The Kansas City Chiefs are 8-0.
It certainly was not a pretty one, but the Chiefs were able to defeat the Cleveland Browns 23-17 at Arrowhead Stadium.
After going up and down the field in the first half, Kansas City stalled out completely in the second half. The Chiefs had their best offensive half of the season by far, scoring 20 points and looking impressive doing it.
The play of the game may have been Davone Bess fumbling away a Dustin Colquitt punt at midfield. Down 20-17, Cleveland had the momentum and was poised to have a short field. However, Bess, who was allergic to pigskin all day, fumbled and Frank Zombo recovered to give the ball back to the Chiefs.
Dexter McCluster had perhaps the best day of his career, catching seven passes for 67 yards and a beautiful touchdown on 10 targets.
Alex Smith also had a nice game despite missing an easy scoring pass to Anthony Fasano. Smith completed 24 of 36 attempts for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns without tossing a pick. The offensive line was rough in front of him, allowing six sacks against a tough Cleveland front.
The defense was a mixed bag. While giving up 17 points is not bad, the unit gave up huge chunks at times. Wide receiver Josh Gordon was the major target as expected with four receptions and 123 yards with a touchdown. Jordan Cameron also had four grabs and 81 yards.
Ultimately, Kansas City found a way to get it done. The defense stiffened late, not allowing a point after the first drive of the second half. Justin Houston got the only sack of the game for the Chiefs, being held in check most of the game. Derrick Johnson had the best game of his season, totaling 12 tackles including two tackles for loss.
The first score of the game came on a 42-yard field goal from Ryan Succop in the first quarter. After Succop drilled another from 35 yards, Anthony Sherman caught a 13-yard touchdown on a perfectly executed screen pass on 3rd and 12.
However, things got interesting. Following a missed 52-yard try from Succop, the Browns scored on a 39-yard flea-flicker from Jason Campbell to Gordon. Campbell had a huge day for a backup, throwing for 293 yards and a pair of scores on 22 of 36 passing.
The Chiefs responded nicely, scoring on a six-play, 75-yard drive culminated by McCluster's 28-yard scoring catch. The Browns then chipped away before halftime with a Billy Cundiff 44-yard kick, making it 20-10 Chiefs.
Out of halftime, Cleveland's Forshet Whittaker beat Akeem Jordan on a 17-yard catch and carry, pulling the Browns within three. Luckily, they would not get any closer.