Baker Mayfield capitalized on Denver’s depleted cornerback corps and dubious decisions in leading the Cleveland Browns past the Broncos 17-16 on Saturday night, keeping alive their slim hopes of ending the NFL’s longest playoff drought.
Mayfield’s 2-yard TD toss to Antonio Calloway with just under 12 minutes left provided the winning margin for the Browns (6-7-1). They snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Broncos (6-8).
Improving to 3-28 on the road over the last four seasons, the Browns still have a shot at their first winning season since 2007 and even their first playoff berth since 2002 thanks to their first win over Denver since 1990.
Calloway’s touchdown made it 17-13 and came with safety Justin Simmons in coverage because the Broncos were down five cornerbacks.
The Broncos responded with a 13-play drive that ate up more than seven minutes, but coach Vance Joseph inexplicably sent in kicker Brandon McManus for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-1 from the Cleveland 6 with 4:35 remaining.
The Cleveland Browns are actually talking about the – gasp! – playoffs! That’s in this season’s playoffs. Not next season. The Browns have won three of their last four games and are walking around with a swagger not seen since the 2007 season. The Browns chance of earning a playoff berth are remote, but they believe anything is possible when they face the Denver Broncos on Saturday at 5:20 p.m. PT/8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network, DirecTV or try FuboTV (free trial).
The Browns (5-7-1) opened more than a few eyes following their shocking 26-20 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 14. The Browns improved to 3-2 under interim coach Gregg Williams, who needed just five games to match former Browns coach Hue Jackson’s win total over two-plus seasons. The Browns record under Williams should be enough for management to remove the “interim” tag from Williams title.
The Broncos (6-7) remain in the playoff hunt, but their hopes absorbed a blow after they suffered a 20-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Broncos now know they have to win their final three games and get some significant help to earn a playoff berth.
You can get the latest score and stats from the game in the box score provided above and here’s everything you need to know in order to watch the Broncos vs. Browns game:
What: Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns
When: Saturday, Dec. 15, 5:20 p.m. PT/8:20 p.m. ET
Where: Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, CO
TV: NFL Network, DirecTV