The Browns are, once again, in trouble. At least that’s the feeling I get after their comeback win over the Buffalo Bills last night. Yes, they won the game, but they lost their starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, for the rest of the season. Now, the Browns must turn back to Brandon Weeden.
Hoyer provided a spark for the Browns that resulted in consecutive wins in weeks three and four. Unfortunately, he left Thursday night’s game early with what turned out to be a torn ACL.
Now, the Browns will be continuing the Brandon Weeden era. Weeden, who looked to have lost his shot with the Cleveland Browns, suddenly has new life. He inherits a division-leading 3-2 team that has been pumping out offensive production in his absence.
That being said, Brian Hoyer has removed all excuses from Weeden’s arsenal. Now that the Browns have shown an ability to win football games when their quarterback is willing to take shots down the field, Weeden will have to come out of his shell and take a few more risks in the name of pushing the football downfield.
Unfortunately, the Browns have a very rough stretch of schedule staring them in the eyes. Next weekend, Cleveland hosts the Lions before hitting the road for games in Green Bay and Kansas City. It’s a tough test for any team, but even more so for a team that was looking like they were just hitting their stride.
If there was ever a time for Brandon Weeden to step up, it is now. The Browns drafted him thinking that he would be a solid franchise quarterback for at least a decade. With the Browns in firm control of their own fate, Weeden has what will likely be his last chance to cement himself with the team. If he fails, the Browns will almost certainly look elsewhere for help at the position.
The Browns are used to tough circumstances. The fact is, they’re still in a good position. Although they’ve lost the player that gave them their initial spark on offense, it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the team’s three-game winning streak has provided the players and coaches enough confidence that their winning ways may continue, even in the absence of Brian Hoyer.