Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos did what they were supposed to do – dismantle an undermanned and over-matched Cleveland Browns team.
Manning completed 30 of 43 passes for 339 yards and 3 touchdowns en route to a 34-12 victory Sunday afternoon in Denver
The loss clinched the Browns’ 5th straight 10-plus loss season and 9th in 10 years. Conversely it was Denver’s 10th consecutive win.
The Browns won the toss and deferred. It took Peyton Manning and the Broncos 2:55 to score.
Demaryius Thomas capped the 8 play, 80 yard opening drive with a 22-yard touchdown catch. Sheldon Brown had tight coverage on Thomas but couldn’t pry the ball loose in the end zone.
The Browns answered with a 13-play 63-yard drive of their own that saw Brandon Weeden go 6 of 8 for 49 yards but it ended with a Phil Dawson 27 yard field goal.
Manning threaded the needle to Eric Decker in the back of the end zone for a 10 yard score – again with Brown defending – for a 14-3 advantage to cap another 80 yard march down the field.
Brown left the game with a head injury midway through the second quarter after Brandon Stokley laid him out on an illegal pick.
Usama Young kept it a 14-3 game at the half by picking off Manning in the end zone int he closing seconds to thwart another long drive.
Trent Richardson passed Jim Brown for the most rushing yards by a Browns rookie with a 9-yard run early in the 3rd quarter. Brown had 942 yards in 12 games during the 1957 season.
Dawson kicked a 53-yard field goal to make it a 14-6 contest with 11:09 to play in the 3rd. It was the 6th kick from beyond 50 for Dawson this year.
Manning hit Decker for an 8-yard score to extend the lead to 21-6 and cap another long drive – this time 91 yards on 12 plays. The touchdown was the third of the afternoon for Manning, who tied Brett Favre’s NFL record with his 72nd game of 3 or more TDs.
Colt McCoy relieved Weeden with 4:27 to play in the 3rd after Von Miller went untouched for his 18th sack of the season. Weeden sustained a shoulder injury on the play and went to the locker room for further examination and did not return.
Weeden finished the day 12 of 19 for 104 yards.
Matt Prater’s 27 yard field goal extended Denver’s lead to 24-6 with 14:53 to play in the game.
Any hope to rally went out the window when Josh Cribbs muffed a punt return. Lance Ball recovered the 3rd lost fumble for Cribbs this season at the Browns’ 19.
Jacob Hester plunged in from the 1 to extend to a 31-6 lead.
McCoy threw a 6-yard touchdown to Greg Little, who reached across the goal line for the score. The two point try failed to keep it a 31-12 lead.
Prater’s 41 yard field goal with 1:55 to play provided the final margin.