Browns Drop Overtime Heartbreaker to Denver 26-23

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Oct 18, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns did what they could to make the Denver Broncos and QB Peyton Manning not succeed. However, despite their efforts, Cleveland was unable to obtain back to back wins. Factory of Sadness has the breakdown of the game and all that you need to know.

Rapid Reaction: Cleveland Browns’ First Half

You can’t let the 10-0 score distract you from how good the Browns defense played in the first half. They forced QB Peyton Manning to only 70 yards and a pick in the early going. LB Karlos Dansby made a great one leaping tip to knock the Manning pass back to himself in the 1st quarter.

Despite giving up 4.7 yards per carry, this defense is really on the hook for only one K Brandon McManus field goal and looked good without CB Joe Haden and S Tashaun Gipson in the backfield.

The offense, though, has been ugly. QB Josh McCown threw a telegraphed pass right into the hands of a streaking CB Aqib Talib, who promptly returned the interception 60 yards for a Denver touchdown. McCown’s 1st half line was a dismal 7/17 for 47 yards and the pick six, which registers a 24.4 quarterback rating.

Cleveland’s possessions by yardage in the 1st half went for 13, 12, 1, 15, 41 (ending with Talib’s interception), and 17 yards.  That’s only 2.8 yards per play. Yikes.

The Talib pick highlights the missing piece of the Browns offense: a legitimate receiving threat. McCown kept throwing shorter, quicker passes to take advantage of the receivers he has, but that allowed Talib to bait McCown into a bad throw that resulted in the lone Denver 1st half touchdown. Without anyone out there that forces a defense to adjust, a team like Denver can do whatever they want against the pass.

Next: Rapid Reaction: Denver Broncos' First Half