Frank Geib ’15
The Cleveland Browns came into week 3 against the Vikings with a record of 0-2. This week was a busy one for the Browns, as they traded RB Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, picked up veteran RB Willis McGahee, and announced they would start Brian Hoyer, an Ignatius Grad, at Quarterback due to a sprain of Brandon Weeden’s thumb. Also, returning to the lineup this week was WR Josh Gordon, who was suspended for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
The game began in the wrong direction as reigning MVP Adrian Peterson scored on the first possession to make it 0-7 VIkings. Then came Brian Hoyer. He played great as he found Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron for touchdowns to make the game 14-7. At this point Hoyer was receiving plenty of praise from Browns fans. For example, junior class president Bobby Kaleel tweeted “Hoyer for MVP!” It had been a long time since a quarterback had led the Browns down field consistently. However, Christian Ponder answered with a 6yd carry of his own to tie the game up at 14. The Browns scored on a 38 yd field goal from Billy Cundiff to retake the lead 17-14. The next Browns possession was the most interesting of them all. On fourth down in punt formation, the Browns ran a fake up the middle into enemy territory. Then again, the Browns ran a fake field goal as punter Spencer Lanning threw a touchdown to Jordan Cameron to make things 24-14. This series showed that the Browns wanted to win and that they were willing to take risks. The first half ended with a field goal for the Vikings and a couple turnovers both ways at 24-17. This was the third time in a row that the Browns had the lead at the half.
The second half began and it was all Vikings. Hoyer threw two interceptions to take his total to three while the Vikings had a touchdown and a pair of field goals to take the lead 27-24. The Browns generated no offense until absolutely necessary as they scored the game winning touchdown under a minute to go in the game. Hoyer connected with Cameron for his third touchdown pass of the game to make the final 31-27. The last time a Browns quarterback threw three touchdowns in a game was Brady Quinn in 2009.
Hoyer gave the Browns and new Head Coach Rob Chudzinski their first win of the season in his debut. This game showed the promise of a young Browns team. Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron showed had great receiver play while Hoyer had the talent level to get them the ball. The defense played well and made plays when they needed to as they held Adrian Peterson to under 100 yards rushing. This game showed that the Browns were not just throwing away the 2013 season. They battled and Hoyer showed the potential and leadership to win games. It appears that he may win the starting job even when Weeden’s thumb gets better. Hoyer is not a long term answer as the Browns will surely be looking at next years draft class for an emerging quarterback. However, a win’s a win and Browns fans have not seen one of those since December 9th of 2012.