Hall's return ended up going 77 yards and set up Morten Andersen's 29-yard field goal Sunday, paving the way for a 41-20 victory over Cleveland that kept Kansas City (9-0) the NFL's only unbeaten team.
"I'm thinking 'Oh, my God.' That's literally what I'm thinking," Crocker said. "Somehow I managed to get him on the ground."
Said Hall, "You've got to take your hat off to him. He played it well."
The Browns (3-6), weakened all year by injuries, were without leading running back William Green, who was suspended for one game.
"I don't know when it's going to be, but we're going to win some games," Cleveland coach Butch Davis said.
As Crocker and Hall picked themselves off the turf, Cleveland players high-fived and congratulated the rookie safety as though he had scored the game-winning TD. Hall immediately went over to console teammate Gary Stills, who failed to block the oncoming Crocker.
"Dante said it's OK, that we'll get them next time. But it was bad judgment on my part," said Stills, one of the Chiefs' best special teams players. "It was a good play. That was really good hustle."
Hall, who had touchdown returns in four consecutive games earlier in the season, totaled 159 yards of kick returns.
"It doesn't surprise you that Dante Hall does that," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. "I promise you he will do it again."
Green hit 29 of 42 passes for 368 yards and Holmes had 93 yards rushing and 66 receiving. He has six touchdowns in his last two games against Cleveland.
In addition, Eddie Kennison caught seven passes for 115 yards for the Chiefs, who converted 12 of 16 third-down plays, their highest percentage since the NFL began tracking the stat in 1972.
The Browns were leading 3-0 early and had Green in trouble when he heaved the ball to guard Brian Waters. Waters was immediately tackled and the Chiefs drew a 5-yard penalty for illegal touching. But Browns defensive tackle Gerard Warren drew a 15-yard penalty when he crashed into Waters as he lay helplessly in the pile.
Suddenly, the Chiefs had momentum and field position. A few plays later, Holmes scored on a 1-yard run.
Warren's action was reminiscent of Dwayne Rudd's helmet-throwing mistake in the opener last season after Green latereled in desperation to tackle John Tait. Tait ran for 28 yards and Rudd drew a 15-yard penalty, putting Andersen in position to kick a game-winning field goal with no time on the clock.
"They've been a little bit undisciplined and last year it kind of bit them a little bit," said Waters. "Today again, it bit them a little bit."
Jackson had 66 yards in place of Green. Kevin Johnson, the Browns' leading receiver, was also benched for much of the game.
After Jackson's 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, Tony Gonzalez made it 21-10 with a 14-yard touchdown catch.
Kelly Holcomb made it 21-17 with a 2-yard TD pass to R.J. Bowers.
Andersen added a 28-yard field goal for a 27-17 halftime lead. The lead went to 34-17 when Green hit Johnnie Morton on a 28-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
Phil Dawson had field goals of 50 and 22 yards for the Browns, then Green closed out the scoring with a 27-yard pass to Kennison.
- Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt was back at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday after missing the last two games following prostate surgery.
- Vermeil has won four consecutive games against the Browns, a streak that goes back more than three decades to when he coached the Philadelphia Eagles. Before Sunday, he had also beaten the Browns with the Rams (1999) and Chiefs (2002).
- The Browns have lost seven consecutive road games against AFC West teams.
- Former Chiefs RB Marcus Allen was awarded his Hall of Fame ring at halftime.
- Cleveland has scored 20 or fewer points in eight of its nine games.
The Associated Press News Service
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