It’s halftime at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs lead the Browns 20-10. Here are some quick observations.
1. Dwayne Bowe suited up today despite a groin injury that hampered him in recent days, but it looks like he’ll be little more than a decoy. Of quarterback Alex Smith’s 18 passes, only one was intended for Bowe, which he hauled in for a 7-yard catch. Bowe is making an impact on the game, however. Though he’s been in the game a little less than normal, when he has been in Cleveland has elected to stick its top corner, Joe Haden, on him.
2. Smith really bails out his offensive line on a number of occasions because of his scrambling ability. As he seems to do every game, he used his feet to escape trouble on a few occasions in the first half. But he also showed off some arm strength at times, particularly on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dexter McCluster. It was a perfect throw on what appeared to be blown coverage by the Browns.
3. Continuing the Smith theme, it’s been a rough two weeks for Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith. After getting burned on a pair of long passes by the Texans, Smith gave up the Browns’ lone touchdown of the half, a 39-yard throw from quarterback Jason Campbell to speedster Josh Gordon on a flea-flicker. It appears he may have been depending on help from safety Kendrick Lewis, but there was no excuse later, when Smith got beat by Gordon on a crossing route and could only watch as Gordon accelerated downfield for a 47-yard gain. He bounced back a few plays later with a third-down pass deflection in the end zone, but his play in the second half bears watching.
4. Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson enjoyed a nice half, racking up five of his team’s first seven tackles. It was a vintage D.J. performance, the reason he’s considered to be one of the league’s best at his position.
5. Fullback Anthony Sherman continues to prove his versaility. Already a consistent blocker, Sherman caught three passes in the first half, including a 12-yard touchdown (his first in the NFL).