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Browns vs. Broncos: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread Info, Game Time and More

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Browns vs. Broncos: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread Info, Game Time and More
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos can’t underestimate the Cleveland Browns in Week 16.

They simply aren’t the Browns of old.

While the Broncos may be the NFL’s hottest team, failing to take Cleveland seriously will cost them a first-round bye. Of course, with Peyton Manning calling the shots, focus shouldn’t be an issue.

Here’s everything you need to know about this Week 16 AFC contest.

 

Will Denver cover the spread?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo.

When: Sunday, Dec. 23 at 4:05 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS, DIRECTV: 715, NFL Redzone or online at Game Rewind

Listen: Sirius XM Radio: 137 or online at Audio Pass 

Betting Line: Denver by 14

 

What’s At Stake?

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Denver will attempt to clinch the second seed in the AFC and a first-round bye. It seems like it has far more to gain in victory than the Browns, but not so fast.

Cleveland has been out of the playoff race for months yet it remains competitive. And the more its youthful offensive trio of Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon play together, the easier it’ll be to pull off wins in the future.

 

Browns Injury Report (via ESPN, as of Dec. 18)

James-Michael Johnson (knee), LB, Injured Reserve

T.J. Ward (knee), S, Injured Reserve

 

Broncos Injury Report (via ESPN, as of Dec. 17)

Demaryius Thomas (shoulder), WR, Probable

 

Fantasy Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em and Sleeper

Start: Eric Decker

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Browns' Joe Haden is back to being a shutdown cornerback, but he can’t cover both sides of the field. He’ll likely be matched up with Demaryius Thomas most of the game which will free up Decker to build off his phenomenal performance from last week.

Against the Baltimore Ravens, he reeled in eight receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. Playing catch with Manning, his ceiling is high.

 

Sit: Trent Richardson

Even with his recent barrage of touchdowns, Richardson has been hot and cold this season. He’s only averaging 3.5 yards per carry so he only a dependable starter in the right matchup.

Unfortunately, Denver’s second-ranked run defense isn’t the right matchup.

 

Sleeper: Knowshon Moreno

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Moreno has rushed for 237 yards and two touchdowns in his last two outings.

Cleveland may have forced 23 fumbles this season—the seventh-most in the league—and Moreno has had his fumbling problems, but if he holds onto the football, he’ll be worth a start.

 

What They’re Saying

According to Bill Simmons of ESPN, Browns fans should be absolutely giddy about their new team president:

Trey Wingo of ESPN also gave Broncos fans a reason to smile as he tweeted:

 

Browns Player to Watch: T.J. Ward

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Ward is a baller.

The Browns’ hard-hitting safety is fourth on the team in tackles with 50 solo take downs on the season, and he’s also forced three fumbles along with an interception.

And perhaps most importantly, he makes receivers think twice about high-pointing a football over the middle.

 

Broncos Player to Watch: Peyton Manning

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Manning has transformed a team which needed a miracle to advance out of the first round of the playoffs last season into one that is now a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Because of that, he’s in the discussion to win MVP honors.

His passer rating of 103.5 would be the third-highest of his illustrious career. And Manning’s four neck surgeries increase the impressiveness of his spectacular season even further.

 

Key Matchup: Demaryius Thomas vs. Joe Haden

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Cleveland is 0-5 without Haden in the starting lineup this season and 5-4 with him. And despite missing a large chunk of the current campaign, Haden is still tied for first on the team in interceptions with three.

Thomas is having a career year catching passes from Manning. He’s racked up 78 receptions for 1,210 yards and eight touchdowns.

But he will be matched up with Haden, so something has to give.

 

On the Hot Seat: None

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Given that the Broncos are one of the hottest teams—if not the hottest team—in the league, it’s safe to say that John Elway couldn’t be happier with John Fox.

And on the other sideline, Pat Shurmur has given the city of Cleveland a reason to be optimistic about the future—which is just as impressive as what Fox has done in Denver.

 

Prediction

Cleveland will compete for four quarters because it’s what the Browns have done all season long. A 14-point spread is disrespectful and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it fire them up enough to give the Broncos a scare.

But ultimately, Denver has too much talent and momentum to suffer a letdown.

Expect Denver to win by 10.

 

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.

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