That was a wild game.
The Cleveland Browns entered this game with Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback, having won two straight games. They left the game with Brandon Weeden as the man back under center, along with a 37-24 victory.
Hoyer suffered a knee injury early in the first quarter, forcing Weeden, who had not played since Week 2 due to a sprained thumb, back into action. He look dazed in the pocket for a lot of his early snaps, but eventually pulled it together and did enough to help lead Cleveland to a win.
The quarterback situation for Cleveland wasn't the only wild thing that happened in the game. The Bills lost their quarterback, E.J. Manuel, in the second half, and the Browns' defense feasted on undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel. Quarterback injuries aside, though, the game was filled with so many momentum shifts that it had to remind you of the Packers-Bengals game a couple of weeks ago.
- The Bills jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring a one yard rushing touchdown by Fred Jackson, a play that was set up by a long pass interference penalty on cornerback Joe Haden.
- The Browns then ripped off 17 unanswered points. A Travis Benjamin punt return for 57 yards set Cleveland up with a field goal. Then, the Browns had one of the ugliest touchdown-scoring drives you could imagine in the second quarter, finished off with a one yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee to tie the game at 10-10. The defense forced a three-and-out, and then Benjamin set the crowd on fire with a dazzling 79-yard punt return for a touchdown. Cleveland led 17-10 at halftime.
- The Bills then scored 14 unanswered points to start the second half. It started with a 54-yard touchdown run by C.J. Spiller, and Jackson later added another one yard touchdown run after another pass interference penalty to go up 24-17 half-way through the third quarter.
- Cleveland finished the game with 20 unanswered points. It started with Brandon Weeden throwing a nice deep pass to Greg Little for 47 yards and Josh Gordon for 37 yards, the latter of which was in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at 24-24. Billy Cundiff tacked on two field goals from 24 and 44 yards to go up 30-24; the latter field goal came with just over two minutes to play. When Tuel tried to lead a game-winning touchdown drive, he was intercepted by safety T.J. Ward, who ran the ball back 44 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.
The Browns now improve to 3-2 and are atop the AFC North. The fear is that Hoyer may have torn something in his knee; he'll be getting an MRI. It looks like this is Weeden's team again. Desmond Bryant also left the game with shortness of breath.
So, how'd you like that game, Haslam?