Friday, December 21, 2012

Boomer Report: Browns head out west to face their (old) rivals the Denver Broncos

Ernest Byner's fumble was one reason
the Browns never got past Denver,
during the playoff's in the late 1980's.
As a Clevelander/Browns fan, whenever the current Browns take on the Denver Broncos, I'm sure a number of unforgettable (or maybe forgettable) past memories, creep back into their heads.

Case in point, the three AFC Championship Games that were lost against the Denver Broncos in the late '80's. The first game, the 1986 AFC Championship Game remembered as "The Drive", when Hall of Fame QB John Elway led the Broncos on a LONG touchdown scoring drive late that tied the game,  in which eventually was won by the Broncos in overtime. Just a year later, in a similar situation, the 1987 AFC Championship Game was remembered as, "The Fumble". Late in the game, Browns RB Ernest Byner turned the ball over as he was headed into the endzone for a game-tying touchdown late in the game, Broncos would go onto win 38-33. Or maybe you remember the 1989 AFC Championship Game, when the Browns fell to the Broncos for the 3rd time in 4 years, losing 37-21 (Broncos scored 13 unanswered in the 4th quarter). For Browns fans, the closest the Browns ever got to the Super Bowl, those dam Denver Broncos where always there to ruin it, THREE TIMES (I hate you, John Elway!).

Browns-Broncos all-time series records

Brandon Weeden is able to get a first-hand look, of
what an All-Pro NFL QB looks like when he goes
head-to-head vs. Peyton Manning.
Cleveland Browns (5-9) vs. Denver Broncos (11-3) Game Preview 

The Browns are a two-touchdown underdog heading into their matchup with the Broncos in "Mile High". Last weeks game against the Washington Redskins, a 38-21 home defeat was a bit of a disappointment, at least the 2nd half was. The team was riding a three-game winning streak, but in the 2nd half they had no answer for the Redskins attack, as the Redskins ran off twenty-eight 2nd half points, outscoring the Browns 28-7 after the break. The Browns look to shock the world, as they face Peyton & Co. on Sunday afternoon. Following, a 2-3 start to the season (that was a tough stretch of games look at the schedule), Peyton shake off the rust, from sitting out all of last season, and has the Broncos riding a 9-game winning streak and in position to receive a 1st-round bye in this seasons NFL playoff's. The Browns D will have its work cut out, as they go up against one of the best QB's from the past decade or so in Manning, who has elevated the talent around him since coming to town. For the Browns offense, it will be a challenge moving the ball on a Broncos D that ranks 8th in the NFL in passing defense (216 ypg) and 2nd in rushing defense (91 ypg). With the chance to clinch a bye in the playoffs, the Broncos will be at full-strength as the Browns look to keep it close and be competitive, great back to our old expectations, "keeping it close".

Side note: The Browns haven't beaten the Broncos since returning to the league in 1999, posting an 0-5 mark overall, 0-3 in Denver. You have to go all the way back to 1990, the last time the Browns defeated the Broncos, a 30-29 thriller in Denver.