While it won’t be on primetime television like last year, Baker Mayfield and the Browns will head to Denver this week for another matchup with the Broncos at Mile High Stadium.
Sitting just a half-game apart from one another, both teams really need a win to stay alive in the playoff hunt. So, let’s have a look at what’s in store for us:
The Visiting Browns:
The Browns suffered a predictable defeat against the Patriots last week, falling in New England by a score of 27-13. This dropped their record to 2-5 following another disgraceful coaching performance from Freddie Kitchens in the undisciplined affair. The game was essentially over in the first quarter, where the Browns managed to commit three turnovers in three consecutive plays.
Damarious Randall has already been ruled out this weekend with the hamstring injury which has plagued him for much of this season. Talented wide receiver tandem in Odell Beckham Jr (groin) and Jarvis Landry (shoulder) have been limited in practice this week, but are still in line to suit up for the game as usual.
At 2-5, the Browns may have put the worst of their schedule behind them, but this should still be viewed as a must-win game that, if not capitalized on, will assuredly result in another postseason-less Browns team of 2019.
The Hometown Broncos:
The Broncos are coming off the heels of a last-second loss to the Colts in Indianapolis, 15-13. The last time they were at home, they were blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-6. They currently sit at an uninspiring 2-6 record, well in last for the division.
The Broncos made headlines earlier in the week when starting quarterback and career-long Browns nemesis Joe Flacco was placed on IR with a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, franchise quarterback Drew Lock has already been on the IR and his season has long been over. As such, the Broncos will have to hand the reigns over to Brandon Allen, who is making his first career start this Sunday. Undrafted rookie Brett Rypien will be backing Allen up.
The Broncos will sadly be missing more than just Flacco on offense. TE Jeff Heuerman (knee) and starting T Ja’Wuan James (knee) have already been ruled out, while talented running back Philip Lindsay (wrist) has shown up on the injury report, though he’s had no issues in practice, listed as a full participant all week.
On the other side of the ball, Denver could miss out on the all-talented Von Miller (knee) as he didn’t practice Tuesday and was limited on Wednesday. They will also have to go without starting safety Will Parks (hand) and could miss out on linebacker Joseph Jones (ribs).
With a bleak 2-6 record and being without their starting QB, the Broncos are a very long shot to make the playoffs this year. Still, it would be ill-suited of them to follow up a dismal home performance with another game of that caliber, so they’ll definitely seek out a win this weekend.