April 23, 2014

Elyria
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Browns beat Chiefs 30-7 for 3rd straight win

CLEVELAND — The Browns have a bona fide winning streak.

Cleveland beat Kansas City 30-7 at Cleveland Browns Stadium for its third straight win. The Browns hadn’t won three in a row since they ended the 2009 season with four straight. The Browns have won five of their last eight to improve to 5-8.

The Chiefs (2-11) started with a jolt as running back Jamaal Charles took the opening handoff 80 yards off right guard for a touchdown. But they couldn’t maintain the momentum and were run over.

The Browns started their comeback in the first quarter as Phil Dawson kicked the first of his three field goals. The 23-yarder was the 300th of his career.

Cleveland really got going on the first play of the second quarter as rookie Travis Benjamin returned a punt a team-record 93 yards for a touchdown and a 10-7 lead. Benjamin made a couple of guys miss, then cut left near the 20 and ran past the Chiefs down the sideline.

Benjamin began the play at the line of scrimmage, but dropped deep when returner Joshua Cribbs sprinted to the line to try to block the punt.

The Browns struggled throughout the first half and led 10-7 at halftime. But they took the second-half kickoff and went 60 yards for a touchdown. Trent Richardson capped the drive with a 1-yard dive.

Richardson added a second 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter. It was his ninth rushing touchdown of the year, tying Jim Brown’s team rookie record.

The Browns had lost 11 straight games decided by at least 23 points. Their last win of this magnitude came Nov. 16 against Arizona, a 44-6 victory.

Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden went 17-for-30 for 217 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown or an interception.

The Chiefs won last week despite playing a day after linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then killed himself. The team attended a memorial service for Belcher on Wednesday.

The Chiefs, led by former Browns coach Romeo Crennel, seemed emotionally drained.

They also got little help from quarterback Brady Quinn, a former first-round draft pick by the Browns. Coming off his best game last week, Quinn struggled all Sunday. He went 11-for-22 for 159 yards and an interception.

Running back Peyton Hillis, who played the last two seasons with the Browns, had no impact after sniping with Browns left tackle Joe Thomas during the week. Hillis rushed five times for 11 yards.