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Final: Browns fall to Denver, 26-23, in wild OT loss


The Browns went to overtime for a second straight week, but didn't get the same satisfying feeling Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The Browns couldn't capitalize on a Barkevious Mingo interception inside Denver territory to start overtime, and saw Peyton Manning lead the Broncos 72 yards to set up a 34-yard, game-winning field goal by Brandon McManus to send Cleveland to a 26-23 loss.

The loss dropped the Browns to 2-4 and moved Denver to 6-0.

A defense-dominated game was tilted on its end with roughly 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

After the Broncos extended their lead to two possessions for the first time Sunday, 16-7, with a third McManus field goal, Cleveland bounced right back. Josh McCown hit Travis Benjamin with a 47-yard pass to move into Denver territory and found tight end Gary Barnidge for his second touchdown of the game with 9:16 to play.

On the ensuing possession, Browns veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby stepped up on a pass thrown behind Denver running back Ronnie Hillman, nabbed it and immediately looked for six. He tip-toed the sidelines and barrelled into the end zone on the 35-yard return. The play survived a booth review replay, but the Browns lead with 8:07 to play, their first of the game, lasted for just a few moments.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Peyton Manning connected with Emmanuel Sanders, who was matched up with Tramon Williams on the right sideline, on a 75-yard touchdown strike to put Denver back on top, 23-20, with 7:53 to play.

The teams traded punts before the Browns took over with 4:48 to play. The Browns moved into field goal range thanks to a Denver roughing the passer penalty and a McCown slant to Benjamin. Travis Coons tied it up with 1:32 to go with a 26-yard field goal.

Each team had a chance to win near the end of regulation, but neither was able to even attempt a field goal. McCown threw an interception and Denver was forced to punt with 10 seconds left in regulation after a long Sanders catch was overturned and ruled incomplete.

The Browns came out firing in the second half to narrow Denver's 10-0 halftime lead to a field goal. McCown connected with Andrew Hawkins for 25 yards on a key third down, Isaiah Crowell put Cleveland in the red zone with a 12-yard run and Barnidge caught his first touchdown, an 11-yarder, to get the Browns on the scoreboard.

The Browns limited the damage of a McCown fumble, which occurred after he was hit hard by an unaccounted for Shaquil Barrett, to a 25-yard McManus field goal with 2:08 to play in the third quarter. Christian Kirksey's tackle of C.J. Anderson on a third-and-5 pass saved the Browns from surrendering a potential touchdown.

The Browns picked up just 94 yards in the first half with just 42 coming through the air. They escaped with a deficit of just 10 when the defense, after allowing a big Hillman run, forced Denver into a 51-yard field goal attempt near halftime that was missed.

McCown's first interception in 99 pass attempts went directly for six the wrong way. Aqib Talib stepped in front of Benjamin, nabbed the throw and ran untouched 63 yards for a touchdown that put Denver ahead, 10-0, early in the second quarter.

The Broncos struck first with a field goal that capped a 15-play, 58-yard drive late in the first quarter. The Browns surrendered fourth- and third-down conversions in their own territory but tightened up near the goal line to hold Denver to a 29-yard McManus field goal.

The Browns are back on the road next week when they face St. Louis.

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