CLEVELAND -- Defensive end Juqua Parker emerged from the trainer's room and headed to his locker singing a tune -- one that might sum up the current Cleveland Browns.
"We're not gonna take it," Parker said, repeating the chorus to Twisted Sister's 1980s hard rock anthem. "We're not gonna take it ... anymore."
Benjamin's game-changer helped the Browns (5-8) continue their resurgence under second-year coach Pat Shurmur, whose future in Cleveland remains uncertain. With three games left, the Browns, who opened this season 0-5, have surpassed their win total from last season and have their longest winning streak since 2009.
"It's all kind of coming together," 14-year veteran kicker Phil Dawson said, who booted three field goals. "We're just doing all the little things right now. Guys are hungry to come back to work every day. There's some energy around here that I haven't felt. This is all good."
"It's been a long year," linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said. "At first, it was rocky. We were in a lot of close ballgames and we weren't able to finish, and now we're starting to create something. We had some young guys at the beginning of the season that were a little immature, and they've grown up a little bit.
"We have something going right now."
Jamaal Charles ran for 165 yards, breaking off an 80-yard touchdown run on the game's first play for Kansas City, playing its road game following linebacker Jovan Belcher's suicide. The 25-year-old killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, at their home before driving to the team's practice facility on Dec. 1 and shooting himself.
Coach Romeo Crennel rallied his team through the difficult ordeal, but it may have been too much to expect the Chiefs to repeat last week's performance. Their practice schedule was adjusted during the week to attend a service for Belcher, and the days of reflection and grief may have taken a toll.
"It is going to be with some guys the rest of their lives," quarterback Brady Quinn said. "But it was not a distraction because we live to play football. We just didn't play an all-around football game like we did last week."
Charles returned after sustaining a rib injury knocked him out one series. Kansas City, though, lost leading receiver Dwayne Bowe, who injured his ribs in the first half and didn't come back.
Without Bowe, Quinn was without his top target. Quinn, who had his finest game as a pro last week, finished 11-of-22 passing for 159 yards and one interception.
Dawson kicked field goals of 23, 24 and 34 yards for the Browns, 3-1 since the bye with the loss at Dallas in overtime. Dawson's first kick made him the 25th player in NFL history to make 300 field goals.
Just before the snap, Benjamin lined up to block Kansas City's gunner before sprinting 50 yards and switching spots with Josh Cribbs, who rushed up the middle. Benjamin fielded the kick inside his 10, cut sharply left, picked up a few key blocks and outran the rest of Kansas City's coverage unit.
"Biggest play of the game," quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "They were yelling something crazy on the sideline. I didn't know what they were doing, and all of a sudden they pulled something out their hat and Travis breaks one. That got us the lead and we were able to keep it."
The return by the speedy Benjamin, a fourth-round pick from Miami, was one yard longer than Eric Metcalf's touchdown at Cincinnati on Sept. 4, 1994.
Shurmur and his staff have the Browns headed in the right direction, but there's no guarantee new owner Jimmy Haslam will allow them to stay next season.
"Guys are excited," Weeden said. "Guys are still hungry. We've got a close-knit group guys. We don't have any knuckleheads."
NOTES: Cleveland hadn't beaten a team this badly since a 44-6 win at Phoenix on Nov. 16, 2003. ... Gordon had eight catches for 86 yards. ... Crennel did not have an update on Bowe, who had two catches for 70 yards before getting hurt. ... Weeden passed for 217 yards and joined Derek Anderson (2007) and Tim Couch (2001) as the only Browns QBs with 3,000 passing yards since '99. ... Weeden's five wins are the most by a Browns rookie starter. Bernie Kosar won four in 1985.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press