CLEVELAND – Thanks to another hard-fought and physical affair, the former Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 22-20. On the outside looking in, can the current Browns take advantage?
At 4-7, and losers of their last two, Cleveland faces a Jacksonville Jaguars team that despite its 2-9 record is showing signs of hitting their stride. While their playoff chances took a substantial hit after their 27-11 loss to the Steelers, Cleveland can stay in the proverbial playoff conversation with a win on Sunday.
And then there is Brandon Weeden.
Weeden, the much-maligned former first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State, gets another shot at redemption after being benched for Second and third string quarterbacks, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer.
0-4 in four starts, Weeden took a swipe at Browns fans calling them “five-year olds” after throwing for 209 yards, one touchdown and one interception. For the game, Weeden would finish with a QBR of 17.8
Not many quarterbacks get benched by their team twice in the same season, and get a second chance at redemption like Weeden has, a win over Jacksonville would help stem the negative tide of fan and media criticism in Cleveland, if he performs well.
Unfortunately for Browns fans, the words “Brandon Weeden” and “performing well” are as rare as a meaningful win in the AFC North.
Going forward, if the Browns hope to make their proverbial last stand in 2013, it’s crucial that Weeden plays the best five games of his career–not only in Cleveland, but for the rest of his otherwise fledgling NFL career.
For Browns fans, it’s either Wee-done or Wee-gone if Cleveland hopes to somehow run the table and clinch their first playoff berth since 2002.
Kelly Holcomb, be damned.
Like it or not the uncomfortable irony of having to depend on two of the most hated entities in the form of the Ravens and Weeden for help sticks in the proverbial craw of every Browns fan. Unfortunately, the Ravens did their part Thursday night, and with Weeden under center, he is all that Cleveland can pin their slim wild card hopes on.
The question is, will he come through on a Sunday for once?