Broncos Report Card vs. Browns

Kyle Orton wasn't spectacular, completing barely 50 percent of his passes. But he did not turn the ball over, which is becoming the top priority in the Broncos offense.Check out how Broncos Update grades Denver's performance against the Cleveland Browns.

REPORT CARD VS. BROWNS
PASSING OFFENSE: C-plus - Denver's Kyle Orton wasn't spectacular, completing barely 50 percent of his passes. But he did not turn the ball over, which is becoming the top priority in the Broncos offense. He also hit a couple of big plays to keep the offense moving. Orton will eventually need to carry the team, but the defense has been so good that so far the Broncos are fine with Orton being mostly a game manager.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B - Denver's rushing offense finally came alive in the fourth quarter. Correll Buckhalter broke a 45-yard touchdown run and Knowshon Moreno picked up tough yards. Part of the success came from the three tight-end set Denver used to grind out yards with the lead in the fourth quarter.

PASS DEFENSE: A - Brady Quinn refused to throw downfield. Either blame Quinn or Cleveland's conservative approach, or credit the Broncos' defense. Denver's secondary hasn't allowed many big plays in two weeks, thanks in large part to a revamped secondary. The pass rush has also been pretty good. Elvis Dumervil had four sacks, mostly when he was up against Browns right tackle John St. Clair.

RUSH DEFENSE: A - Jamal Lewis got only 38 yards on 14 carries as the Broncos swarmed to the ball once again. His longest carry was 12 yards. The Broncos are playing well against the run, but will be tested by the Raiders this week. The key has been that the linemen are occupying blockers and linebackers aren't letting running backs get to the second level very often.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus - Matt Prater missed two field goals on a windy day and Peyton Hillis lost a fumble on the opening kickoff. The reason Denver's grade wasn't much worse is it did a fantastic job against elite returner Joshua Cribbs, not allowing him to make any big plays.

COACHING: A - Josh McDaniels is 2-0. The competition hasn't been the toughest but the team has done what has been asked of it in each game. So far the defensive staff deserves a lot of credit for that unit's amazing turnaround from last year. The offense has been careful not to turn the ball over, and that has been good enough for a couple of wins.



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