DENVER —In a Saturday-night showdown, the Broncos just couldn't quite find a way to win.
The Broncos held the Browns on fourth down with 1:53 to play to give themselves a final chances at a victory, but they couldn't quite get into Brandon McManus field-goal range as Jabrill Peppers sacked Keenum on an ensuing fourth down and the Broncos fell 17-16.
The loss all but eliminated the Broncos from playoff contention as Denver lost its second consecutive game.
These were the moments and players that mattered in the Broncos' narrow loss to the Browns.
The Broncos got one final chance at a comeback when Adam Gotsis stuffed Nick Chubb on fourth-and-1 to give the Broncos the ball back at their own 13-yard line. Quarterback Case Keenum and the Broncos, though, couldn't convert the chance.
In a game in which neither team ever led by more than one score, the Broncos had their chances to earn a win that would have kept them in playoff contention. When Peppers sacked Keenum on fourth down, those chances came to an end.
With just a few seconds left in the third quarter, we hadn't heard much from Von Miller. The Broncos' star outside linebacker had just one tackle.
But on the final play of the frame, he made sure everyone at Broncos Stadium at Mile High heard his name loud and clear. Miller got inside position and brought down Baker Mayfield to record the Broncos' second sack of the game and force the Browns to punt.
But this wasn't just any other sack. It was Miller's 98th career regular-season sack, which moved him past Simon Fletcher for most career regular-season sacks in franchise history.
Miller has certainly had plenty of memorable moments over his outstanding career, but this one was special. Miller sprinted toward the opposite end of the field and celebrated with teammates before receiving a standing ovation from the fans at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Dymonte Thomas brought in his first career interception late in the second quarter. With the Browns driving, Thomas read quarterback Baker Mayfield perfectly, and Mayfield's overthrown pass landed right in Thomas' arms. Considering the Browns were also getting the ball to start the second half, Thomas' interception came at a crucial time. Adam Gotsis made a big impact from his defensive end spot. He tallied a crucial tackle for loss on fourth down that gave the Broncos one final chance at a win. Earlier, he had a strip-sack of Mayfield that help turn the tide. He also had a pass knockdown earlier in the game, and he tallied six tackles.
On offense, Tim Patrick led the team in receiving yards for the second straight week. After posting 85 yards on seven catches against the 49ers, Patrick brought in five receptions for 65 yards.
Kicker Brandon McManus made all three of his field goals, including a long of 44 yards.
For a second consecutive week, the Broncos struggled to get their potent ground game on track and finished with just 32 yards rushing. Phillip Lindsay ran for just 24 yards on 14 attempts, and Royce Freeman didn't find much success either with just 7 yards on four carries. Head Coach Vance Joseph has said establishing the run is a key for the team's success, and they weren't able to get a lot going on Saturday night. Denver's struggles in that area could have played a role in the offense only scoring 16 points.