Talk about flipping a script... in six weeks, the Denver Broncos have now gone from a 1-5 who surrendered 70 points in one game to a 6-5 formidable team on both sides of the field and a playoff contender.
Following a commanding win over the Cleveland Browns and their number one defense, perhaps the team’s most complete performance of the season, the Broncos have the whole NFL world talking...and for the first time in a good while, that’s a good thing.
Let’s now express our feelings about the matchup and feelings of optimism in GIFs.
We’ve gone from “let’s get this over with”, to mild optimism, to “don’t you tease me” to real, genuine confidence. This is nice.
Three-and-out and a TD! That’s setting the tone!
The defense dominated the first series, forcing the Browns to punt, and the offense followed up with a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. No softening up for this group. That’s how you open up a game.
Defense with a turnover!
The defense is beginning to make a habit over turning teams over. It seemed like a fluke at first, but they just...keep...doing it. Maybe the unit is just pretty darn good at it.
Aaaaand the Broncos give it right back...
And just as the defense has made a habit of turning teams over the give the offense good field position, the offense has made a habit of squandering said field position. A Russell Wilson fumble on a third down conversion would kill this drive and give the ball back to the Browns.
The offense won’t let the D down twice
After another forced three-and-out by the defense, the offense did their part this time around, engineering a 13-play touchdown drive capped off with a Russell Wilson run. Hi there, old Russ! 14-0 Broncos.
Getting kind of close, aren’t we?
All right...okay...not much action in the second quarter from the offense, and the defense kept the Browns out of the end zone, but allowed six points on field goals. The Broncos get the ball back after half time, but let’s not get complacent, k?
Not this again...
Well, the offense starts the second half with a three-and-out, and the Browns finally wear down the Broncos defense for a touchdown with a chance to tie the game. Momentum shift has occurred.
The two-point attempt is broken up! A small win for the defense, now the offense needs to do their part.
Field goal extends the lead
Okay, not the flashiest of ways, and it keeps us on edge, but a score is a score, and the defense now can show the touchdown drive allowed was a fluke.
ANOTHER turnover and subsequent TD!
And perhaps it was a fluke! The defense once again turns the Browns over, and the Broncos respond with their third touchdown of the game. 24-12 Broncos.
And a safety seals it!
The Broncos offense would get one more field goal while the defense continued to shut out the Browns offense. After a Riley Dixon punt pinned the Browns inside their own five-yard line, Zach Allen and Nik Bonitto teamed up to sack PJ Walker in the end zone for a safety. After a punt by the Broncos following three kneels, the Browns would surrender with a knee of their own. Broncos win their fifth straight!
The Broncos have a tough slate ahead, going on the road and trying to slow down CJ Stroud and the Houston Texans, and then another road game against divisional foe Los Angeles Chargers. They finish their three-week road trip with a game vs. a very dangerous Detroit Lions team, a surprise top-tier team in the NFC. It will be tough, but one would be hard pressed to find many teams oozing with as much confidence and swagger than the Denver Broncos. It’s tough to imagine the team going 3-0, as it is a tough slate, but you can pretty much guarantee they’ll be going in with a winning mentality in each contest.