Cleveland Browns vs. Denver Broncos

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Brandon Allen passed for 193 yards and two touchdowns in his first start and the Denver Broncos defeated the Cleveland Browns.

1:11 | November 3, 2019 | Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Football, NFL

Game Information
Location: Empower Field at Mile High Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 76,743

DENVER (AP) Brandon Allen slept like a baby before jolting the Denver Broncos' sleepy offense.

"Yeah, I slept fine," Allen said after leading the Broncos past the Cleveland Browns 24-19 Sunday in his NFL debut, 1,402 days after his last start at the University of Arkansas.

Allen's numbers weren't overwhelming - 12 of 20 for 193 yards - but his addition to the offense was dazzling.

"We're not ready to put him in Canton yet, but overall very pleased with his play," Broncos coach Vic Fangio said.

A week after Joe Flacco criticized the Broncos' conservative play-calling before a neck injury ended his season, first-year offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello called his best game yet, customizing his game plan with the pistol, bootlegs and other garnishes with Allen's mobility added to the mix.

"Great game plan by Rich. I think he did a lot of things that tailored to my strengths, called a lot of pass concepts I was able to get through quickly and if there was nothing there, I'd be able to use my legs and run," Allen said. "So, I thought he did an incredible job calling the game, especially at the end."

That's when Scangarello busted out a direct snap to running back Phillip Lindsay, whose 16-yard gain for the first down sealed the win and was every bit as impressive as his 40-yard scamper that set up a first-half field goal or his 30-yard TD run in the third quarter.

Allen threw two TDs - a 21-yard pass to Courtland Sutton and a 75-yarder to rookie tight end Noah Fant - in his first start since the 2016 Liberty Bowl. He hadn't worked with either teammate until Wednesday.

Allen said he was amped up at the start but finally settled down when Sutton saved him by pulling down his poorly thrown pass over cornerback Denzel Ward for the game's first score.

"It made me feel pretty good because I made a terrible pass," Allen said. "Anytime you make a throw you know you didn't put in the right spot and they still make a play like that, it gives you a lot of confidence and it helps settle you into the game."

While Sutton was making Allen look good, Denver's defense made the Browns (2-6) look awful most of the afternoon.

Denver took a 17-12 halftime lead by holding Cleveland to four field goals after the Browns stalled at the Denver 21, 12, 9 and 13.

"It's tough to win in the NFL when you only score three," Odell Beckham Jr. said.

Or zero.

Twice the Broncos denied the Browns on fourth down in the second half.

Linebacker Todd Davis stuffed Mayfield on a keeper on fourth-and-inches at the Denver 5-yard line late in the third quarter, and Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens lost a challenge on the call.

"When I looked over, the ball was crossed," Mayfield said. "I'm sure the TV copy showed that I turned my body a little bit. The ball was a little bit closer to the measurement than I think was portrayed. It's a tough one. I told Freddie to challenge it because I was pretty sure that I had it."

After that, Allen directed a 95-yard touchdown drive with Lindsay taking it in from 30 yards out to make it 24-12.

The Browns pulled to 24-19 on Jarvis Landry's 9-yard TD catch after a debatable pass interference on a third-down incompletion gave Mayfield a new set of downs inside the 10.

The Browns reached Denver's 28 with 3:23 left and called their last timeout before Kareem Jackson and Davontae Harris broke up Mayfield's pass to Landry on fourth-and-4.

LONG WAIT

Allen's first NFL action came in his fourth season in the league and after he'd been cut by the Jaguars and Rams.

"It's tough," Allen said, "and there are a lot of guys that will tell you, this league is tough. You get cut, traded, waived, whatever. It's all about perseverance and getting that opportunity to see what you can do. And a lot of guys don't even get that opportunity, so I feel blessed."

With rookie Drew Lock (thumb) returning from injured reserve after the upcoming bye week, Allen said he isn't concerned about how long he'll be the starter, either.

"Whatever opportunities I get I'm going to take advantage of," Allen said. "If that's one more game or 10 more games."

COLORFUL CLEATS

Landry and Beckham wore colorful cleats in the first half, but the NFL made them switch at halftime.

Beckham said the problem arose when the Browns decided last week to wear brown jerseys instead of white, so their customized white Nikes were deemed in violation of the league's dress code.

"The black ones that I was wearing for the rest of the game for some reason were hurting my feet," Beckham said.

INJURIES

Browns TE Ricky Seals-Jones left in the second quarter with a knee injury and didn't return and DE Olivier Vernon (leg) left in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Browns: Host Buffalo on Sunday.

Broncos: Have a bye before visiting Minnesota on Nov. 17.

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Broncos
06:09 Courtland Sutton 21 yd pass from Brandon Allen (Brandon McManus kick) 0 7

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Broncos
12:48 Austin Seibert 39 yd FG 3 7
12:34 Noah Fant 75 yd pass from Brandon Allen (Brandon McManus kick) 3 14
07:14 Austin Seibert 30 yd FG 6 14
03:49 Austin Seibert 27 yd FG 9 14
01:47 Brandon McManus 43 yd FG 9 17
00:15 Austin Seibert 30 yd FG 12 17

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Broncos
01:06 Phillip Lindsay 30 yd run (Brandon McManus kick) 12 24

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Broncos
10:47 Jarvis Landry 9 yd pass from Baker Mayfield (Austin Seibert kick) 19 24

Team Stats
  Cleveland Denver
1st Downs 21 13
Total Yards 351 302
Passing 261 175
Passing Completions/Attempts 27-42 12-20
Yards/Pass 5.9 7.6
Rushing 90 127
Rushing Attempts 29 20
Yards/Rush 3.1 6.4
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Interceptions Thrown 0 0
Possession 35:30 24:30

Cleveland Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Baker Mayfield 27 42 273 6.5 1 0

Denver Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Brandon Allen 12 20 193 9.7 2 0

Cleveland Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Nick Chubb 20 65 3.2 0 11
Baker Mayfield 3 22 7.3 0 16
Dontrell Hilliard 5 8 1.6 0 4
Odell Beckham Jr. 1 -5 -5.0 0 -5

Denver Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Phillip Lindsay 9 92 10.2 1 40
Royce Freeman 5 15 3.0 0 6
Brandon Allen 5 13 2.6 0 11
Courtland Sutton 1 7 7.0 0 7

Cleveland Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Odell Beckham Jr. 5 87 17.4 0 39
Antonio Callaway 4 56 14.0 0 41
Jarvis Landry 6 51 8.5 1 19
Nick Chubb 4 26 6.5 0 11
Demetrius Harris 3 25 8.3 0 12
Ricky Seals-Jones 2 12 6.0 0 7
KhaDarel Hodge 1 10 10.0 0 10
Dontrell Hilliard 2 6 3.0 0 4
Stephen Carlson 0 0 0.0 0
Rashard Higgins 0 0 0.0 0

Denver Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Noah Fant 3 115 38.3 1 75
Courtland Sutton 5 56 11.2 1 21
Devontae Booker 1 14 14.0 0 14
Troy Fumagalli 1 9 9.0 0 9
Diontae Spencer 1 0 0.0 0 0
Royce Freeman 1 -1 -1.0 0 -1

Cleveland Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Mack Wilson 5 0 1 8
Joe Schobert 4 0 0 0
Larry Ogunjobi 3 0 1 7
Morgan Burnett 3 1 0 0
Greedy Williams 3 0 0 0
Olivier Vernon 2 0 1 3
Sheldon Richardson 2 0 0 0
Denzel Ward 2 0 0 0
Myles Garrett 1 2 0 0
Adarius Taylor 1 0 0 0
Jamie Gillan 0 0 0 0
Devaroe Lawrence 0 1 0 0
Sheldrick Redwine 0 0 0 0
Sione Takitaki 0 0 0 0
Tavierre Thomas 0 0 0 0

Denver Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
A.J. Johnson 6 7 0 0
Justin Simmons 6 2 0 0
Davontae Harris 5 2 0 0
Derek Wolfe 4 1 1 5
Todd Davis 4 6 0 0
Duke Dawson Jr. 3 1 0 0
Chris Harris Jr. 3 1 0 0
Malik Reed 3 0 0 0
Shelby Harris 2 1 0 0
Justin Hollins 1 1 1 7
Adam Gotsis 1 1 0 0
Kareem Jackson 1 3 0 0
Dre'Mont Jones 1 0 0 0
Von Miller 1 2 0 0
Mike Purcell 1 1 0 0
Coty Sensabaugh 1 0 0 0
Jeremiah Attaochu 0 0 0 0
Andy Janovich 0 0 0 0
Josey Jewell 0 0 0 0
Joseph Jones 0 0 0 0
Elijah Wilkinson 0 0 0 0
Isaac Yiadom 0 0 0 0

Cleveland Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Denver Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Cleveland Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Tavierre Thomas 2 57 28.5 0 31

Denver Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Devontae Booker 1 32 32.0 0 32
Diontae Spencer 1 17 17.0 0 17

Cleveland Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Dontrell Hilliard 2 20 10.0 0 14

Denver Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Diontae Spencer 1 20 20.0 0 20

Cleveland Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Austin Seibert 4 4 100.0 39

Denver Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Brandon McManus 1 1 100.0 43

Cleveland Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Jamie Gillan 3 160 66

Denver Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Colby Wadman 4 173 50