CLEVELAND – One would think that with your team up 17-7 at halftime, that the Cleveland Browns felt that they had things well in hand against the Detroit Lions right?
Too bad Brandon Weeden didn’t get that memo.
Weeden, the embattled and much-maligned former starter, then demoted second-stringer and current starter again due to newly-minted savior Brian Hoyer being lost for the season, added to his sad resume in regressing back into the same bad habits of locking on to his receivers too long, holding the ball too long, inability to make quality decisions and tendency to throw ill-advised interceptions.
During the first half, Weeden played moderately well in throwing two touchdowns to Greg Little and Chris Ogbonnaya and leading the Browns to over 250 total yards of offense in the first half.
But that was the first half, after that, it looked like Weeden and the Browns offense took a collective nap and forgot to hit the snooze button.
In the second half, Detroit scored 24 unanswered points and enabled rookie tight end, Joseph Fauria to do his best Jordan Cameron impression in catching two touchdown passes and proverbially slam-dunk on the Browns defense all afternoon.
With 6:04 remaining and the Browns trailing 24-17 in the fourth quarter, Weeden’s second interception supplanted Mark Sanchez’s “butt fumble” as the final example of why Weeden all but sealed his fate as quarterback in Cleveland, as he irresponsibly flung a first-and-ten pass intended for Ogbonnaya right into the hands of Detroit linebacker DeAndre Levy at the Browns 49-yard line, all but ending any hopes for a comeback.
While this writer can understand that he was under pressure, when your team is trailing at home in a game that you have to win, making bad decisions in crunch time is never going to win you any points on the field, or with Cleveland’s hardy and jaded fan-base.
Since being reborn in 1999, the Browns have had 41 quarterback changes, and 19 different starters. When the Mike Holmgren–Tom Heckert front office made the biggest folly since Seward in drafting a soon-to-be 30-year-old former baseball pitcher as it’s possible franchise quarterback, little did they know that Weeden was Chris Weinke 2.0 and not Kurt Warner.
One would think that with an extra three days to prepare against a team coming into town after a 22-9 loss to a bitter division rival in the Green Bay Packers and a practically hobbled Calvin Johnson that Weeden would have made some adjustments in throwing the ball out quicker and learning to go thru his progressions a bit better right?
Guess not, as it was the same Weeden that has left many Cleveland fans both frustrated and all but ready to throw in the towel, as long as he is under center.
As I stated in my last column, Weeden is getting a rare second chance to prove and silence his critics once and for all. And now, he all but threw that away—or more accurately, right into the hands of Levy.
While Weeden’s final stat line of 26-of-43 for 292 yards and two touchdowns looks modest to the casual fan, his costly second interception and irresponsible decision-making late doomed the Browns to another loss and may have all but undone what could have been a promising season and jump started the look for yet another savior at quarterback.
It’s no secret that Cleveland fans will practically take Spergon Wynn under center now, and isn’t it a coincidence that in three of their wins, Hoyer brought a spark to the team that Weeden could not in his three starts, all losses?
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected]://22.214.171.124/~theinscr and follow the Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber