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(Sunday, September 20th)
Final Score: Denver 27, Cleveland 6
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Kyle Orton was 19-of-37 for 263 yards and a touchdown as Denver used a strong second half to dispatch Cleveland, 27-6, at Invesco Field.
Correll Buckhalter gained 76 yards with a score on nine carries for the Broncos (2-0), who have won the season's first two games for the third straight year.
Knowshon Moreno added 75 yards on the ground and Jabar Gaffney recorded three catches for 82 yards for Denver, which won its 10th consecutive home opener.
"I think we have had confidence since really we started training camp. I think when you win on the road in this league it is tough, and that certainly can help your confidence level," noted Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels about his club coming off a near-miracle finish last Sunday in Cincinnati. "We are not an overconfident football team, and we know we have got a long way to go and a lot of improvements to make."
Brady Quinn threw for 161 yards on 18-of-31 completions for the Browns (0-2), who dropped their eighth straight game dating back to last November.
Braylon Edwards had six catches for 92 yards but Jamal Lewis was limited to 38 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Matt Prater was able to battle the wind successfully on Denver's first possession of the second half, hitting from 38 yards out to give the home team a 13-6 edge. Elvis Dumervil's strip of Josh Cribbs and the recovery by Brian Dawkins at the Browns' 38 set up the drive.
Denver began to assert itself in the fourth quarter after Peyton Hillis rumbled up the middle for a two-yard score and a 20-6 advantage. The run capped an 82-yard, seven-play drive aided by Orton's 49-yard connection to Gaffney on the previous down.
Buckhalter later held off a pair of pursuers while racing 45 yards to the end zone which gave the Broncos a 27-6 lead with 8:24 left in the contest.
Quinn led the Browns to the Denver 31-yard-line in the final seconds, but his pass near the goal line intended for Cribbs was picked off by Darcel McBath before Orton took a knee on the last down.
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed about the finish to the game," said Browns head coach Eric Mangini. "When some sort of adversity strikes, we have to do a better job to be able to respond to that. We have to come back and create something on special teams and create something on offense. We have to come back on defense and respond."
Denver emerged with a 7-6 lead after one quarter, with a pair of Phil Dawson makes from 22 and 47 yards respectively, bookended a two-yard TD pass from Orton to Tony Scheffler.
Prater's 23-yarder capped a 76-yard march for a 10-6 Broncos edge early in the second period, but missed a 39-yard try in the final seconds before the half due to swirling winds.
Denver has won nine in a row over Cleveland dating back to 1990...The Broncos' last home-opening defeat came at the hands of the Miami Dolphins in a 38-21 decision on September 13, 1999...Dumervil registered four sacks.
09/20 20:50:34 ET
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