The Cleveland Browns hit the road in Week 12 to take on the Denver Broncos. Two teams on hot winning streaks — Cleveland had three wins in a row with Denver sitting at four-straight entering the game — and one would have their streak end. Unfortunately for the Browns, it was their good fortune that came to a crashing halt.
They deserve some credit since they fought hard to get back into this game despite giving up a huge lead. Denver started out with their defense forcing a three-and-out, something they wound up doing four times (counting the late safety) despite accomplishing this just 10 times all season. Their offense capitalized with a first-quarter touchdown run from Samaje Perine and a two-yard touchdown run from Russell Wilson early in the second.
Cleveland fought back as their defense settled down and the offense started to move the ball. They wound up with two short field goals and it was 14-6 at the half. The defense again stepped up in the third quarter, forcing a quick three-and-out of their own. The Browns then scored a touchdown as Dorian Thompson-Robinson hit Harrison Bryant for the first of his career.
They attempted to go for two but that fell incomplete as Amari Cooper dropped a solid pass. Unfortunately, the good fortune seemed to slip away from them there as well. Denver was able to get a field goal to stop the bleeding but then a huge hit to DTR changed the entire game.
Denver was flagged for the hit but the rookie went to the locker room to be evaluated for a head injury. Cleveland then turned it over when Pierre Strong fumbled a toss from Elijah Moore. It wasn't a pretty call but head coach Kevin Stefanski clearly wanted to find a spark and didn't trust P.J. Walker. That led to a Denver touchdown and a 24-12 lead in the fourth quarter.
Before long, Denver had another field goal and sacked Walker for a safety. That led to the final score of 29-12 as the Browns will now go back to the drawing board and prepare for Week 13. The loss stings but the playoffs are still in their sights.
Cleveland Browns suffer several injuries
Not only did the Browns suffer a loss, which ended their winning streak, but they also took a beating on the field. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had to leave with a head injury when he took a hard shot in the third quarter. But he wasn't the only player who was banged up.
Cleveland also saw Myles Garrett hobbled at one point and while his injury didn't seem serious, he did head to the sideline for a while. What did look bad was the way Amari Cooper went down after not being able to haul in a pass from P.J. Walker. Cooper took a hit from P.J. Locke while extending for the ball and ended up having to head to the locker room.
The Browns have to feel frustrated to fall to 7-4 but they're still in the playoff race. The question is what they do going forward. If Thompson-Robinson is out for an extended period, it might be time to see what Joe Flacco can do. Clearly, they don't trust Walker and while this season is far from over, they can't lean on him and expect to make any noise.