Source: camscat16 via YouTube.com
By Daniel Williams, DENVER DAILY NEWS
Shannon Sharpe never does anything quietly. Sunday, the former Denver Broncos tight end entered Invesco Field by parachute, skydiving his way on the Broncos’ Ring of Fame as the Broncos beat the Cleveland Browns 27-6.
The Broncos improved to 2-0, and they did it in impressive fashion late in what was a close game — but Denver’s new Orange Crush-lite defense led by Elvis Dumervil’s record four sacks wasn’t going to be denied.
“I think we did a good job today of managing the game and not turning the ball over,” said Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels. “We didn’t force things and force the ball down field because it wasn’t there.”
Peyton Hillis fumbled the game’s kickoff, but Denver’s defense held the Browns to a field goal.
Two possessions later, Denver’s defense again came up big, forcing a fumble deep in Browns’ territory.
“We had the offense’s back,” said defensive lineman Kenny Peterson. “We have to keep grinding, and the offense has to keep moving the ball up and down the field.”
Three plays later, Kyle Orton found tight end Tony Scheffler for a two-yard touchdown, giving Denver a 7-3 lead.
Browns quarterback Brady Quinn then took Cleveland down field on an 11-play, 51-yard drive, but Denver held the Browns to a Phil Dawson 47-yard field goal.
Early in the second quarter, Orton engineered an ugly 13-play drive that Matt Prater capped off with a field goal, giving Denver a 10-6 lead.
Both club’s offenses sputtered the rest of the first half, until the 2:32 mark when Denver got the ball back and attempted to go down field and build on their lead.
Orton, who struggled again in the first half but still never turned the ball over, dinked and dunked the Broncos down field on a long 17-play drive.
“We moved the ball pretty effectively, and we did some good things out there today,” Orton said. “We took what was there and we didn’t turn the ball over, which is the most important thing.”
However, Prater missed his first field goal of the season wide left, and the Broncos failed to generate points in a close game before the half.
Orton struggled at times in the first half, throwing multiple balls away and into the dirt, completing only 11 of 27 balls thrown — but Denver still controlled the game.
Denver’s running game didn’t produce early, gaining only 53 first-half yards. But Denver’s running backs were also only given 13 attempts to do so — compared to Orton’s 27 passing attempts.
To start the second half, Dumervil forced a fumble on the third play from scrimmage, and Brian Dawkins recovered it.
“We are a cohesive unit — you do not see a lot of selfish guys on this side of the ball,” Dawkins said of the defense. “The front seven is playing well right now, and the secondary is doing the same. I wouldn’t trade playing with these guys for anything.”
Brandon Marshall, who was sparingly used throughout the game and who didn’t look very happy about it on the sideline, finally made his first game impact in two weeks.
Marshall caught a 15-yard Orton pass that set up a Prater 38-yard field goal, but again was taken out of the game shortly after.
The following drive Denver’s defense forced the Browns into a three-and-out, and Orton led the Broncos on a nine-play drive.
Distributed by Colorado Capitol Reporters