Browns fans thought we had everything turned around. Brian Hoyer had come in to replace an injured Brandon Weeden at quarterback, and impressively, Hoyer won his first two starts. We rejoiced in the belief that perhaps at long last, our search for a signal-caller was finally at its end.
Then, during the Bills game, in what can only be described as an “only in Cleveland” turn of events, Hoyer hurts his knee during a scramble for a first down. Weeden came back behind center. And we clearly though that was the end of the Browns season, as it had been for so many years since 1999.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the funeral…
Despite an incredibly shaky start by Weeden when he first came into the game, his play in the second half got the job done. The highlight was a 47-yard pass play from Weeden to Greg Little, which many believe is filed under head coach Ron Chudzinski’s playbook as “Hey, It’s Worth a Shot.”
The end result for Weeden was a very respectable outing, completing 13 of 24 passes for 197 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions. His solid performance, coupled with a record-setting punt return performance by Travis Benjamin and lights-out defense, clinched what had seemed to be an unlikely victory for the Browns.
With Hoyer likely done for the season, it’s not like there’s much choice in the matter. Brandon Weeden is this team’s starter. There’s no two ways around it.
However, it’s not really the end of the world. Despite suffering by comparison with the more athletic Hoyer, Weeden was still able to find his receiving corps, which, with the return of Josh Gordon, seems much more complete. And with a defense that, thanks to defensive coordinator Ray Horton, has developed a very nasty streak, stories of this team’s demise may be greatly exaggerated.
So, while Weeden is not the quarterback the Browns are look to for the future and his antics will likely rile fans for the remainder of the season, there’s still possible that this team will have itself a decent season.