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Game Pass Rewind: Defensive stand caps a wild night at Mile High

Last month, the NFL announced it would offer free access to its Game Pass platform. That means fans can watch ANY game dating back to 2009.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting some of the most re-watchable Browns games -- for a variety of reasons -- on the list. Today, we're taking a small step back to the last few weeks of 2018, when the Browns were flirting with a run to the playoffs after a memorable Saturday night in Denver.

Who: Browns at Broncos

When: Week 15, Dec. 15, 2018 

The Stakes: Winners of three of their last four, the Browns suddenly found themselves in the hunt for an improbable spot in the playoffs, even with a record of 5-7-1. The Broncos were similarly fighting for their playoff lives entering the Saturday night showdown with a record of 6-7. 

What happened: The Browns jumped on the Broncos early but needed some crisp execution on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter to win it. Baker Mayfield's touchdown pass to Antonio Callaway and a game-sealing sack by Jabrill Peppers sent the Browns back to Cleveland with a 17-16 win.

It was over when …: Peppers burst through the line on fourth-and-10 and dropped Case Keenum for a sack with 39 seconds to play, ending any possible shot of the Broncos kicking a potential game-winning field.

They said it, Part 1: "Once they brought the tight end down, I saw that Case and the line did not account for me. Case thought I was in man coverage. Once they slid the protection away from me, I knew it was going to be a sack. I just had to beat him before he got the ball out. The low snap helped us. I do not think that he really saw me before it was too late. It was ballgame."

 Cleveland wins its second in a row and keeps its playoff hopes alive in a tightly fought game that is sealed with Jabrill Peppers' sack of Case Keenum.

The Drive: After coming out hot like it had for the past month, Cleveland's offense hit a wall midway through the first quarter and didn't recover until the fourth. Following a T.J. Carrie interception, the Browns, trailing by a field goal, got rolling when Mayfield found Jarvis Landry for a 12-yard gain and, two plays later, Rashard Higgins for 19 yards. In one of the best moments of Mayfield's rookie season, the quarterback made a key adjustment at the line of scrimmage, altered Callaway's route and then found him on a slant for a 2-yard touchdown with 11:44 to play in the fourth quarter.

They said it, Part 2: "It definitely was not our prettiest game at all, but a win is a win. Finding a way to win on the road is hard. It is something that we are not going to take for granted." -- Mayfield

Survive and advance: The Browns somehow still held the lead after a Broncos fourth quarter drive that took more than 7 minutes off the clock. With the Broncos facing a third-and-1 at the Browns' 6, Trevon Coley stuffed Phillip Lindsay for no gain. In a decision that did not sit well with hometown fans, Denver coach Vance Joseph opted to kick the field goal with 4:35 remaining in the game, slicing the Browns' lead, 17-16. It actually turned out to be the right decision because…

The Drive that wasn't: … The Browns gave the ball back to the Broncos with 1:42 to play after failing to convert on fourth-and-1 at the Broncos' 10-yard line. After breaking off a 40-yard run at the start of the drive, Nick Chubb was stuffed for a 2-yard loss.

They said it, Part 3: "We came up here to win a ballgame. I don't think anybody's worried about me not being aggressive and we came up here to win it. Offensively we were going to win it right there. If not, defensively we're going to come back and do it." -- Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams

Sunday scaries: The Browns kept their playoff hopes alive with this victory, a remarkable achievement in its own right considering the team was 2-6-1 after Week 9. Those dreams were mostly dashed one day later, as seemingly every team that needed to win to help Cleveland's cause didn't. The Browns were officially eliminated before they returned to the field Week 16 against the Bengals.

Unsung hero: Punctuated by Coley's huge stop on third down, the Browns run defense had, by far, its best performance of the 2018 season, limiting Lindsay and the Broncos to just 32 yards on 20 attempts. The Browns' previous low allowed was 62 yards and the performance was just one of four on the season when the opposition had fewer than 100.

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