Week 7 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 17, Cleveland Browns 7
What you need to know
The Broncos’ defense set the tone for this game, along with a balanced rushing attack which featured 115 yards and a touchdown from Tatum Bell on twenty four carries. Mike Bell spelled Tatum Bell late in this game and finished with 25 yards on ten carries. Quarterback Jake Plummer added ten yards on the ground on three attempts.
Despite holding a sizable lead most of the day, Jake Plummer was active in the passing game, throwing 41 passes, completing twenty of them for 209 yards. Plummer threw one touchdown pass with two interceptions on the afternoon. Javon Walker was the lead receiver in this game, catching nine passes for 107 yards. Veteran Rod Smith added six catches for 69 yards. Rookie wide receiver Brandon Marshall added a touchdown to go along with his two receptions and 22 yards. The Broncos did not use their tight ends very much in this game, but used Tatum Bell out of the backfield, connecting for three catches and eleven yards.
Charlie Frye was unable to get on track in this game and finished with just 149 yards, and working most of the day in his own territory. Frye threw one touchdown and one interception in 33 passes, completing 19 passes in the game. With a six yard touchdown, Joe Jurevicius led Browns’ receivers with four catches and forty yards.
Braylon Edwards was covered most of the day, catching just two passes for six yards. Josh Cribbs added four late catches for 32 yards. Out of the backfield, Reuben Droughns had four catches for 27 yards. From the tight end position, Kellen Winslow was limited in this game, finishing with three receptions for 34 yards. Steve Heiden caught two balls for ten yards.
Reuben Droughns found limited running room against the Broncos, rushing for only 33 yards on 12 carries. He also lost a fumble near the end of the first half.
What you ought to know
|QB Jake Plummer, Pass: 20 - 41 - 209 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0|
Plummer finished with a 51.8 rating in the win as he completed just 49% of his passes for average of 5.1 yards per attempt with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Browns were able to get consistent pressure on him, forcing him to throw the ball on a number of occasions. The first interception bounced off his receivers hands, and couldn’t really be attributed to him. Near the end of the first half, Plummer led the Broncos downfield, completing six out of nine passing attempts, setting up Tatum Bell’s touchdown run. With talk that Jay Cutler might see time, Plummer seemed to do just enough to keep Cutler on the sideline. Plummer scrambled to gain eight yards and a first down in the third quarter.
|RB Tatum Bell, Rush: 24 - 115 - 1, Rec: 3 - 11 - 0 (4 targets)|
Bell showed good spark on his nine yard run around end to the right on his way to going over the 100 yard mark and averaging 4.8 yards per carry on the day. Bell scored the first touchdown of the game, running in for a nine yard score.
Bell saw his most extensive action in weeks, spelling Tatum Bell in the final six minutes of the game in a 17-7 game. Even with a seventeen yard carry, Mike Bell averaged just 2.5 yards per carry.
Walker was used to stretch the defense and was Plummer’s primary target on third downs when he needed to come up with a play. Walker had a long catch of 38 yards on the day. Walker used his height to make a great reception in coverage during the first quarter. He made a great 15 yard catch during the Broncos’ scoring drive of third quarter.
Smith was targeted often and early in this game, used primarily on short patterns to the outside and over the middle. He made the first reception of the game to gain a first down for the Broncos. He was also targeted in the end zone.
Marshall stepped up in this game and made a nice stretch on his nine yard touchdown score. Earlier in the game he made a 13 yard third down reception that set up Tatum Bell’s touchdown run.
Playing primarily in third down sets, Kircus failed to catch a pass against the Browns. He was targeted in the end zone in the third quarter.
Alexander received the start and saw the bulk of playing time at tight end, though did not catch a pass.
Elam connected from 32 yards out and made two extra points, but missed wide right from 43 yards out. On the second series of a scoreless game, the Broncos elected to punt as opposed to giving Elam a chance to kick a 53 yard field goal in windy conditions.
The rush defense limited the Browns to 34 yards and forced one fumble, meeting Reuben Droughns at the line of scrimmage on most carries.
With five sacks and an interception the pass defense shut down the Browns’ passing game, despite giving up a touchdown on a short field late in the game. The Broncos also recovered a muffed kick in the first quarter.
|QB Charlie Frye, Pass: 19 - 33 - 149 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0|
Frye completed 58% of his passes for an average of 4.5 yards per passing attempt en route to a passer rating of 66.4. Frye threw an interception on a deep ball to Braylon Edwards in the fourth quarter in a 17-0 game. He also threw one touchdown to Joe Jurevicius in the fourth quarter.
Droughns had very little room to run in this game, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry with a long on the day of seven yards. Droughns caught everything thrown his way and was used out of the backfield on first and second downs. Droughns lost a fumble near the end of the first half.
Jurevicius took advantage of an increase in playing time with the absence of Dennis Northcutt, and was targeted as much as Braylon Edwards in this game. In the fourth quarter, Jurevicius made a six yard touchdown reception, the only score for the Browns. During the Browns’ next drive, he did drop what should have been an easy catch.
Cribbs was targeted almost exclusively late in the game, and came down with most everything thrown his way. Cribbs was again successful in the kick return game, but struggled returning punts for the first time, fumbling his first attempt, and muffing one.
Edwards was unable to get untracked against Champ Bailey and finished with just two short catches. One of his receptions was a one handed catch in the first quarter. Edwards was targeted deep, but the pass was broken up.
With a steady pass rush, Winslow was limited in his ability to get off the line and get open against a tough Broncos’ defense. Winslow could not hold on to one target in the third quarter.
Heiden caught both passes thrown his way, one on first down, the other on third down.
Dawson did not have any field goal attempts in this game, and connected on his only extra point attempt.
The Browns couldn’t slow down the Broncos’ consistent rushing attack, giving up 150 yards and a touchdown on the ground, with a steady attack in the second half which featured 24 carries for 78 yards. Plummer was sacked twice.
The Browns' secondary suffered another injury, losing cornerback Gary Baxter in this game, but played fairly well despite this, with two sacks, two interceptions and allowing 209 yards through the air.