Cleveland faces long time nemesis Denver at Invesco Field in a game they must win. After getting throttled last week by Minnesota, the Browns need a win against the Broncos as much for their confidence as for their record. On paper, Denver is a team Cleveland should be able to beat but games aren’t played on paper. Denver defeated Cincinnati 12-7 last week at Cincinnati so they won’t be easy.
Cleveland’s offense vs the Denver defense. Brady Quinn is the big key here. He will have to be sharp on both his passing and getting the offense in the right plays. Brady must move the chains and involve as many players as possible in the offense. Another effort like last week from Jamal Lewis would be nice. Above all else, no turnovers. Quinn has a lot to prove after last week’s stinker against the Vikings.
Cleveland’s defense vs the Denver offense. Stop the run and confuse Kyle Orton. In other words, make Kyle Orton beat you. Denver is going to try and run on the Browns and this cannot happen or it will be a long afternoon. Shaun Rogers, D’Qwell Jackson, Abe Elam and co. must come to play. Rob Ryan will need to show Orton every blitz package he has in order to confuse him into turnovers. The Browns must contain wide outs Marshall, Royal and Stokley.
Special Teams. Once again, special teams will play a big role in the Brown’s success. Cribbs may need another big return or two in this one. Cleveland’s coverage teams will need to play better than they did last week.
Cleveland 20 Denver 17.