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One-time Broncos quarterback Case Keenum welcomed his former team to FirstEnergy Stadium for Week 7’s Thursday night matchup between Denver and the Cleveland Browns. Filling in for starter Baker Mayfield, who’s nursing a left shoulder injury, Keenum was at the helm of the Browns offense and kept the team afloat for the win, 17-14.
Though far from the level of production from the former No. 1 overall pick in Mayfield, the interim QB delivered 199 passing yards, along with one touchdown and zero turnovers. Keenum found fullback Johnny Stanton for the two-yard touchdown pass to put the Browns up 17-7 in the third quarter.
Missing both their starting quarterback and 1-2 punch at running back with Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, the Browns inserted fantasy waiver wire hero D’Ernest Johnson to lead the backfield. Johnson blew up for 146 yards and 1 touchdown on 22 carries — giving the best tandem backfield in the league another dimension.
Despite ending the game with a heftier stat line (23 of 33, 187 passing yards and two touchdowns), Teddy Bridgewater’s sole interception on a crucial trip to the end zone kept Denver trailing behind by two possessions, 0-10, heading into the second half. The offense that came back on the field didn’t look an ounce more inspired.
“That’s a throw I know I can make, just didn’t get into it the way I wanted to,” said Bridgewater. The Broncos’ starting QB connected with lead receiver Courtland Sutton for 68 yards on five receptions. The play of the night came from a 31-yard, one-handed reception by Sutton.
The Cleveland Browns secondary did the heavy lifting as Myles Garrett saw little help from his defensive line. Garrett recorded 1.5 sacks on Bridgewater, with Jadeveon Clowney (.5) chipping in on the combined sack.
Former Rams secondary players, Troy Hill and John Johnson III, stepped up for the Browns defense. Hill showed off some exceptional open field tackles on Denver running back Javonte Williams, while Johnson picked off Bridgewater’s throw to the end zone.
The Browns held on for the win and improved to 4-3, while the Broncos fell to 3-4 and the bottom of the AFC West.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela