After a tumultuous offseason, no one expected the Broncos to be leading the AFC West, but they are now after their second straight win. Meanwhile, the Browns slide to 0-2, getting torched on the ground yet again, and badly out gained. In fact, the Browns gave up a total of 449 yards, while they were only able to manage 200.
Kyle Orton was an inefficient 19 for 37, but he did throw for 263 yards with a touchdown, and did a nice job spreading the ball around. The bigger story was the Broncos’ rushing attack, which lit up the Browns for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Correll Buckhalter was the leading rusher with 76 yards on only 9 carries and a touchdown, while rookie, Knowshon Moreno, rushed for 75 yards in his home debut. Defensively, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil had a career high four sacks.
The Browns got off to a very good start in this contest as the Broncos lost a fumble on the opening kick return. Unfortunately, the Browns couldn’t find the end zone, having to settle for a Phil Dawson field goal.
Next, it was the Browns turn to cough it up, as Brady Quinn lost the football deep in his own territory, setting up a 2 yard Tony Scheffler touchdown reception. This was actually a close game going into halftime, with the Broncos up only 10-6 after Matt Prater missed a field goal late in the first half.
The second half was a completely different story, with the Broncos dominating from start to finish. The Browns would turn the ball over again on their opening drive, which led to another Matt Prater field goal. The Broncos would then go on to score 14 unanswered points, while the Browns were forced to punt on four straight drives. The Browns would get one more opportunity, but Brady Quinn threw an interception with the game already sealed.
Both of these teams did not have high expectations going into the season, and while the Browns are living up to that predictions, the Broncos are certainly not. With Denver coming off the emotional high of last week’s last second win, it was a prime opportunity for the Browns to catch them flat.
However, they could not seem to move the ball on a suddenly stingy Denver defense, and the Broncos finally woke up offensively in the second half, never looking back. It will be interesting to see if this Broncos’ team is actually for real when they face tougher competition. The Browns, on the other hand, look destined for last place in the very tough NFC North division.