWN EFF1-115-15
FOURTH DOWN EFF0-10-0
TOTAL NET YARDS310352
Total Plays5268
Avg Gain6.05.2
NET YARDS RUSHING180154
Rushes2635
Avg per rush6.94.4
NET YARDS PASSING130198
Sacked-Yds lost5-293-19
Gross-Yds passing159217
Completed-Att.10-2117-30
Had Intercepted10
Yards-Pass Play5.06.0
KICKOFFS-EndZone-TB2-0-07-5-4
PUNTS-Avg.7-48.05-40.8
Punts blocked00
FGs-PATs blocked0-00-0
TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE56182
Punt Returns3-54-144
Kickoff Returns3-511-15
Interceptions0-01-23
PENALTIES-Yds5-357-55
FUMBLES-Lost1-02-0
TIME OF POSSESSION26:3133:29

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Kansas City, Charles 18-165, Hillis 5-11, Quinn 1-4, Draughn 1-0, McCluster 1-0. Cleveland, Hardesty 10-52, Richardson 18-42, Little 1-17, Cribbs 2-15, Benjamin 1-15, Weeden 1-15, McCoy 2-(minus 2).

PASSING—Kansas City, Quinn 10-21-1-159. Cleveland, Weeden 17-30-0-217.

RECEIVING—Kansas City, Copper 3-32, Bowe 2-70, Newsome 1-25, Moeaki 1-10, Draughn 1-8, McCluster 1-8, Hillis 1-6. Cleveland, Gordon 8-86, Little 4-69, Watson 3-43, J.Cameron 1-10, Richardson 1-9.

PUNT RETURNS—Kansas City, Arenas 3-5. Cleveland, Cribbs 3-51, Benjamin 1-93.

KICKOFF RETURNS—Kansas City, Bellamy 2-31, Draughn 1-20. Cleveland, Cribbs 1-15.

TACKLES-ASSISTS-SACKS—Kansas City, Arenas 7-1-0, Johnson 5-2-0, Flowers 4-1-0, Berry 3-1-0, Poe 3-1-0, Siler 3-1-0, Jackson 3-0-1, Pitoitua 2-7-0, Hartman 2-4-0, Hali 2-2-2, Bellamy 2-0-0, Brown 2-0-0, Houston 1-1-0, Smith 1-1-0, Baldwin 1-0-0, Copper 1-0-0, Greenwood 1-0-0, Studebaker 1-0-0. Cleveland, Rucker 4-3-1, D.Jackson 4-3-0, Haden 3-1-0, Ward 2-2-0, Hughes 2-1-1, Winn 2-1-0, Young 2-0-0, Robertson 1-6-0, Sheard 1-3-1, Johnson 1-3-0, Maiava 1-10, Gipson 1-1-0, Rubin 1-1-0, Skrine 1-1-0, parker 1-0-1, Bademosi 1-0-0, Fort 1-0-0, Kitchen 1-0-0, Tyaloer 1-0-0, Ventrone 1-0-0, Patterson 0-1-0.

INTERCEPTIONS—Cleveland, Gipson 1-23.

FIELD GOALS—Kansas City, Succop 27.

OFFICIALS—Referee Walt Anderson, Umpire Butch Hannah, HL Steve Stelljes, LJ Byron Boston, FJ David Meslow, SJ Jeff Lamberth, BJ Billy Smith, Replay, Dick Creed.

Time—2:52

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