CHirs Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Even though the Cleveland Browns were eliminated from the playoffs, I always love watching Peyton Manning play. I was hoping that the Browns could make this a competitive game like they've done for most of the season. The problem? This game wasn't fun in the very least.
It was a game full of gloom for the Browns. Manning could not be stopped, as he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Weeden wasn't awful, but the offense in general really didn't do anything. Weeden left the game with an injury in the third quarter after Von Miller came unblocked off the line for a sack.
Things just didn't go Cleveland's way in general. A duck by Manning after pressure fell on green turf. A tipped pass by a receiver deflected right to Brandon Stokley for a completion. The Broncos muffed two punts, but fell back on top of both of them. Joshua Cribbs muffed one punt and Denver instantly recovered. Next week's game still has personal meaning because it is Pittsburgh, but this has to be the final straw for head coach Pat Shurmur. Yes, the injuries on defense really hurt Cleveland's chances this week, but there has to be accountability for the Browns' issues on both sides of the ball when they face stiffer competition.
Colt McCoy did have a garbage time touchdown pass to Greg Little, making it 31-12 Denver half-way through the fourth quarter. McCoy's quarterback draw for a two-point conversion was stopped short of the end zone. That's pretty much how it ended; well, not before we got to see a couple of awkward throws by McCoy over the middle that went into the turf. I don't want to get too down on McCoy, though, because for all we know, he might start next week against the Steelers if Weeden is out. The Broncos did tack on one more field goal, resulting in the final of 34-12.