It could have been an absorbing tale: Hometown-kid leads franchise to victory giving them the first playoff success since 1989.
But Brian Hoyer, who was born and raised in Cleveland and earned the starting quarterback job after Brandon Weeden, a 22th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, got hurt early twisting his knee awkwardly.
Only three minutes in, as the Cleveland Browns had their second possession in the first quarter Brian Hoyer rolled out of the pocket to his right found no open receiver and ran to the sideline to get the first down. Instead of going out of bounds or taking the hit he tried to duck down to avoid a collision with linebacker Kiko Alonso. The Browns are hoping that this rookie mistake won’t cost Hoyer the season – his MRI-results are still to come in.
Despite the injury of Cleveland’s hometown-kid, the Browns were fortunate enough and never lost track of their road to victory. They beat the Buffalo Bills 37-24 in a colossal Thursday night match with Brandon Weeden returning.
One could feel the energy in the stadium with a fanbase that is eager to see something they could cheer for and are dying to experience great plays. Browns playmakers gave their best to answer their fan’s prayers.
At 10-10 with 2:40 left to play in the second quarter wide out Travis Benjamin took a 79-yard punt return to the house. On his way to Buffalo Bills’ endzone he broke six tackles, made spin moves and some nasty cuts with the result that Bills defenders were flying through empty spaces like nobody’s business.
The two electrifying plays that let the fans cheer were a 37-yards wobbling catch by the tall and physical wide receiver Josh Gordon, who finished the day with four catches for 86 yards, and a pick six by Browns' safety T.J. Ward which sealed the deal with only 1:44 minutes to play in the game.
The Browns have got great talent all over the field and they kept their belief despite losing their starting QB. Do they have what it takes to go for the playoffs? That still has to been determined, but with 3-2 they are definitively a serious contender in a wide open division.
Cleveland fans should hope that Brian Hoyer will return sooner rather then later or even that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman shows up at their doorsteps. No matter how the QB-search resolves itself, fans sure have something to cheer for.
What do you think of the Cleveland Browns? Are they a playoff contender? Let us know in the comment section below!
image: © edrost88