The Cleveland Browns (0-1) will try to earn their first win of the season on Sunday in their home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) and may have to do so without starting quarterback Jake Delhomme. The Browns (-2 @ Bookmaker) could not finish off a victory last week at Tampa Bay in a 17-14 loss and saw Delhomme go down with an ankle injury in the process.
If Delhomme does not play, Cleveland will turn to backup Seneca Wallace, who was 5-9 in 14 career starts with Seattle. The Browns led the Bucs 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter but backup running back Peyton Hillis fumbled in a critical spot and starter Jerome Harrison carried the ball just nine times for 52 yards. Harrison will be happy to see the Chiefs after he erupted for a career-high 286 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 41-34 victory last December.
However, Kansas City defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey missed the last meeting due to a knee injury, and he played a big role in helping his team knock off San Diego 21-14 on Monday night with six tackles and half of a sack. The Chiefs were outstanding in limiting the top scoring offense in the AFC from a year ago, putting pressure on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers all game long. They sacked Rivers twice for 18 yards and also got outstanding special-teams play.
Rookie kick returners Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas gave Kansas City great field position, and McCluster set a team record in the second quarter with a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown that gave his team a 21-7 lead. Running backs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones set the tone for the Chiefs offense early on by combining for 131 rushing yards on 22 carries (11 apiece), including a 56-yard touchdown run by Charles toward the end of the first quarter that tied the game at 7-7. That helped make up for the lack of a passing game with quarterback Matt Cassel completing 10 of 22 passes for only 68 yards with one touchdown.
Cleveland and Kansas City have been involved in some high-scoring games over the last decade, as the total has gone OVER four straight times when they have met during the regular season. The teams are 2-2 straight-up and against the spread in those four meetings with the winner scoring 40 points or more three times.