DENVER—In a defensive battle, the Broncos have the only touchdown of the game and hold a 10-6 lead at the half. A pair of Phil Dawson field goals is all the Browns have to show for their first half after missing a golden opportunity to start the game.
With no timeouts and seemingly content to take a 10-6 lead into the half, the Browns allowed the Broncos to drive from their own six all the way to the Browns' 22. However, the Browns defense stiffened and forced Matt Prater to attempt a 39-yard field goal, but the wind pushed the ball just wide left. The Broncos had the ball 15 plays on the drive.
The Browns drew first blood as Dawson hit a 22-yard field goal with 12:22 of the first quarter to make it 3-0. Peyton Hillis fumbled the opening kickoff as he was hit by Blake Constanzo and Constanzo recovered the ball at the Broncos' 22. On third-and-8, Quinn hit Braylon Edwards over the middle for 14 yards and a first down to the seven.
The Broncos took advantage of a Browns turnover and took a 7-3 lead with 8:03 as Kyle Orton hit Tony Scheffler from the two in front of Kamerion WImbley. After the Browns scored first on a Broncos' turnover, the Browns returned the favor by turning the ball over on the Browns' second possession. Alex Mack snapped the ball low and Quinn wasn't able to handle it and the Broncos' D Reid recovered on the Browns' nine. Three plays later, the Broncos took the lead.
After the Broncos' touchdown, the Browns moved into Broncos' territory and made it 7-6 when Dawson converted on a 47-yard field goal with 1:49 to play in the first quarter. Quinn hit Furrey for a first down on third down to keep a drive going and then hit Edwards for a 20-yard gain. After falling short on third down on a pass to Josh Cribbs, Dawson converted his second field goal. The Browns covered 51 yards on 11 plays spanning 6:14 on the drive.
The Broncos came back after the Browns field goal with a 13 play drive of their own that stalled inside the Browns' five with 11:42 as Prater hit a 23-yard field goal to make 10-6. The big play was a 37-yard reception by Stokley, which took the ball to the Browns' 28. On third down in the red zone, Orton again hooked up with Stokley for the first down inside the 10.
Near the end of the first half, Dave Zastudil pinned the Broncos back at their own six, but the Browns were unable to force a three-and-out and the Broncos were able use up the clock to end the first half by converting three third down conversions. A pass interference on Stokley by Hank Poteat gave the Broncos a first down on the Browns' 31. Another pass to Stokley set up the missed field goal attempt.
Long Drought: The Browns haven't scored a touchdown on their opening drive since Nov. 11, 2007. They had a golden opportunity after LB Blake Constanzo recovered a fumble by KR Peyton Hillis on the opening kickoff at the Broncos' 22. The Browns were able to get to the three, but were unable to get the touchdown. The streak spans 24 games.
Chemistry 101: A lot of talk was about the chemistry between Quinn and WR Braylon Edwards. The duo hooked up for a 14-and 20-yard gains in the first quarter. Edwards had three receptions for 39 yards in the first half.
Run Jamal: RB Jamal Lewis had 12 carries for 31 yards with a long of 12 yards.
Near Miss: LB Eric Barton ran right by QB Kyle Orton in the second quarter as he came in untouched. The play should've resulted in a sack, but the Broncos were able to keep the drive going.
Big Mac: After giving up two late touchdowns in the loss to the Broncos in 2008, CB Brandon McDonald was looking for some redemption. On the Broncos' first possession, McDonald dropped WR Brandon Stokely for a three-yard loss .
Harrison In; Davis Out: RB Jerome Harrison was active for the first time since injuring his knee in the first preseason game. Davis injured his shoulder last week against the Vikings and was inactive against the Broncos. Harrison had two attempts for six yards in the first half.
Brady in Mile High: QB Brady Quinn was 8-of-12 for 57 yards in the first half. He had a QB rating of 77.4.
Tacklers: S Abe Elam led the Browns with five tackles at the half, while former Browns LB Andra Davis had nine tackles for the Broncos.
Third Down Mike: WR Mike Furrey caught his first pass for a first down on third down. Quinn tried to hit Furrey on third down and goal on the team's first possession in the end zone, but it was incomplete.