Under normal circumstances, the prospect of the Chiefs taking on the Browns would come across as a rather boring endeavor. Without beating around the bush we can honestly say that the Chiefs suck, Browns suck, this game… Sucks. But, these are definitely not normal circumstances.
You could make a case that the Chiefs aren’t so much the Chiefs as they are the Zombie Browns. You see, their current roster is littered with former Browns, all of which will be coming to town looking for revenge for a multitude of reasons.
First and foremost you have Brady Quinn. The former first round draft pick and quarterback of the future returns to show the Browns that he is the starter they never allowed him to be. While he was drafted to be the next savior of the city, he was never given a legitimate shot at holding the title. Instead, we were forced to watch the likes of Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey lead the Browns to mediocrity.
When Quinn was actually given the chance, he suffered a freak foot injury and was sidelined the few remaining weeks of the season. Ironically, that freak injury came against the Chiefs. Now he
has a chance in what has become a late season audition for the Chiefs. Unfortunately, he plays for the Chiefs soooooo… sucks to be Brady Quinn. Naturally, Quinn is coming off of a sensational performance against the Panthers, albeit an emotionally charged performance, but it was essentially a perfect game. This could be interesting.
Then there is former head coach Romeo Crennel and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Crennel comes back to town having been fired following a disappointing 2008 season. Coincidentally, that 2008 season followed a 2007 season that might have been the most successful of the expansion era and looked like it was going to be magical until the Browns just barely missed the playoffs. They had 10 wins that year… 10! Holy Crap! As things have played out though, Crennel’s firing looks justified now. The Chiefs are awful this season and when combined with his years in Cleveland, that 2007 season looks more and more like it was a fluke.
As for Daboll, he returns to Cleveland looking to show that he can in fact create an NFL caliber offense. As the offensive coordinator for Eric Mangini, Daboll’s offenses routinely finished near the bottom of the NFL. They were 30th in 2009 and 29th in 2010. It was basically dubbed the caveman offense for its overwhelming simplicity and lack of creativity. Daboll often blamed Mangini for handcuffing his offense, accusing him of playing it safe and promoting a power running attack. Don’t be surprised if he tries to shut us all up by pulling out every trick and gadget play he has up his sleeve.
Then there is the main event of the weekend… Peyton Hillis’ not so triumphant return to Cleveland.
After a breakout season in 2010 in which Hillis rushed for over 1000 yards and established a place for himself in Cleveland Browns lore, Hillis followed it up with an abysmal 2011 in which he missed games for odd reasons, took ridiculous measures to obtain super expensive long term contract, and set the record for odd news stories. It didn’t end well. The Browns allowed Hillis to leave following the season and he signed with the Chiefs for a pittance of what the Browns had originally offered him. Even better, he has the wonderful task of backing up Jamaal Charles, only one the NFL’s most explosive running backs. But hey… at least he was on the Madden cover.
Hillis’s story gets more intriguing this week after the brief war of words that he engaged in with Joe Thomas. When questioned by reporters about Hillis, Thomas responded by saying that he was unprofessional, a cancer in the locker room, and went about getting a contract in all the wrong ways. He went so far as to call out his character when he compared Hillis’s sitting out of a game with strep throat to Alex Mack’s playing a game with appendicitis.
Hillis responded back by saying Thomas was talking like a crazy ex-girlfriend and that he needed to let things go. He apparently had a reason for doing what he did last season and Thomas has no room to talk because he was handed a max contract by the Browns without ever asking for it.
Oh $hit! Things just got real up in here! Too bad they both play offense. It would have been fun watching Thomas take a few shots at Hillis. Of course, that’s assuming Hillis actually gets on the field Sunday.
As for the game itself, this is one the Browns should win. In fact, they should be able to win it soundly. Like I said, the Chiefs are not a very good team and are coming off of a very difficult set of circumstances last week. One can’t help but think they might be a little emotionally drained at this point to put up much of a fight against the Browns. Then again, the Browns have a crazy good knack for letting teams hang around. Let’s just hope that’s not the case on Sunday and the Browns are able to bury the Chiefs early and cruise to their third straight victory.
My prediction: Browns 27-Chiefs 17… Please, for the love of God, nobody throw a helmet!