Chiefs running back Charcandrick West headed left and saw daylight.
With his 22-yard gain on the first play of the possession, West had started the Chiefs’ second scoring drive, which ended with a field goal. It wouldn’t have happened without left guard Jeff Allen, who took not one but two Browns out of a play with a superb block.
“It was an amazing block,” West said. “It made my job pretty easy.”
Allen was back in the lineup for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in the Dec. 6 victory at Oakland. He spent the previous two games on the inactive list with Zach Fulton filling in.
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Allen made his presence felt immediately. Not just the block, but also with some chippy play. He found himself quarreling, pushing and shoving Browns defenders early on.
“I was back in there ready to roll,” Allen said. “I definitely had some chippiness in me today because I missed the last couple of weeks.”
For some, that would mean easing back into action, feeling things out. For Allen, it means getting in people’s faces.
“Anytime you’re away from the game you’re eager to get back, and when you get back you’re kind of like a bull in a china shop,” Allen said.
Allen’s arrival in the starting lineup has been cited by coach Andy Reid as a key factor in the team’s improved play over the season’s second half. Allen, whose first start this season came against the Lions in London, brings a toughness to the line, Reid said.
Sunday, it also brought enough hustle from Allen to get out in front of West and take out two Browns with one block. On a day when the Chiefs were held to 258 total yards, their second-lowest total of the season, and had trouble moving the chains in the second half, they needed all the big moments they could muster.
“I was just trying to do my job and spring a long run, and that’s what I did,” Allen said.