Brandon Weeden. Brandon Weeden. Brandon Weeden. Tim Tebow. Brandon Weeden. Brandon Weeden. Brandon Weeden. Jason Campbell. Brandon Weeden. Brandon Weeden. Brandon Weeden. Matt Flynn.
What should the Browns do at the quarterback position?
As it turns out, the Cleveland Browns settled that question earlier this week.
It’s Brandon Weeden.
As early as the beginning of this month, The Browns appeared to have an answer to that question — at least for this season — in Brian Hoyer. After Hoyer’s knee injury Oct. 3, we were reminded in the second half last Sunday why we’ve asked that question so much since 1999.
Weeden led the Browns to three consecutive three-and-outs and six yards of offense in the third quarter. Cleveland blew a 10-point halftime lead and wound up losing to the Detroit Lions by 14 points.
Now the Browns head to Green Bay to witness first-hand a franchise quarterback.
Aaron Rodgers, who has a shiny Super Bowl ring at home, isn’t off to the best start. His team is 3-2, but have two consecutive wins over the Detroit Lions 22-9 and the Baltimore Ravens 19-17. The Packers are banged up, as they are missing key offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga, wide receiver Randall Cobb, linebacker Clay Matthews and running back James Starks.
Entering Sunday, wide receiver James Jones is doubtful. It is easy to see now why the Packers have only averaged 20 points the last two weeks.
Despite the injuries, Rogers has been solid. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,646 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. His top target, Jordy Nelson, is healthy. Nelson has 27 catches for a team-high 484 yards and four touchdowns.
Joe Haden knows his role Sunday. Stop Nelson, which will slow Rogers and make the Packers rely on rookie running back Eddy Lacy.
Lacy has 219 yards rushing the last two weeks against the Lions and Ravens, but we all know how strong the Browns have been against the run.
OK, as interesting as the Browns defense matching up against he Packers offense will be, we can all agree a victory in this game will rely upon the Browns’ offense.
The Browns need to run the ball in order to keep the ball out of the hands of not only Rodgers, but also Weeden. If Cleveland must rely on Weeden throwing the ball to win that’s a bad sign. If Cleveland can mix in some high percentage throws with a strong, established running game, then this could swing the Browns way.
Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey combined to average six yards per carry last week against the Lions, but the running game disappeared in the second half. In the first half, the Browns were more balanced and the offense was more productive. Weeden was also a lot less mistake prone.
Like it or not, Weeden will be the quarterback for this team for the foreseeable future. Perhaps this week in Green Bay, the defense and running game can take the pressure off Weeden this week and over the course of the next 10 games so we can move the conversation toward winning the AFC North and earning a playoff berth and away from what should the Browns do with the quarterback position.
Well, at least until January.