On a cool afternoon the Denver Broncos would attempt to get back into the win column as they hosted the Cleveland Browns at Empower Field at Mile High.
The offense showed up in this game under Brandon Allen’s leadership as they put up 24 points in a 24-19 victory over the Cleveland Browns. They stand at 3-6 and hopeful for a few more wins down the strethc.
The Browns won the opening coin toss and chose to bring Brandon Allen for his first career start in the NFL.
Allen’s first series included a two yard run by Phillip Lindsay, then a broken play that could have been a sack but Allen escaped and ran for a five yard gain. Then on third down, Allen’s pass went wildly inaccurate and incomplete for the first three and out of the game.
After a quick first down, Baker Mayfield found himself in a third and six on his first possession for the Browns. Malik Reed in zone had a pass bounce off his hands for a near interception to force the punt on that first Cleveland drive.
The #Broncos defense holds on third down and almost come up with the first pick of the day. pic.twitter.com/OYlbKjXzeV— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
A 22 yard punt return by Diontae Spencer set the Broncos up with good field position on their second drive at their own 37 yard line.
Lindsay was stuffed short on first down, then Courtland Sutton had to make a diving catch on a bad pass for a two yard gain. However, Allen just took off on third and eight for an 11 yard gain to the 50 yard line for the first first down of the game for Denver.
Allen hit Troy Fumagalli for a nine yard gain, then Royce Freeman got his first carry of the game and bulled his way up the middle for a couple of yards and a first down. Denver quickly found themselves in a third and 11, but Allen found Sutton on an underneath crossing pattern for a 19 yard gain a first down.
On the very next play, Sutton made a miraculous catch for a 21 yard touchdown to put the Broncos up early.
Touchdown #Broncos!!!!! pic.twitter.com/mc66e6YjEe— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
Broncos 7, Browns 0
The Browns got things going on their next drive with a couple of first down receptions for Odell Beckham, but the drive got more difficult after rookie Justin Hollins broke free from a hold to get his first career sack.
After an incompletion, Mayfield was faced with a third and 17. He went for Beckham who was triple covered and the Browns second drive ended with no points.
Allen got a little panicked on the next drive as took the sack for a very quick three and out to end the first quarter, but the Browns were in business after a poor punt from Colby Wadman and a nice return.
That would result in the Browns first points of the drive as they only needed to gain one first down to get into field goal range for an Austin Seibert 39-yard field goal.
Broncos 7, Browns 3
To answer, Allen found rookie Noah Fant on a quick slant who broke multiple tackles on his way to a 75 yard touchdown reception to put the Broncos up big early in this game.
Something tells me Noah Fant isn't a bust #Broncos Country. Just a hunch. pic.twitter.com/3gbsYEabnq— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
Broncos 14, Browns 3
The Browns responded with some big plays of their own as they marched down the field on their next possession. They quickly found themselves just outside the Broncos 10 yard line. On third and 5, Mayfield had Antonio Calloway, but Devontae Harris made a diving play to knock it away at the last second to force the field goal.
Broncos 14, Browns 6
Spencer took a quick out pass from Allen who then fumbled to set the Browns up deep inside the Broncos end of the field.
After a couple of hard carried from Nick Chubb, the Browns had a first and goal from the four yard line. Chubb had his next run blown up by Kareem Jackson and Malik Reed for a five yard loss.
Great play by Malik Reed and Kareem Jackson on the edge here. 235 lb CFA showing out against a ton of beef. pic.twitter.com/MjFLLJgI1L— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
On second and goal from the nine, Mayfield had an open man in the back of the end zone but threw too high for an incompletion. Then on third down, Mayfield overthrew Jarvis Landry for a big stop by the defense.
Broncos 14, Browns 9
After a nice return from Devontae Booker, Phillip Lindsay got his first big play of the game on a 41 yard scamper all the way down to the Browns 27 yard line.
Weekly reminder that Phillip Lindsay is really friggin' good #Broncos Country. pic.twitter.com/62SzNcRsKC— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
After a short run by Freeman, Allen missed a wide open Sutton on a quick slant to force a third and seven. Allen looked for Sutton deep into the end zone for an overthrow to bring out Brandon McManus for a 43 yard field goal.
Broncos 17, Browns 9
The Browns promptly picked apart the edges of the field with less than two minutes to go, getting across midfield without ever needed to take a timeout. Mayfield then his a guy over the middle to set the Browns up just at the outside range of a field goal with 50 seconds left in the half.
Von Miller burst up the middle for a near sack on Mayfield on second down, but Mayfield chucked it just in time for an incompletion. On third and eight, Mayfield hit a wide open Jarvis Landry at the Broncos 18 yard line for the first down.
Two plays later on third and 10, Mayfield completed a short pass underneath to end the drive and bring out the field goal unit to bring the half nearly to a close.
Broncos 17, Browns 12
On the Browns first second half possession, Von Miller made a stop on the first running play that gained three yards then an all out blitz forced an overthrow by Mayfield on second down. On third down, pressure got to Mayfield again, but he was able to scramble outside for a five yard gain to bring out the punt unit.
Vic Fangio dials up the blitz on 3rd and long, Coty Sensabaugh saves the #Broncos after Mayfield scrambles. pic.twitter.com/q3ckqnN16F— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
Allen went deep to Spencer who had a touchdown had he been able to make the catch. On second down, the Broncos went back to the ground with Lindsay who gained nothing. However, Allen’s cadence got the Browns to jump offsides. The drive would stall anyway and for the 23rd straight game, the Broncos fail to score to open up the second half.
Yet another terrible punt from Colby Wadman (there have been many in this game), set the Browns up at their own 48 yard line for their next drive.
I thought kicking in Denver was easy.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 3, 2019
Derek Wolfe helped Wadman out with his fifth sack of the year on the Browns first down play. On second and 15, a quick pass outside to Calloway goes for negative three as Devontae Harris had made a great open field tackle.
Unfortunately, a personal foul call on Mike Purcell breathed new life into the Browns drive. The penalty put them into Broncos territory.
It did not take the Browns long from there before they got another red zone opportunity with a 19 yard catch and run to Landry down to the Broncos 14 yard line. Two plays later, the Browns faced a third and three when the Browns ran it up the gut for two yards.
On fourth and one, Mayfield dove down to the right and was stuffed short for no gain to give the Broncos the ball back.
Mayfield sneaks on 4th and 1 the #Broncos D holds for a HUGE stop! pic.twitter.com/NeU5PlKQx5— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
A short run by Freeman preceded a play action pass from Allen to Fant for a 16 yard gain out to the 27 yard line. Two plays later, the Broncos had a third and one to deal with. From the empty set shotgun, Allen hit Sutton on a quick slant for another first down for an 11 yard gain.
Another play action led to a 24 yard completion up the middle to Noah Fant. Phillip Lindsay took the next hand off up the middle and to the house for a 30 yard touchdown run to put the Broncos back up by two scores.
Phillip Lindsay with a huge run for the #Broncos touchdown!!!! pic.twitter.com/c3oWxRo5Lq— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
Broncos 24, Browns 12
The Browns ended the third quarter with a one yard run and a nine yard dump off to Nick Chubb for a first down.
Odell Beckham made a great catch and run to setup another scoring opportunity with their sixth red zone opportunity of the game. They finally found their way into the end zone on a nine yard touchdown pass to Landry.
Broncos 24, Browns 19
The Broncos were in danger of answering this touchdown with a three and out, but Sheldon Richardson was called for a roughing the passer on the play to give Denver a fresh set of downs.
After a good play, the drive stalled after Garett Bolles jumped before the snap. On third and 11, Allen threw the ball away. It wouldn’t have mattered since Bolles was called for holding, but it was declined.
On the Browns ensuring drive, they started at their own 11 yard line. Chris Harris Jr. was tightly covering Odell Beckham, but somehow he brings in the pass and turns it upfield for a 39 yard gain.
A few plays later on third and one, Justin Simmons made a huge play chasing Chubb down for a three yard loss.
Pay this man @johnelway. Today. Now. Yesterday even. pic.twitter.com/Tixd1MrE48— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 4, 2019
On fourth and four, Mayfield had his pass broken up for the turnover on downs with just over three minutes left.
After the announcers spent about 10 minutes railing about Mayfield missing a wide open Beckham on that fourth down, we finally got to watch the game again.
Lindsay was stuffed on first down, but then Lindsay took the Wildcat snap outside for a 16 yard gain and a critical first down.
How's that for conservative #Broncos Country? pic.twitter.com/K2mNasHSOB— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 4, 2019
They would go into victory formation shortly after for their third win of the season. This team is definitely on the cusp of getting back into it. They just need a long-term answer at quarterback and another good draft in 2020.