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Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns - Official Game Thread

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DENVER BRONCOS (4-4) WEEK10 CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-5)
VS.
Date: November 6, 2008 Location: Cleveland, OH
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Stadium: Cleveland Browns Stadium
TV: NFL Network (WUAB)
Favorite: Browns by 3
Radio: WMMS, 100.7 FM Over/Under: 46
SBN Coverage: Mile High Report Announcers Bob Papa & Cris Collinsworth

From Sunday's preview against the Ravens:

"He [Derek Anderson] was able to evade any Brady Quinn chants the last time he was at home against the New York Giants. Will the same hold true today?"

Apparently not. The fans chanted Brady, and in this case, "ask and you shall receive". A large percentage of the fans were done with this football team after the collapse against the Ravens. With the news on Monday of Quinn getting the start against Denver though, people are going to stick around now to see how things pan out.

Will Quinn start off his career on a high note with a victory? Let's get right into this week's preview with the overall team statistics thus far...

OFFENSE

Category Broncos Browns
Points Scored 23.75 (12th) 17.75 (27th)
Passing 268.8 (4th) 173.1 (26th)
Rushing 105.3 (18th) 93.6 (27th)
Total Offense (yards) 374.0 (3rd) 266.8 (28th)

DEFENSE

Category Broncos Browns
Points Scored 27.63 (28th) 20.0 (11th)
Passing 243.3 (27th) 200.1 (13th)
Rushing 144.6 (26th) 148.0 (28th)
Total Defense (yards) 387.9 (29th) 348.1 (25th)

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Quarterback

Jay Cutler has been praised constantly as being one of the best up-and-coming young quarterbacks in the NFL. I definitely like his potential, but he hasn't shown the ability to cut down on the mistakes consistently. In his past 5 games, Cutler has thrown 7 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. During that stretch, the Broncos are a miserable 1-4.

Don't get the wrong idea though -- Cutler is the least of Denver's concerns right now, and he is not the reason they are struggling. I can't possibly give the Browns a quarterback advantage here, because Quinn has yet to have a regular season start.

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Running Back

The Broncos are searching for answers at the running back position. Ever since Clinton Portis left for Washington, the team has failed to acquire a true No. 1 running back. This year, for performance reasons and due to injuries, the team has had to shift through Michael Pittman, Selvin Young, Andre Hall, Peyton Hillis, and Ryan Torain.

If you don't follow other teams closely, you may not have heard of any of them. Their true starter this season is Young though, and he is scheduled to return tonight from injury and split time with the rookie Torain. Against Denver's porous defense, Jamal Lewis should break the 100-yard barrier for the first time this season.

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Receiver

I'm giving the Browns the "even" treatment under the pretense that Donte Stallworth will be active. Otherwise, the advantage would go to an underrated Denver group. While I don't agree just yet with those who think Brandon Marshall is the best receiver in the NFL, he is certainly a fine talent. Cutler also has confidence in rookie receiver Eddie Royal and veteran slot man Brandon Stokley. Tight end Tony Scheffler will catch you napping as well.

All eyes will be on Braylon Edwards tonight. He dropped a lot of passes with Anderson at quarterback, but more than that, he seemed to be getting frustrated with Anderson (though that was more so true earlier on in the season). Will Quinn and Edwards be on the same page? I wouldn't be surprised if Steve Sanders, someone who Quinn may have worked with in practice more, gets some snaps if Stallworth is out.

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Offensive Line

Starting left guard Eric Steinbach is expected to miss this week's game, leaving Seth McKinney to start in his place. That will hurt our pass protection and our running game a little bit, but not so much against Denver's defense. The Broncos keep Cutler protected well, as he has been sacked only five times in eight games.

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Defensive Line

This ranking is under the pretense that both Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams (though Rogers in particular) are healthy. The goal for the Browns today is to find a way to stop the bleeding every time Rogers needs to go to the sideline. Even when he's in the game, opposing teams are running draw plays from shotgun to take him out of the play.

The Broncos rack up more sacks than the Browns do on the defensive line, but when Ebenezer Ekuban is starting and you had to try to patch up your mistake of taking former Browns defensive lineman, you're not going to be anything better than average.

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Linebacker

This is an area the Browns really need to take advantage of against Denver. D.J. Williams, arguably the team's best linebacker, will be out for a month with a knee injury. Former starter Boss Bailey is already out for the season with a knee injury. Lewis has had few opportunities to break through the second unit, so that makes this even more of a golden opportunity for him. If our linebackers were any good, I would've given Cleveland the edge here.

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Secondary

The Browns' secondary had their worst game since the season opener last week. Eric Wright played solid, but Sean Jones and Brandon McDonald have had their better days.

With that said, the Broncos are hurting. They were already facing holes in the secondary before Champ Bailey went down with an injury that'll keep him out for awhile. While Bailey was healthy, teams picked on veteran Dre Bly. It wasn't a good sign for Denver when Bly didn't rise to the occasion. On top of that, starting safety Marlon McCree is also out for Denver.

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Special Teams

Broncos kicker Matt Prater is one to watch for. Born in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, he has connected on 5-of-5 kicks from beyond 50 yards this season. The Broncos lack the same spark the Browns can provide in the return game with Joshua Cribbs though. Advantage, Cleveland.

FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 34, Denver Broncos 27.Quinn faced second-stringers in the preseason, and he'll basically be doing the same in this game -- except for the important notion that he'll be working with the first-string offense. I'm expecting a high-scoring affair, with our defense actually looking better than they did in Baltimore. But, with Denver having a more potent offense, they'll come through with several well-executed drives.

This is the official gameday topic for the Cleveland Browns in Week 10 as they square off against the Denver Broncos. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this topic. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!