Sorry to do this to you, Browns fans, but the Broncos were due for a victory and the lambasting in the national media got to be a little too much to bear. With all of the talk and aplomb coming into this game of Brady Quinn resuscitating the Browns' season, things couldn't have gone more sordidly for Cleveland fans.
In 18 of the last 20 regular season games wherein the Broncos have faced the Browns, Denver has emerged victorious even when odds were not good that the Broncos would prevail. Additionally, the drive, the fumble, and Denver's shellacking after the 1989 season in the AFC Championship game of Cleveland have left many scars upon football fans scattered among the banks of Lake Erie, some of which may never heal.
However, let's get on to the positives. Jay Cutler was outstanding as he amassed a career-high 447 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception against a Cleveland defense which should have received more flack than the Broncos' smallish defensive unit.
While the Broncos' defense was anything but spectacular, in a shootout they did what they had to do in holding the Browns to field goals while "Sergeant" Winslow let Cleveland down when they needed him most. Brady Quinn (239 yards, two TDs) was good but failed to win the hearts of the Dawg Pound when the offense fizzled in the closing moments.
A win like this does wonders for franchises which experience them as, in all honesty, Denver was on the skids and had nowhere to go seemingly with both Ryan Torain and Selvin Young out for the evening.
Nevertheless, Cutler used his outstanding arm to stonewall the denizens of C-Town while Eddie Royal, Nate Jackson, Brandon Marshall, and Peyton Hillis all made big plays to force the Browns fans to drink themselves into Never-never land.
At this point, the Browns are virtually dead at 3-6 and if the Broncos fall behind San Diego in the AFC West, this game could be huge in terms of who obtains the last wild card. Meanwhile, as the aforementioned AFC West remains in a quagmire, the Broncos have given themselves considerable breathing room.
A chance to extend their momentum awaits at Atlanta next Sunday, while the Browns are left to pick up the pieces and contemplate what might have been. Fear not, Cleveland fans, it appears as if Brady Quinn is the answer. But with that said, the questions are innumerable on this roster. Better luck next time.