Browns at Broncos Game Preview: Sunday 4 PM 11/26/23

November 25, 2023

Andy Billman Tony Camino

Week 12 Game Breakdown and Picks

1 – DTR on the road

Dorian Thompson-Robinson will make his first-ever road start against the Denver Broncos, led by veteran quarterback Russell Wilson.

On paper, this match-up seems to be in big favor of the Broncos, but remember that DTR has faced two of the elite on the AFC side, and even though playing on the road against a seasoned veteran is daunting, playing a team that is not a stout as the Ravens and Steelers will be a welcomed sight.

2 – Run the ball

The Browns have one of the best running games in the NFL, but last week it was not at its best getting outgained by the Steelers.  Cleveland has to make sure to get the running game back up to their standards.

3 – Super Myles

With Cleveland’s secondary having some injury issues this week, including Denzel Ward, the defensive line will have to pick it up, which means Myles Garrett will need to be a star on Sunday, putting pressure on Wilson.


The Browns face another test, this time on the road against the Broncos, who have won four in a row.   The Broncos are not a team with a prolific offense, and the run game is average at best. This will be the difference in the game. 

Browns win 17-7, take the 1.5

Cleveland Browns Notes

Despite the absence of their starting quarterback for the remainder of the 2023 season, the Cleveland Browns clinched their third consecutive victory last Sunday with a narrow 13-10 win. The noteworthy aspect of the game was Cleveland’s robust defense, which took charge by limiting Pittsburgh to a mere 249 total yards. Currently ranked sixth in scoring, the Browns allow an impressive average of only 18.0 points per game. Spearheaded by Myles Garret’s league-leading 13.0 sacks, the team boasts a total of 33 sacks, placing them seventh in the league. Cleveland also excels in defensive yardage, conceding the fewest yards per game at 243.3 and the second-fewest per play at 4.5. The success of the team appears to hinge on the formidable performance of its defense.

Shifting focus back to the offense, which is coping without its starting quarterback and running back until 2024, the Browns continue to muster 22.7 points per game, ranking 13th this season. The offensive prowess primarily lies in the rushing attack, securing a commendable sixth-place position in yards. However, beyond the ground game, there are areas of concern. Cleveland languishes in 30th place for yards per play (4.5), 31st for yards per pass attempt (5.8), 30th for giveaways (20, although teams with more games played are below them), and 23rd for sacks allowed (29). The pivotal factor for the success of Cleveland’s offense lies in ball protection, serving as the linchpin for enabling the defense to flourish. The question remains whether they can maintain this crucial element in the upcoming weekend.

Denver Broncos Notes

Despite the prevailing belief that the Broncos would be sidelined this year, a sudden string of four victories has elevated their status. A decisive late touchdown secured a 21-20 triumph in primetime against the Vikings last Sunday. With three consecutive road games on the horizon, the Broncos are anticipated to showcase their best performance for the home crowd. Denver’s defense has notably excelled, limiting their last five opponents, including the Chiefs twice and the Bills, to an average of 17.4 points per game. The initial five games, particularly the Miami matchup where the Broncos allowed 70 points, skewed their statistics unfavorably. Nevertheless, the current defensive prowess surpasses the earlier portrayal, with the Broncos ranking third in takeaways at 19, presenting a potential advantage for them on Sunday.

While the offense hasn’t been overpowering in the team’s four-game winning streak, they have maintained a solid average of 22.0 points per game, aligning closely with Denver’s season average of 21.7. Similar to Cleveland, the Broncos excel in ground attacks, averaging the seventh-highest yards per carry at 4.5. The presence of a healthy Javonte Williams has significantly bolstered the offensive performance. Through the air, the Broncos achieve 7.0 yards per pass attempt. However, a notable concern is the susceptibility to sacks, with Russell Wilson being brought down 32 times. The looming question remains: can they withstand the pressure from Myles Garrett?

Best Bets for Browns vs. Broncos – Week 12

The perfect run came to an end in the worst way in Week 11, but we are still 7-1 in picks over the last four games. David Njoku hit his receiving total in the first half but Jerome Ford came two carries short of keeping the streak alive after eight carries on the opening drive. It looked like easy and cash for both but Ford was left out of the game plan in the second half for an unknown reason. Nevertheless, we’ll take a 7-1 run any day of the week, and let’s start a new streak with the game in Denver. Here are two best bets for the Browns at Broncos in Week 12.

David Njoku Over 39.5 Receiving Yards (-140)

Njoku covered his 29.5 line a week ago in the first half and is the biggest beneficiary of Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback. Njoku has covered this line in 60% of games this season, including four of his last five and both games with DTR under center. He’s managed at least eight or more targets in four of the last five games, with at least six in every game. Last week was his most targeted game of the season, but he hauled in just seven of his 15 targets for 56 yards. If he can convert more targets to receptions, this could hit in the first half again.

In the games with DTR, Njoku is averaging 6.5 catches per game on 12 targets for 51 yards. The veteran tight end is dominant after the catch with the ball in his hands, and the Browns are certainly looking to get him the ball in space. In addition, rookie quarterbacks tend to utilize tight ends in the short to medium pass game, and DTR favored Njoku over every other receiver. Six of ten tight ends have covered this line against the Broncos, with all the misses having their own lines at 30 yards or lower. The Broncos allow the most yards per game to tight ends this season and are without Kareem Jackson.

Dustin Hopkins Over 5.5 Kicking Points (-120)

Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins has covered this line in all but one game this year, with his only miss coming in the short-notice debut of DTR against the Ravens. Last week, the veteran nailed two field goals and an extra point to mark his eighth time covering this line this year. With DTR at quarterback, the Browns aren’t going to be ultra-aggressive near the goal line and will take points whenever they can get them. I expect the Browns to be able to move the ball more consistently against a weak Broncos defense compared to last week against the Steelers.

Hopkins has missed just four kicks all year and gets to kick in the high altitude of Denver this week. The Browns could be more likely to try and steal more 50-plus yard kicks due to the offensive limitations and the extra carry on the ball. The Browns have relied on Hopkins all year, and I expect him to come through yet again today.


The Browns’ offense looks to get going in a much better matchup at the Denver Broncos. Denver owns the longest win streak in the NFL currently and is playing their best football of the Russell Wilson era, but they are still a very beatable opponent. The Broncos’ run defense is the league’s worst and the Browns will need to have a consistent run game to keep them in third-and-manageable situations. With a full dosage of Dawand Jones, look for more opportunities for DTR to sit in the pocket and deliver the ball downfield.

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