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Broncos must not extinguish offensive spark

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New blood under-center reinvigorated the Denver Broncos.

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The 2019 Denver Broncos are lifeless, listless, without direction, and they play without fire. Enter the Cleveland Browns.

Not so fast.

What fans saw on Sunday was a glimpse at the type of football the Denver Broncos are capable of playing. Despite not having played a regular season snap in his life, Quarterback Brandon Allen brought poise and competency to the Broncos offense. His ability to scramble and keep the play alive (not get sacked on nearly every 3rd down) was refreshing after the last few years of... not that.

Phillip Lindsay is special. We knew this before Sunday’s game, but his 9 rushes for 92-yards and a touchdown were central to the Broncos win. 10+ yards per carry is outstanding, but exceptional play from Lindsay is becoming the norm.

In the absence of Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton has stepped up and taken the WR1 reigns. Last year when Sanders went down to injury, Sutton, still a rookie, struggled to fill the role. While his 5 receptions for 56-yards and a touchdown are hardly gaudy stats, Sutton’s value came in what he did and when he did it. When Denver needed him to produce, he did, and that’s key to winning football games in the NFL.

Tight end Noah Fant finally had the kind of game that the Denver Broncos have been waiting for. On his 75-yard touchdown reception in the 2nd quarter, Fant finally displayed how he could use his size and speed to inflict damage on opposing defenses. All year long I’ve said he needed to get out of his own way. We can see how terrific it can be when he does. More of that please.

Following the Colts game, Joe Flacco, rightfully called out offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello for being too conservative. It was apparent that either Flacco’s comments resonated or that Scangarello’s comfort-level with Brandon Allen was higher than it had been with Flacco. Regardless the reason, it needs to be said that whatever that was on Sunday between Allen and Scangarello, it was great to see. Let’s be hopeful they can build on that.

It’s clear that Brandon Allen provided a spark to the long-suffering Broncos offense. Will the NFL figure Allen out and relegate him to the heap of quarterbacks the Broncos have used over the years, or will he make a indisputable case to keep his job going forward into 2020? Who knows! Thankfully, we don’t have to answer that question right away. Broncos fans can savor this win going into the bye week, it was the sweetest one of the year.

HORSE TRACKS

Browns vs. Broncos Final Score: Cleveland loses 24-19 to QB starting first NFL game - Dawgs By Nature
It’s the same-old story every week.

Fant sets career bests, franchise rookie marks as he helps key Broncos to win
Noah Fant broke free for a 75-yard touchdown on Sunday, and that was just a small part of his impressive performance in a win over the Browns.

Loss to Denver Broncos confirms Cleveland Browns are a bad football team: Reaction to the game - cleveland.com
Poor coaching, another subpar performance from Baker Mayfield ... it adds up to a 2-6 record at the halfway point of the season.

Brandon Allen shines in debut as Broncos beat Browns, 24-19 | 9news.com
Denver D stops Baker Mayfield and Browns offense on downs twice in Broncos' territory.

Cover 4: Broncos defeat Browns 24-19 in Brandon Allen's starting debut
Allen got help from big plays from Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay and the entire Broncos defense.

'He was incredible today': Brandon Allen earns win, game ball in first career start
Allen helped the Broncos tie their highest point total of the season as the team earned a 25-19 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Brandon Allen lifts Denver Broncos to rare air in career debut
Brandon Allen took the first regular-season snap of his NFL career while filling in for the injured Joe Flacco and led the Broncos to a win over the Browns.

Beckham, Landry forced to change cleats vs. Broncos - NFL.com
Browns receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry had to change their cleats during Sunday's loss to the Broncos, Landry confirmed after the game.

Report: Browns petitioned NFL to wear Color Rush uniforms vs. Broncos | wkyc.com
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns petitioned the NFL to wear their brown Color Rush uniforms on the road vs. the Denver Broncos.

OBJ doesn’t recall saying “I can’t get the ball to save my life” on sideline – ProFootballTalk
After the Browns failed to convert a fourth down late in Sunday's loss to the Broncos, many people noted that quarterback Baker Mayfield threw incomplete to Jarvis Landry despite Odell Beckham looking open down the sideline.

Browns say safety Jermaine Whitehead's threatening social posts 'unacceptable'
Browns safety Jermaine Whitehead's twitter account was suspended after he posted several profanity-laced and threatening comments following Sunday's loss.

The real Chargers? L.A. resembles contender in win over Pack - NFL.com
Many pegged the Chargers to be a Super Bowl contender before the season, and in their win over the Packers on Sunday that's exactly what they looked like, Jim Trotter writes.

Chiefs' Tyreek Hill sets career-best top speed on 91-yard touchdown run by Damien Williams vs. Vikings - CBSSports.com
Chiefs Tyreek Hill sets career-best top speed on 91-yard touchdown run by Damien Williams vs. Vikings

Bruce Arians: Jameis Winston played as well as he’s played all year – ProFootballTalk
The much-maligned Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston still has a strong backer in his head coach. Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians said after today's overtime loss to the Seahawks that he was thrilled with the way Winston played today.

Union blasts NFL Network info on Trent Williams
The NFL Players Association came to the defense of Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams by accusing the NFL Network of using misinformation in an attempt to tarnish the player's reputation.

Dolphins top Jets and former coach Adam Gase, get first victory
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for three touchdown passes as the Dolphins defeated the Jets and former coach Adam Gase 26-18 to win their first game of the season.

NFL stats & records, Week 9: McCaffrey ties Jim Brown's mark - NFL.com
Christian McCaffrey tied Hall of Famer Jim Brown's record, two teams registered a safety in a game for the first time since 1994, and Damien Williams tied a Chiefs franchise record with his 91-yard rush TD.

Chicago Bears' season on life support after fourth straight defeat - NFL.com
The Chicago Bears fell to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, running their losing streak to four games. Now 3-5, the beleaguered Bears are left searching for answers ahead of a tough second half of the season, writes Jeffri Chadiha.

Andy Dalton eager for offseason trade after benching, and Buccaneers could be best option - CBSSports.com
The Bengals' longtime starting quarterback is ready for a change of scenery

Vikings blow opportunity to catch Packers, separate from pack – ProFootballTalk
It hadn't been pretty, but it was going well for the Vikings. Until it wasn't. With 7:48 left in the game and Minnesota winning by three at Arrowhead Stadium, the Vikings had the ball after a Kansas City punt on their own 28.

Pete Carroll stands by Jason Myers: He’s our kicker – ProFootballTalk
The Seahawks escaped the Bucs 40-34 in overtime, though not for much help from their kicker. Jason Myers missed a game-winning field goal on the final play of regulation. He missed a 47-yarder and a PAT earlier in the game.

NFL trade deadline a dud due to bizarre demands by Redskins, Bengals and other losing teams - CBSSports.com
'Tuesday was kind of a joke,' said one GM who lamented the asking price for rentals at the deadline

Jets reportedly turned down blockbuster package of picks for Quinnen Williams from persistent team - CBSSports.com
NFL teams view no player as untouchable in a potential trade if the price is right

Colts' Frank Reich says Jacoby Brissett's leg injury 'looks like a sprain,' possibly to MCL - CBSSports.com
The Colts quarterback had to leave Indy's loss to the Steelers in the first half

Patriots at Ravens score: Lamar Jackson proves unstoppable, hands Bill Belichick's team first loss of season - CBSSports.com
Jackson accounted for 225 total yards and three touchdowns to take out the previously unbeaten Patriots