Cleveland— It was supposed to be Brady Quinn's coming out party.
He did his part—but the defense didn't as the Broncos rallied from a 13-point deficit to defeat the Browns 34-30. It was the second game in less than four days that the Browns have squandered a double digit lead late in the game.
The Browns drop to 3-6 and any hopes they still had have vanished.
Meanwhile, Quinn finished 23-of-35 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a rating of 104.3.
Kellen Winslow was the recipient of Quinn's two touchdowns and the tight end caught 10 passes for 11 yards, but he had a crucial fumble that led to the start of the Broncos' comeback.
The Broncos wasted little time moving the ball on the opening drive, but it ended up in a missed field goal by Matt Prater of 38 yards. On the first play, Cutler hit Tony Scheffler for 39 yards on the first offensive play to the Browns' 23. However, the Broncos stalled and Prater missed the field goal with 13:28 to play in the first quarter.
The Browns took over on their own 28 but punted back to the Broncos after a three-and-out.
After taking the punt on their own 14, the Broncos proceeded to march the length of the field and take a 7-0 lead as rookie Ryan Torain went over from one yard out. The drive started as Cutler threw a 15-yard pass to Marshall and then another of 34-yards to take the ball to the Browns' 29. Cutler hit Eddie Royal for 18 yards to the one in front of Brandon McDonald. Torain then went over from the one with 7:03 to play in the first quarter. The Broncos went 86 yards in nine plays for the score.
The Browns answered the Broncos' score with a touchdown of their own to tie the score at 7-7. The Browns went 59 yards in six plays as Quinn hit Winslow with 3:38 to play in the first quarter for the score.
Josh Cribbs had a 37 yard return to give the Browns good field position at the 41. On the first play, Quinn hit Donte Stallworth for 18 yards to the Broncos' 41. Jamal Lewis broke loose for a 29-yard run to the four after an eight-yard run on the previous play. On first down, Lewis took it to the one and then was dropped for a four-yard loss on second down. On third-and-goal from the five, Quinn hit Winslow for the touchdown.
After forcing the Broncos to punt for the first time, the Browns took a 10-7 lead on a 24-yard field goal by Phil Dawson. Seldom used Jerome Harrison accounted for 53 yards on five consecutive plays on the drive. He rushed for 44 yards and caught a pass for nine yards in the drive. The Browns moved to the seven before stalling. The 72 yard took 3:30 and 11 plays.
The Browns extended their lead to 17-7 with 10:29 to play in the fist half after an interception by Brodney Pool gave the Browns the ball at the Broncos' 20. On third-and-6 , Quinn hit Winslow for a 16-yard touchdown and the Browns had a 17-7 lead with 10:29 to play in the first half. Winslow caught the ball at the six and broke a tackle by Marquand Manuel and waltzed in for his second score
The Broncos responded by cutting the score to 17-10 with 5:40 to play in the first half on a 35-yard field goal by Prater. The big play was a pass from Cutler to Scheffler for 19 yards to the Browns' 17. The Broncos went 60 yards on 10 plays for the score.
The Browns pushed their lead to 20-10 as Dawson kicked a 52-yard field goal with 1:09 to play in the first half. The Browns went 45 yards on eight plays as Quinn hit Winslow on the drive four times. A 14-yard pass to Steve Heiden on third down took the ball to the Broncos' 43. The Browns moved the ball to 35 and were faced with fourth-and-one and decided to attempt the field goal.
The Browns received the second half kickoff and it resulted in a 35-yard field goal by Dawson to increase the lead to 23-10 with 10:21 left in the third quarter. The Browns went 64 yards in 10 plays with a 19-yard reception by Stallworth a big play on the drive, as well as a 27-yard run by Josh Cribbs as he took the direct snap and raced to the Broncos' 17.
Trailing 23-10, the Broncos moved to the Browns' 10 before stalling and settling for a 30-yard field goal by Prater to make it 23-13 with 5:37 to play in the third quarter. The Broncos were playing with fullback Peyton Hillis as the team's lone running back after Ryan Torain and Selvin Young were injured in the first half.
The Browns were faced with fourth and one from the Broncos' 47 and Lewis picked up two yards for the first down with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter. However, the Browns were forced to punt after an offensive pass interference penalty on Winslow negated a first down as the Browns were in Broncos' territory.
After Dave Zastudil's punt pinned the Broncos back to their own 7, Cutler threw a pass to Royal, who beat McDonald for a 93-yard touchdown to make it 23-20 with 13:30 to play. Royal caught the ball near the 37 and was able to make McDonald miss and went untouched the rest of the way for the score.
Cribbs took the kickoff and returned it 43 yards to midfield. On third-and-six, Quinn hit Winslow for a first down, but Winslow was stripped of the ball and Karl Paymah recovered at the Broncos' 38.
The Broncos took advantage of the mistake and took a 27-23 lead with 9:48 to play as Cutler hit Daniel Graham for a touchdown. The Browns continually couldn't get off the field on third down and the Broncos score came on third-and-11. Graham broke at least two tackles as he went the distance for the touchdown.
The Browns answered the Broncos' with a nine play, 78 yard drive and a one-yard score by Lewis to give the Browns a 30-27 lead with 4:56 to play. Cribbs ran an end around for 21 yards to ignite the drive, which started at the Browns' 22.
After Cribbs' run, Quinn hit Winslow for 30 yards to the Broncos' 24 and then dumped off to Lewis for 18 yards to the six. A five-yard slant to Stallworth took the ball to the one. After Lewis had no gain, he went in on second effort. Denver challenged the call, but it was upheld.
The Broncos took the lead at 34-30 with 1:14 to play as Cutler hit Marshall for an 11-yard touchdown. The Broncos went 80 yards in 3:43 for the score. The Broncos were on their own 45 and were faced with fourth-and-one with 3:58 to play. Hillis was stopped short, but was able to get the first down on second effort to the 47. A pass to Graham for 14 yards took the ball to the Browns' 29 at the two minute warning.
Cutler ran 18 yards to the 11. On first down, Cutler's pass to the end zone for Marshall was incomplete as McDonald broke it up. Marshall scored on the next play.
The Browns had a last chance as they started at their own 33 with 1:10 to play. Quinn hit Winslow to the 42 on first down for nine yards and then threw three incomplete passes to end the game. On fourth-and-one, Quinn's pass went right through the hands of Winslow.
The Mighty Quinn: The Broncos took the opening kickoff and after a missed field goal, QB Brady Quinn made his debut. On the first play, Quinn handed off to RB Jamal Lewis for a two-yard gain. Quinn's first pass was incomplete to TE Kellen Winslow. His second pass was complete to WR Syndric Steptoe for seven yards.
Quinn threw his first touchdown of his career to TE Kellen Winslow with 3:38 to play in the first quarter. He then hit Winslow again for a touchdown in the second quarter. Quinn finished the first half 11-of-15 for 102 yards and two touchdowns and a QB rating of 131.1. He finished 23-of-35 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and a 104.3 QB rating.
Big Injury: DL Shaun Rogers went down in the third quarter with a stinger injury. He was taken to the locker room, but did return with a neck roll.
K2 TD: TE Kellen Winslow caught two touchdowns in the first half. It was the first multi touchdown game of his career. Winslow had six catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He finished with 10 catches for 111 yards, two scores and a fumble.
Donte's Return: WR Donte Stallworth returned to the lineup after missing his fifth game last week with a quad injury. Stallworth had four catches for 48 yards.
Rough Time: CB Brandon McDonald was beaten for a 93-yard touchdown by WR Eddie Royal and he dropped an interception. He also was beaten by Marshall on the game-winning touchdown.
Braylon's Day: WR Braylon Edwards caught one pass for 15 yards. Edwards made a nice catch to open the fourth quarter, but an offensive pass interference penalty on Winslow negated the play.
Tough Running: The Broncos placed RB Michael Pittman and Andre Hall on injured reserve this week, leaving them with rookie Ryan Torain and Selvin Young. Both were injured in the first half and Torain didn't return after rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown in the first half. The Broncos used FB Peyton Hillis in the second half and still were able to put up 564 yards.
Defensive Blues: The Broncos moved the ball into the Browns' territory on their first three possessions. They resulted in a missed field goal, touchdown and a punt. Top tacklers were LB D'Qwell Jackson with s11, DB Sean Jones with 8, LB Willie McGinest with 7 and DB Brodney Pool with 6.
Wimbley Sack: LB Kamerion WImbley sacked Cutler in the fourth quarter. It was the only sack for the Browns.
In the Pool: DB Brodney Pool intercepted QB Jay Cutler and returned the ball to the Broncos' 20.
Minimum Mistakes: The Browns had no penalties and no turnovers in the first half. The Browns' first penalty was a false start on WR Braylon Edwards with 28 seconds to play in the third quarter. They finished with three penalties for 20 yards and one turnover.
Jerome Time: RB Jerome Harrison had four runs and a pass reception on five consecutive plays and totaled 53 yards on the drive the Browns took the lead on a Phil Dawson field goal. He gained 13 yards on his first carry and then caught a pass for nine yards on the next play. Harrison toted the ball for the third play in a row for a two-yard gain and a first down. He then followed that up with runs of 16- and 13-yards to start the second quarter.Harrison had 44 yards, while Jamal Lewis had 49 in the first half. He didn't touch the ball after that drive.
Cribbs Time: Josh Cribbs had five kickoff returns for 135 yards. He also ran the ball three times for 48 yards from scrimmage.
Browns Honor 1947-49 AAFC Teams: Several members of the Browns' 1947-49 All American Football Conference Championship teams were honored at halftime, including Dub Jones, Dante Lavelli and Ara Parseghian.
The Shannon Factor: Shannon Dawson, wife of K Phil Dawson, sang the national anthem. She has sung the national anthem each season and the Browns are 8-2 when she performs. Her husband kicked two field goals in the first half, including a 52-yarder.