New York Post

Defense carries Peyt on, Broncos to overtime win


CLEVELAND — Again far from perfect, Peyton Manning still kept Denver’s record pristine.

Manning shook off three intercepti­ons, including one early in overtime, and drove Denver’s offense in range for Brandon McManus to kick a 34yard field goal with 4:56 left, giving the unbeaten Broncos a 2623 win over the Browns on Sunday.

Manning took the Broncos from their 12 to the Cleveland 16 before McManus kicked his gamewinner to make Denver 60 for the seventh time in franchise history.

“We’re not playing as well as we would like but we’re playing well enough to win,” Manning said. “We’re doing some things right at critical times whether it’s the last drive of the game or in overtime.”

Denver’s win would not have been possible without the Broncos’ topranked de fense, which came up huge in overtime and has carried the team — and the 39yearold Manning — during the club’s unblemishe­d start.

Cornerback Aqib Talib had a 63yard intercepti­on return for a TD and McManus kicked four field goals as the Broncos won their 11th straight against the Browns.

After Manning’s third pick, Denver recorded a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and then had two consecutiv­e sacks of Josh McCown to push the Browns (24) out of fieldgoal range.

“Obviously that’s not a good situation to put the defense in, but they got a couple of sacks and gave us a chance,” said Manning, who has seven TD passes and 10 intercepti­ons this season. “I’m not having a ton of breaks. I won’t be going to Vegas for my bye week. I’m not feeling really lucky.”

But Denver’s defense bailed him out, and given another chance in overtime, Manning took over. He completed 4 of 4 passes for 39 yards on the last drive. Manning finished 26 of 48 for 290 yards and the one TD, a 75yarder to Emmanuel Sanders.

The score came just seconds after the Browns had taken their only lead on Karlos Dansby’s 35yard intercepti­on return for a TD.

It was yet another heartbreak­er for Cleveland, which had one of the NFL’s best teams on the ropes late in regulation before McCown threw a critical intercepti­on.

McCown, who passed for a franchiser­ecord 457 yards last week, went 20 of 39 for 213 yards with two touchdowns to tight end Gary Barnidge. But his second pick with 44 seconds left in regulation cost the Browns as they were driving for a potential gamewinnin­g field goal.

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