QB Allen set for NFL debut as
Broncos host Browns
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[October 31, 2019]
The Cleveland Browns believe
they have their franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield. Their
opponent on Sunday will debut its sixth starter at that position
since future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retired after the 2015
Brandon Allen will take his first regular-season NFL snap when the
Broncos host the Browns this week, after Denver announced Joe Flacco
will miss time with a herniated disc in his neck. Allen, who was
drafted by Jacksonville in 2016 and also spent time on the Los
Angeles Rams' roster, got the nod to lead the 2-6 Broncos.
Allen will try to jump-start an offense that has struggled at times
and had players grumbling about the play calling. Wide receiver
Emmanuel Sanders hinted at his frustration after a loss to Kansas
City on Oct. 17; less than a week later, he was traded to San
Flacco said he thought the play calling was too conservative after
last Sunday's loss to Indianapolis. Head coach Vic Fangio said
Flacco wasn't being benched for his comments -- the change is due to
Now Allen is in the spotlight, at least until the Broncos decide if
they want to give rookie second-rounder Drew Lock a chance after the
Week 10 bye.
Allen's teammates are confident in his abilities.
"First of all, Brandon is a very intelligent dude," running back
Phillip Lindsay said. "I was very shocked and surprised when he
first got here how well he got the terminology so fast and how
confident and calm he is. I'm excited to see what he has to offer. I
think he's going to move around a lot, and I think he's going to
take shots and stuff."
Denver will face a Cleveland team dealing with its own adversity.
The Browns (2-5) have lost three straight and are facing an uphill
climb to reach the postseason. They're coming off a 27-13 loss in
New England in Week 8 and look to start a playoff push against a
struggling Broncos team.
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Broncos quarterback Brandon Allen (2) throws the ball on the
sideline in the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at
Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA
Despite Denver's losing record, its defense has been solid for most
of the year and presents a challenge. Chris Harris Jr. is still the
top cornerback and will likely draw the assignment of shadowing
Odell Beckham Jr., and Cleveland's banged-up offensive line will try
to stop defensive lineman Derek Wolfe and linebacker Von Miller from
getting to Mayfield.
"Von Miller speaks for himself. He is one of the best in the
league," Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said Wednesday. "The
secondary is good. When they have given up 40 yards or less rushing,
they have created six turnovers and they have won the game. When
they did not, they lost the game, and even those games came down to
a last-second field goal. This is a very, very good football team we
Mayfield drew attention Wednesday when he abruptly left a media
session after a testy exchange with a reporter.
He then posted on Twitter in response, saying, "My sense of urgency
is at an all-time high. And if I offend anybody along the way...
that's too bad."
The Browns beat the Broncos 17-16 in Denver last year, with Mayfield
throwing for 188 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Nick
Chubb added 100 rushing yards on 20 carries.
--Field Level Media
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