8:39 P.M. MDT: Major props to the media-relations department — or anyone who was even indirectly responsible for the Cold Stone ice cream that was available in the press box. I went for the “caramel turtle,” which was downright delightful. It put a sweet tinge on a first half that was mostly sour for the Broncos until the final moments, when Jay Cutler and the offense came alive for an efficient, effective two-minute drill to a touchdown. Denver’s offense closed the half with 171 total yards from scrimmage — 25 fewer than the Browns. Off we go for the second half …
8:40 P.M. MDT: Domenik Hixon fields Phil Dawson’s kickoff five yards into the end zone and returns it 33 yards — gaining a few extra yards while wiggling his way through traffic. The first-team offense is on the field.
8:41 P.M. MDT: Cutler takes a timeout 46 seconds into the second half with second-and-12 at the Denver 26.
8:43 P.M. MDT: Cleveland decides it would rather have the Broncos in third-and-11 than second-and-22. Kamerion Wimbley works past Matt Lepsis from the left side, but Cutler steps out of the pass rush, although the pass falls incomplete.
8:47 P.M. MDT: Paul Ernster uncorks a 49-yard punt; the 6-yard return nonetheless leaves him with a net of 43 for the kick … Denver’s first-team defense is still in the game, and has Cleveland in a third-and-9 from the Browns 21.
8:48 P.M. MDT: Pressure from the outside by Jarvis Moss and Elvis Dumervil helps coax a Derek Anderson pass that is just a little bit off, giving the Broncos defense its first three-and-out of the game.
8:49 P.M. MDT: First-team offense back on the field for more work with outstanding field position at the Denver 48 following the exchange of punts … and muchas gracias to media-relations intern Brad Gee for grabbing a leftover plate of tortilla chips and salsa and tossing them into the nearby wastebasket, thus letting me stay at my perch and work on the game story. (And, yes, Brad, if that was your blatant attempt to get into the blog … mission accomplished.)
8:51 P.M. MDT: Nice little stiff-arm from Cecil Sapp on Browns safety Sean Jones for an extra yard or two near the right sideline … Broncos still have third-and-1 at the Cleveland 43.
8:52 P.M. MDT: Cutler has a pass tipped incomplete … It’s the second time tonight Cutler has had a pass deflected near the line of scrimmage.
8:53 P.M. MDT: Todd Sauerbrun takes his turn on punting duties … A 28-yard punt that ends in a fair catch. It is the first punt that Sauerbrun has dropped inside the 20-yard-line so far this preseason.
8:55 P.M. MDT: A Brady Quinn sighting. He’ll face Denver’s first-team defense. This could be interesting.
8:56 P.M. MDT: And Quinn’s first pass against a first-team defense is a 7-yard dumpoff.
8:57 P.M. MDT: Cleveland on the move after Quinn finds Jason Wright; Wright eludes tackle attempts from John Lynch and Ian Gold for 10 extra yards to the Browns 43.
8:58 P.M. MDT: With a strong pass rush bearing down on him, Quinn stayed in the pocket and found Kellen Winslow for a 25-yard gain across the middle. Cleveland is now at the Denver 35.
9:01 P.M. MDT: Third-and-four at the Denver 29. Crowd getting loud … Quinn looks for Joe Jurevicius in the left side of the end zone near the sideline … Dre’ Bly with him step for step … a splendid throw and catch, but Jurevicius’ foot landed on the touch line. Incomplete … and a scoreless drive after Phil Dawson misses the field-goal try.
9:02 P.M. MDT: With 5:55 left, here comes the second team, led by Patrick Ramsey.
9:04 P.M. MDT: Whoa … Ramsey clobbered in the open field for an eight-yard sack … then a nice burst for Selvin Young into the open field for 16 yards … great acceleration from Young as he sprinted up the field … and one play later, more of the same. Young looks splendid in the open field right now.
9:07 P.M. MDT: In watching Young run, I’m reminded of an admonishment Rod Smith made last summer after Mike Bell ran for the sidelines … that you’ve got to run at people. Not only is Young showing speed on this possession, but he’s taking on potential tacklers, using his speed to get some momentum.
9:09 P.M. MDT: Too many penalties on this possession — that’s three, and the pass-interference call on Tony Scheffler costs the Broncos a red-zone foray. One play later, Ramsey loses his grip on the football, allowing the Browns to take over at the Denver 37 after recovering the fumble.
9:15 P.M. MDT: Cleveland wasted little time capitalizing, making it into the end zone in just three plays. Cleveland now leads 17-10.
9:18 P.M. MDT: More strong running from Young … Denver has a first down at its 32 as the quarter concludes.
Tags: Cleveland Browns