Key Takeaways from Broncos-Browns Week 7 game

Browns, Broncos, Week 7

Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season kicked off with a matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Cleveland Browns, with the latter coming away with a 17-14 win at home. The Browns prevented a three-game skid with the win. They also covered the spread as 1.5-point home favorites. The Broncos, meanwhile, leave The Land with another failed attempt at a return in the win column. Nitrogen Sports Blog provides some key takeaways from the Broncos-Browns Week 7 Thursday Night Game.

Key Takeaways from Broncos-Browns Week 7 game

Denver and Cleveland had a low-scoring game, but an entertaining one, nevertheless. We begin the list with the man that almost single-handedly made this Broncos-Browns contest watchable.

A new star is born

The Browns came into this Week 7 home game against the Broncos with a banged-up roster, and that’s putting it mildly. They didn’t have their top two running backs, arguably the best backfield duo in the entire NFL. Nick Chubb got ruled out with a calf issue, while Kareem Hunt is on the injured reserve, also because of a calf problem. That left the Browns with the pair of D’Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton to handle the rushing attack of Cleveland. 

Well, just Johnson, really. 

Johnson, who entered the Broncos matchup with just three total carries over the previous six games made sure people will remember his name with an unforgettable performance, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Credit should also go to the Browns’ offensive line for getting Johnson into a groove, as the 25-year-old product of the USF Bulls took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him. Whether Chubb returns in Week 8 or not, the Browns seem to behave found a new star in the backfield, which already sounds unfair, considering they also still have Hunt.

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Good eveeeeeening, Keenum

And how about Case Keenum? The Browns went with Keenum as their starter with Baker Mayfield unable to play because of a shoulder injury. As of this writing, it’s uncertain how soon Mayfield will return to action — if he’s at all going to play again in 2021. His shoulder injury reportedly needs surgery, though that option can wait until the end of the season. 

In any case, Keenum showed he can be steady enough under center to guide the Browns’ offense. Known as a game manager, Keenum passed for 199 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-33 completions. Keenum didn’t make any flashy plays, but he did not shoot his team in the foot by committing errors. He mechanically drove the Browns downfield and moved the chains. Cleveland ended up with 23 first downs to just 15 by Denver. 

Mayfield seems to have a shot at starting in Week 8 against the Browns, but at the very least, it’s comforting for Cleveland to see that Keenum can do his job. Remember, Keenum used to be a starter and even led the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs a few years back.

Mile-high drop-off 

Where do the Broncos go from here? Vic Fangio’s team started the season like a house on fire, winning three games in a row, albeit against teams likely to finish the season with losing records. The Broncos defeated the New York Giants in Week 1, the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, and then the New York Jets in Week 3. 

The wheels fell off for Denver after that Jets win, as the Broncos lost four in a row against playoff contenders. In other words, Denver got sort of exposed as pretenders. The Broncos will have 10 days to rest and think about a plan on how they can right the ship. They have a very beatable Washington Football Team up ahead in Week 8, so that could be a start of an upward trend for Teddy Bridgewater and the Broncos.

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