Many have been awaiting the first-career start of Brady Quinn, the Cleveland Brown's first round, 22nd overall pick out of Notre Dame.
Despite being the first Thursday Night Football game of the season, most attention was being paid to Cleveland Brown's quarterback Brady Quinn, who was making his first career start. This came after coach Romeo Crennel benched previous starting quarterback Derek Anderson after a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, 37-27, in the previous week.
The first quarter began slow, producing a few three-and-outs from both teams. Eight minutes into the quarter Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, lead the Broncos on a nine play, 86-yard drive that took nearly five minutes off the game clock.
The drive ended with a Ryan Torain two yard TD run giving Denver a 7-0 lead, with a successful extra point. Ryan Torain, who is the Broncos third string running back, started due to injuries to Andre Hall, and Selvin Young.
On the ensuing kickoff, Josh Cribbs brought the ball back to the Cleveland 41-yard line, giving Brady Quinn excellent field position. Quinn answered the call, orchestrating a six play, 59-yard drive while taking 3:25 off the 3:47 left in the quarter.
The drive ended with Quinn's first-career TD pass; a bullet pass to tight-end Kellen Winslow between two Denver defenders. Quinn was also under heavy pressure while making this throw and took a heavy hit from Denver defensive-end Elvis Dumervil.
Quinn helps the Browns enter the second quarter locked in a 7-7 draw with the Broncos.
The second quarter began with a Denver drive continuing from the previous quarter. After only achieving one first down and being forced to punt. On the drive, Denver lost starting running back Ryan Torain to a knee injury forcing the Broncos to turn to rookie fullback Peyton Hillis for the remainder of the game.
Brady Quinn had another chance to create some points for this Cleveland Browns offence with help from the barking Dog Pound that is Cleveland Browns Stadium
Quinn lead Cleveland on an 11 play, 72-yard drive, that included three crucial third-down throws that converted for first downs. However the drive was halted from entering the end-zone, but saw a successful Phil Dawson field-goal from 24 yards.
On the following Denver drive, after a offensive holding penalty and a sack that backed the Broncos up from their own 20, Jay Cutler threw an interception to Cleveland's Brodney Pool, which gave Quinn and the offense excellent field position.
Quinn threw a short out left to Kellen Winslow, who caught it and broke a tackle, which gave him 10 yards to tippy-toed down the sideline into the end-zone. This pass was the second TD connection between Quinn and Winslow but more importantly gave the Brown's a 17-7 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.
The rest of the half brought a Denver field goal from kicker Matt Prater from 42 yards followed by a wobbley 52-yard field goal from Cleveland Brown's kicker Phil Dawson
Cleveland Brown's 20 Denver Bronco's 10—HALF. Brady Quinn—11/15, 102 yards, two TDs.
After the half, the games' pace slowed with a large number of three-and-outs by both teams. Only three points were added to the total's for each team with well executed drives by both quarterbacks. Cleveland, a 33-yard field goal from Phil Dawson and Denver, a 30-yard field goal from Matt Prater. Score going into the final frame—CLE 23 DEN 13.
The hype that this game had received, aside from the Brady Quinn excitement, lived up to it's name in the final frame.
Denver's first drive of the final quarter started on their own seven, but brought a pump-and-go route from Eddie Royal who beat Cleveland Brown's corner-back Brandon McDonald for a 93-yard Denver TD. Cleveland leads 23-20.
After a drive in which Quinn and the Browns offence could achieve just one first down, which ended in a punt giving Cutler and the Broncos offence the ball back. Cutler engineered a drive that was strictly through the air with eight plays, 62-yards. The end of the drive saw a 16-yard touchdown pass from Cutlet to tight-end Daniel Graham. Bronco's lead 27-23.
Brady's turn. After a three and out from both teams the Brown's had the ball with 9:53 left on the clock, down by four. Quinn led a nine play, 78-yard drive that took 4:53 off the clock. Jamal Lewis capped off the drive with a one yard TD run that allowed for the Browns to regain the lead, 30-27.
Jay Cutler came right back with an absolutely unbelievable drive that took 3:43 of the remaining five minutes left on the clock ending with a 11-yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall, who won a jump ball in the left corner of the end-zone.
This left Brady Quinn 1:17 on the clock to drive the ball down the field for a touchdown to give the Brown's the victory. No pressure kid.
After a successful third down conversion and three plays resulting in nine yards, Quinn found himself in a 4th and 1 situation for the game. After a short three step drop Quinn attempt a short curl to Kellen Winslow, the disheartened Dog Pound saw the ball go straight through Winslow's outstretched white gloves. Broncos ball and victory.
In conclusion, the Browns saw a lot of potential in their new franchise quarterback in Brady Quinn who finished the game 23/35, 239 yards, two TDs with no interceptions.
Brady Quinn's final grade, a solid A.