Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw the first touchdown of his career and 134 passing yards before leaving the game in the second half with a concussion from a hit from Denver's Baron Browning.
Jerome Ford rushed for sixty-five yards on nine carries to lead the offense for Cleveland.
Cleveland falls to 7-4 and will play the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles next Sunday.
1) The biggest issue of all the issues that seem to be piling up is the receivers dropping the ball.
Cleveland dropped five passes in the second half with David Njoku dropping multiple passes for the second week in a row and the most notable drop from Amari Cooper, who dropped a wide-open pass from Dorian Thompson-Robinson on a two-point conversion that would have tied the game in the third quarter.
No matter which of their three current quarterbacks play, the Browns offense isn't good enough to afford the drops from accurate passes.
2) Dorian Thompson-Robinson's stats weren't glittering (14/29 134 yards 1 TD 0 INT) but he was hurt by drops, and he avoided making the mistake that gets you beaten.
I'm not saying Cleveland wins this game before his injury but the Browns were down by only two and hadn't made mistakes to that point.
3) I didn't think the hit by Baron Browning was a dirty hit but it was a penalty.
Browning led with his shoulder which isn't a dirty hit but he did make contact helmet to helmet which as Sam Wyche said on an NFL Films segment " he hit him in the head and that is a penalty".
4) After the injury to Thompson-Robinson, here came P.J. Walker, and while Walker didn't get intercepted, he did almost everything else wrong in completing six of thirteen and getting sacked four times.
I'm not sure of Thompson-Robinson playing next Sunday (I'd bet he won't be ready) and the decision will have to be made early on whether to give Joe Flacco a crash course or try to squeeze one more game out of Walker.
Neither option is overly appealing.
5) The offensive line didn't allow Thompson-Robinson to be sacked but they allowed four sacks of P.J. Walker in a little over a quarter.
Walker isn't a mobile quarterback and Denver was able to rush with abandon because they knew the Browns had to throw but it does cause concern about how the Browns will protect the granite-like Flacco in the pocket.
6) Denver entered the game with the league's worst run defense and considering the circumstances for the Browns, running the ball would have seemed the best plan.
Cleveland had success with Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt combining for eighty-seven yards on sixteen carries but they didn't commit to runs between the tackles often enough and as a result, Denver was able to avoid the big run out of the backfield as only one run was longer than nineteen yards.
7) Kevin Stefanski has done a pretty good job this season (Seattle aside) but twice in this loss, Stefanski's need to be clever cost them.
The first was another cutie package with Harrison Bryant taking snaps on a fourth and one near midfield with Bryant fumbling the ball with the Broncos recovering.
It didn't lead to points for Denver but it did kill a Cleveland drive.
8) And the Stefanski moment that serves as the epitaph for his Browns tenure- starting the fourth quarter and it is the second play for P.J. Walker on a second and seven on the Cleveland forty-one, Denver leads by two.
Stefanski calls a double reverse with Pierre Strong and Elijah Moore which results in a fumble, Denver recovers, and four plays, and eighty-five seconds later, Denver scores a touchdown and the game is essentially over then and there.
Granted P.J. Walker didn't fumble but a play such as that takes timing and precision (and it was the only touch of the game for Pierre Strong while I'm at it), so I don't see how the time was right for such a play call.
It's the biggest black mark on Stefanski, the need to show his brilliance that pops up at the worst possible time.
9) Myles Garrett played much of the game with a shoulder that hung by his side for most of the second half.
Garrett left the stadium with his arm in a sling and is undergoing an MRI today to reveal any possible damage.
It goes without saying that losing Garrett would be a devastating loss that might be the final straw in what the Browns can come back from.
10) Jeremiah Owosu-Koramoah played very well and seemed to be in or around every play, finishing with seven solo tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, and several assisted tackles.
Drafted as the "antidote" for the Browns' problems with Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, JOK is capable of so much when he is healthy and allowed to run to the football, which in the Joe Woods scheme in the past, he wasn't always allowed to do with his responsibilities.
11) Finally, I thought Denver was a tough out with the Broncos' recent run of improved play, playing in Mile High, and with a rookie quarterback, so I'm not totally disappointed by the loss.
The key is now beating the Rams in Los Angeles this Sunday.
The 5-6 Rams have won their last two games, both since Matthew Stafford returned from injury, and are just one game out of the playoffs behind 6-5 Minnesota and Seattle, so they have plenty to play for and won't be an easy win.
The Browns needed to split the two games out West, this one is more important than one may have thought a week or two ago with a home game against the AFC South-leading 8-3 Jacksonville Jaguars following the Rams, a loss in California would drop the Browns to 7-5 and perhaps in full panic mode.
We will see on Sunday.