With the Broncos (5-0) and Browns (2-3), it would appear this game would be a blowout, but with a struggling Broncos offense, it was not that easy. The Browns struck first with a first quarter interception of Peyton Manning, but they were not able to capitalize on the turnover. The only score in the first half was a Field Goal by Brandon McManus.
In the second quarter, the Broncos defense stepped up with a 54-yard interception return for a Touchdown by Aqib Talib. With the Broncos up 10-0, they were in control of this game, but they still had not scored an offensive touchdown. In the last 20+ possessions, the Broncos had 6 Field Goals, 10 Punts, and 4 Interceptions.
In the third quarter, the Browns began to take advantage of the Broncos struggling offense by scoring a touchdown of their own. Josh McCown threw an 11-yard pass to Gary Barnidge to bring the score to 10-7. The Broncos still struggling on offense was only able to come up with a field goal bringing the score to 13-7 by the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was when it got interesting. The Broncos scored first on a field goal, bringing the score to 16-7. Then the Browns scored 13 straight points. First, a 14-yard TD pass from McCown to Barnidge. Then an amazing interception returned for a TD by Karlos Dansby, which was his second interception on the day. Just when I thought the Browns had this game, Peyton Manning throws a pass to Emmanuel Sanders and he takes it to the house for a 75-yard touchdown to take the lead 23-20. To make the game even more interesting, the Browns kicked a field goal to tie the game at 23-23 after a three and out by the Broncos.
So, with 1:30 to go, Peyton Manning had an opportunity to take the Broncos down the field and score but instead the Broncos went three and out. Then, the Browns had an opportunity to score and take the lead, but instead Josh McCown throws an interception to give the Broncos a chance to win the game. Surprisingly, the Broncos fail to score with a controversial dropped catch by Emmanuel Sanders. If Sanders caught the ball, it probably would have resulted in the winning field goal by the Broncos.
In overtime, the Broncos received the ball with an opportunity to win the game and Peyton Manning throws an interception. With the Browns in Broncos territory they had a great opportunity to win the game, but instead the Broncos defense stepped up big in overtime and forced a three and out. With Manning’s second opportunity, he drives the team down the field allowing Brandon McManus to kick the game winning field goal in OT.
In a game where Peyton Manning and the Broncos did not play their best, they end up pulling out a win.
Ben Sudderth III
Spark Sports NFL Analyst
Follow me on twitter @bs3sports