Brandon Weeden has regained his job as starting quarterback as Jason Campbell is still recovering from a concussion.
This week the Browns face the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags looked like they were going to have a deathlock on the first pick in the NFL draft, but after winning two out of three games, this is no longer clear. Right now in the AFC, Houston and Jacksonville are tied for the worst record, but if Jacksonville beats Cleveland, then they would own a tie breaker versus the Browns. One more Jacksonville victory and the Browns could have the second worst record in the AFC and could get a top five position in the next draft.
The Browns are very, very bad on offense this year. One item that really stands out is that the offensive line is just getting pushed around. Given the recent buzz about bullying in the NFL, the Browns can justifiably claim that their line has been bullied by every team they have played so far.
The Browns lead the NFL in hits on their quarterback, with 93. Amazingly, they are 11 hits higher than the second place team. The Browns are also #2 in the NFL in sacks allowed, with 39. And the Browns quarterback has been knocked out of the game four times this year, with Bryan Hoyer out for the season.
This year, the Browns are incapable of protecting the quarterback, with the starter being knocked out of the game four times. Browns fans should not assume this can be fixed by drafting a high priced rookie quarterback next year.As for the running game, the Browns are even worse. Veteran halfback Willis McGahee is averaging 2.6 yards per carry for 287 yards, an absurdly low average. Worse, the Browns cut a rookie named Bobby Rainey, who was immediately picked up by the Tampa Bay Bucs. After only four games, Rainey has already gained 243 yards for an average of 4.3 yards per carry. It's pretty bad if a player's production goes up immediately after leaving the Browns. The Browns O-Line is just struggling despite having Joe Thomas to anchor the line from the left tackle position and Alex Mack, the former first round draft pick, at center. Both guard positions and right tackle have struggled this year. The Browns also have only one bona fide threat at wideout in Josh Gordon, who so far has not been caught doing any dope.
Likewise, the Browns do not have a true fullback, nor is there a blocking tight end to spell Jordan Cameron or to run a two-tight-end formation.
Many Browns fans have made Weeden the scapegoat, but the Village Elliot disagrees. With such weak players on the O-line, wide receiver, halfback and fullback, it's very hard to succeed in the NFL. Or Pop Warner, for that matter.
All three Browns quarterbacks have NFL arms and are generally good quarterbacks, with Hoyer looking the best in limited action.
If the Browns go all out to trade up for a top rookie quarterback in the draft, as many expect, that kid may be crushed just like the current quarterbacks. You can not expect the quarterback to survive the season with the worst protection in the NFL. If they get 8 games out of their starter, that will be pretty good. And no, he is not going to put up numbers while running for his life.
As bad as they have been, the Jags have been worse. This may the best opportunity to see whether Weeden can play. The Jaguars have only 17 sacks this year, while the Browns have allowed 39. So Weeden may actually be able to stay upright for part of this game. Let's see how he does on Sunday.