The win streak is up to five games! The Denver Broncos defeated the 7-3 Cleveland Browns by the score of 29-12 in what was a surprising dominating performance by the Broncos. They are now 6-5 after starting 1-5 and have wins over the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, and now the Cleveland Browns. Next week, they will travel to Houston to look to extend their winning streak to six games.
In what might be the Broncos' most impressive victory of the season, we have a lot of winners and only one loser. So, here are the Denver Broncos winners and losers from their 29-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Once again, the stat line is not pretty, but Russ moved the ball and came up big when needed to get the Broncos the victory. He finished the game going 13-22 for 134 yards and 1 touchdown. That one passing touchdown was a vintage Russell Wilson play where he extended the play and made an incredible play in the end zone to tight end Adam Trautman who made an incredible catch for a touchdown.
Again, the passing stat line is not pretty but he has been making plays when the Broncos need them and has been a key part of their five-game win streak.
He also added 11 carries for 34 yards and 1 rushing touchdown to give the Broncos an early 14-0 lead. It was a solid overall game for Wilson who did have a lost fumble on a third-down scramble but overall, it was a solid performance for the Broncos signal caller.
Broncos run game
The Broncos came into this game facing the Browns league's best defense and were not expected to have much success on the ground. However, they ended up having plenty of success on the ground and outrushed the Browns by 62 yards in this one.
They had a total of 169 rushing yards in this one as well as two rushing touchdowns. One by veteran running back Samaje Perine and another by Russell Wilson. Javonte Williams led the Broncos on the ground with 65 yards but Perine had an impressive 7.9 yards per carry in this one.
It was an impressive effort by the Broncos who were expected to struggle offensively in this one.
Sean Payton and Vance Joseph
You have to give both coaches a ton of credit. The team was 1-5, and many of us, myself included, were calling for Vance Joseph to be fired. On top of that, Payton was getting embarrassed, he lost to Nathaniel Hackett who he said “had the worst coaching job in the history of the NFL” during training camp, and the Broncos appeared to be on track for another abysmal season.
Then everything changed. The Broncos' defense has made a massive turnaround and is now a turnover-creating machine that has been the motor behind this five-game win streak. Payton now looks like a coach of the year candidate and has this team playing with the fight they lacked since their Super Bowl victory and now are in the midst of the AFC playoff conversation.
The Broncos' defense has been forcing turnovers at a high rate and many experts, analysts and haters alike have said “it’s not sustainable”. Well, it continued for another week as the Broncos defense forced another three turnovers, a safety, and multiple turnovers on downs in this one.
D.J. Jones recovers a fumble after a terrible roughing the passer call.pic.twitter.com/LftS7VVjK8— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 26, 2023
They have had 15 forced turnovers in four games and have a total of 8 straight games with a turnover forced. They say it’s not sustainable but let’s see if it’ll continue next weekend against C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans.
Bonitto, who many called a bust after his rookie year totaled his team-leading 6.5 sacks in this one and came up with some key pressures late in the game. It was not an incredible performance from the Broncos explosive edge rusher, but he was disruptive when it mattered so he deserves some acknowledgment.
The Broncos will need him to continue getting after the passer at a consistent rate moving forward if they want to continue this winning streak.
Locke, who missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury and is once again pushed into the starting lineup because of a Kareem Jackson suspension had himself a helluva game. He had himself a few big hits, solid coverage, and a key fourth-quarter strip sack on fourth down which basically sealed the game for the Broncos.
P.J. Locke with a huge strip sack and it's Broncos ball up 12 late in the 4th quarter pic.twitter.com/7cu7nOh0Jh— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 26, 2023
With Jackson sidelined for three more games (and potentially more when he returns), Locke will be needed to have a solid showing in the Broncos secondary. He has flashed throughout his career but is having the best season of his career and hopefully, it continues next weekend vs. the Texans.
Broncos pass rush
The Broncos' pass rush has been lacking at times this season, but in this one, they came up big, especially late, in this game. They totaled four sacks, 1 by P.J. Locke. 1 by Josey Jewell, 1 by Nik Bonitto, and a sack safety by Zach Allen to close out the game for the Broncos.
If this pass-rushing unit can step up moving forward, it will make an already solid unit even better. Hopefully, we see them pressure, hit, and sack Texans standout rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud next weekend.
Broncos run defense
All we heard before this game was how Cleveland was going to run up and down the Broncos' throats in this one. While they did have some success, they managed just 107 yards on the ground.
Browns rusher Jerome Ford did average 7.2 yards per carry on the ground, but they did hold the rest of the Browns rushers to just 42 yards on 15 carries. They tightened things up late in the game and showed some improvement from their recent showings where they were allowing teams to run up and down the field on them.
Broncos postseason hopes
With their fifth straight win, the Broncos move to 6-5 and are in the midst of the AFC playoff conversation. They are not currently in, but they’re just one game out and now have critical tiebreakers over the Browns and Bills. If they can defeat the Texans and move to 7-5 and have that potential tie-breaker, they may have a pretty good shot at making the playoffs.
The refs were awful in this one with multiple questionable calls against the Broncos that extended drives for the Browns or negated multiple big gains by the Broncos.
The refs are really screwing over the Broncos in this one. Weak holding call on Sutton, weak OPI, weak flag on Locke and now a flag on a clean hit on the QB.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 26, 2023
In the end, the Broncos won by 17 points so I am not going to make too big of a deal out of it, but they were annoying. So was Mark Sanchez and his hair, but we’ll focus on the awful job the refs did in this one.