Cleveland Browns lose to Chiefs in final seconds, 17-13


Dec 27, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) is called for intentional grounding while pressured from Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford (55) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-13. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns played a competitive game in a 17-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Cleveland Browns have a 3-12 record, but effort has not been the problem as of late.

The Browns lost to the Kansas City Chiefs this afternoon in a game that went down to the final seconds, providing a visual example of the Browns’ season so far.

Johnny Manziel completed a pass to Darius Jennings with less than 15 seconds on the clock to get to the Kansas City 18-yard line. The problem was the Browns were out of timeouts, and a slow-moving referee could not line the ball up fast enough, allowing the clock to hit zero and give the Chiefs nine straight wins.

Even in a losing effort, the Browns fought until the end. The defense kept the Browns in the game, especially in the second half.

The Chiefs did not score in the second half, and were held to 258 total yards in the game. Alex Smith was held to 125 passing yards, although he did run for 54 yards, which was a major problem in the first half.

But the age-old adage of “halftime adjustments” came into play this afternoon, giving the team a chance to win on the final drive of the game.

Seeing the defense play so well was nice, but draws questions of what was going on earlier this season. This seems to be a common theme every year with the Browns, as the team seems to pull off at least one unexpected win every season. This season may change that though, unless the Browns can rally to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.

Johnny Manziel will need to play well next Sunday if that is to happen.

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He did not do great in the passing game against the Chiefs, going 13/32 for 136 yards and an interception, but he made up for it by running for 108 yards. His runs kept drives alive and bailed out the weak group of receivers featured by the offense.

The running game as a whole was a surprise after being nearly nonexistent for much of the season. Isaiah Crowell ran for 88 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown came on the opening drive of the second half.

It is a genuine surprise when a Browns running back runs for over 10 yards on a given play, which means fans likely jumped in both happiness and confusion during Crowell’s run of 28 yards.

The one play that really was a surprise, and not in a sarcastic sense, came in the third quarter. The Browns seemingly went three-and-out, until Jordan Poyer caught the snap on a fake punt and rushed for a first down.

The conversion led to a 21-play drive ending in a field goal, putting the Browns down 17-13 with 8:26 left in the game.

The defense did its job, holding the Chiefs to two punts in the final eight minutes of the game, but the offense just could not get the ball in the end zone to ultimately win the game.

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Manziel had trouble with his accuracy, which is something that should improve over time. The Chiefs’ defense zoned in on Gary Barnidge, who only had three receptions on eight targets.

The season is nearing its merciful end, but fans can at least take some positives away from the close loss to the Chiefs.