The Cleveland Browns seem to have finally closed the book on Brandon Weeden, as head coach Rob Chudzinski announced on Thursday that Jason Campbell will start at quarterback against Kansas City on Sunday. Weeden has basically lost his job earlier in the season to Brian Hoyer, but Hoyer was lost for the year after hurting his knee against Buffalo on Oct. 3rd. Weeden came into that game and led the team to victory, moving the Browns’ record to 3-2.
However, the team has lost two games in a row and Weeden has looked awful in both games. After leading the Browns to a 17-7 lead in the first half against Detroit on Oct. 13th, Weeden came apart in the 2nd half of the game. With the Browns trying to come back late in the 2nd half as they trailed 24-17, Weeden made a completely bone-headed play to ice the game for the Lions. On a first down play in Detroit territory, Weeden tried to make a shovel pass to his running back instead of take a sack or throw the ball out of bounds. The lobbed ball was easily picked off by the Lions with 4:36 left in the game.
Against Green Bay last Sunday, Weeden was pretty much terrible the entire game. The Browns weren’t able to get anything going on offense, as Weeden completed only 17 of 42 passes for a measly 149 yards to go with an interception and a late 4th-quarter TD. The Browns lost 31-13. For the season, Weeden has an awful completion percentage of 52.8. He’s thrown 5 TDs and 6 INTs, while fumbling the ball 3 times. He’s only averaging 5.92 yards per pass attempt.
At one point, it seemed like the Browns had somehow caught lightning in a bottle with Hoyer. After Weeden sprained his thumb during the Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Chudzinski decide to bypass Campbell and start Hoyer, despite him being 3rd on the depth chart. Hoyer responded by winning his next two starts, throwing for 590 yards with 5 TDs and 3 INTs in those two games. After trading away Trent Richardson, it seemed like the Browns were giving up on the season. However, Hoyer gave the fanbase hope that maybe, just maybe, they could still be competitive this season.
That all changed with the Buffalo game, where Hoyer hurt his knee in the 1st quarter. Weeden played well and was able to lead the Brows to their third straight victory. But the real Brandon Weeden decided to show up the past two weeks, and Chudzinski decided it was time to move on to another option. Campbell will be making his first start since last November with the Chicago Bears, when he filled in for an injured Jay Cutler in a loss to the 49ers.
Campbell was initially brought in to be Weeden’s backup and perhaps push him for the starting spot. The last time Campbell was a start in the league was 2011, when he began the season as the Oakland Raiders starting QB. He played well in the first 6 games, leading the team to a 4-2 record before hurting his shoulder and being placed on the IR. In his six games, he completed 60.6% of his passes, throwing for 1,170 yards while throwing 6 TDs and 4 INTs. In 78 career games, he has a 76-52 TD to INT ratio with 14,688 yards and a 60.8 completion percentage. He has a lifetime quarterback rating of 82.4.