Week 7 of the NFL season arrives with a Thursday Night Football showdown that makes me feel less awful about the Bears’ most recent loss to the Packers. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still hurting over that one. But this Broncos-Browns match has the potential to be a rough showdown, as it features two teams still feeling the stings that come while riding recent woes.
For instance, the home-standing Browns enter this one with a mess of injured players. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and right tackle Jack Conklin are each OUT with their own respective injuries. Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Jedrick Wills Jr. will play, which represents some consolation. But being short-handed on a short week is an unenviable situation.
On the other sideline, the Broncos are reeling in their own right. After a 3-0 start, Denver has lost three straight. And as has been the case in recent years, a defense that ranks fourth in points allowed is out-pacing an offense ranking 22nd of 32 teams in scoring. It’s a scenario old friend/Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio is far too familiar with in recent years.
I guess someone has to win. Unless, of course, there is a tie. Tonight feels like a weird TNF tie night, doesn’t it?
Denver Broncos (3-3, 3rd AFC West) at Cleveland Browns (3-3, 3rd AFC North) – FOX, NFL Network (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink), Westwood One (Tom McCarthy, Mike Golic), Prime (Andrea Kremer, Hannah Storm), Prime Scouts (Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah, Joy Taylor), FOX Deportes (Jorge Pérez Navaarro, Ronaldo Cantú)
Kickoff Time: 7:20 p.m. CT
Site: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
Referee: Adrian Hill
Odds: CLE -1.5, O/U 40 (via DraftKings Sports Book)
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun!
Browns: Kevin Stefanski (14-8) vs. Broncos: Vic Fangio (15-23)
Starting QBs and Projected Game Stats
Browns: Case Keenum: 21/33, 234 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 1 carry, 5 rushing yards
Broncos: Teddy Bridgewater: 23/35, 260 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 3 carries, 11 rushing yards
Projected stats via ESPN
Broncos Projected Starters
• QB Teddy Bridgewater
• RB Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams
• WRs Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton
• TE Noah Fant
• LT Garrett Bolles, LG Dalton Risner, C Lloyd Cushenberry III, RG Graham Glasgow, RT Bobby Massie
• DE Dre’Mont Jones, NT Mike Purcell, DE Shelby Harris
• OLBs Von Miller, ILBs Justin Strnad, Alexander Johnson, OLB Malik Reed
• CBs Ronald Darby, Patrick Surtain II
• S Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson
• Brandon McManus (kicker), Sam Martin (punter, holder), Jacob Bobenmoyer (long snapper), Diontae Spencer (kick and punt returns)
Browns Projected Starters
• QB Case Keenum
• RB D’Ernest Johnson, Demetric Felton
• WRs Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry
• TEs Austin Hooper, David Njoku
• LT Jedrick Wills Jr., LG Joel Bitonio, C JC Tretter, RG Wyatt Teller, RT Blake Hance
• LDE Myles Garrett, DTs Malik Jackson, Malik McDowell, RDE Jadeveon Clowney
• WLB Mack Wilson, MLB Anthony Walker, SLB Sione Takitaki
• LCB Denzel Ward, RCB Greg Newsome II
• FS John Johnson III, SS Ronnie Harrison Jr.
• Chase McLaughlin (kicker), Jamie Gillan (punter, holder), Charley Hughlett (long snapper), Anthony Schwartz, Demetric Felton (kick and punt returns)
Tonight's gameday inactives for #DENvsCLE.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 21, 2021