Writer: Justice Sunderland
Game: Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
Summary: The Broncos lost their quarterback Joe Flacco last week to a neck injury so they are turning to Brandon Allen. Who is that you ask? Well, Allen was a sixth-round pick in 2016 by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sunday will be Allen’s first start of his career and he is without a doubt the story of this game. We have seen back up quarterbacks play great this year but that will not be the case in this game.
Look for the Browns defensive line to get after Allen all game and hopefully, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks will dial up the blitz some — which he has been reluctant to do this season.
In the secondary for Cleveland, Denzel Ward had his best game of the year last week against the New England Patriots and is looking to regain his pro bowl form from his rookie campaign.
All the emphasis for the Browns in the media has been on their offense or their lack of it. Baker Mayfield leads the NFL in interceptions and Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t lived up to the hype but this is a week for them to get right.
Denver is trending is the wrong direction and they shouldn’t have a lot of confidence in their offense which can make a defense play worse. Cleveland should come out with energy because thanks to their schedule they still have a chance to salvage their season.
The Broncos have been good defending against the pass but not so good against the run. They rank 19th in run defense and that is what the Browns do best, give it to Nick Chubb and let him eat up yards.
If they run Chubb early it should set up their passing game, they need to run play action once they make Denver respect the run. Don’t try to make sure that anybody is getting the ball, run plays that take advantage of what the defense is giving you.
With Brandon Allen as their quarterback, this game will get out of control unless the Browns let Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman get loose in the running game. This should be a big bounce-back game for Cleveland.
Prediction: Cleveland Browns 34 Denver Broncos 10