Rapid Reaction: Cleveland Browns
October, 20, 2013
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' 31-13 win over the Cleveland Browns:
What it means: The Browns have a long way to go before they're among the elite of the NFL, which is where the Packers reside. Either that or the Browns' quarterback position has a long way to go. Though Aaron Rodgers didn't have glittering numbers, he was more than efficient in throwing three touchdown passes and leading the Packers to 31 points -- with Green Bay playing without some of their top receivers. Brandon Weeden had an awful start and the Browns never recovered. Where the Browns go from here is anyone's guess. Bernie Kosar isn't walking through that door.
Stock watch: Weeden's future in Cleveland, or lack thereof, is becoming clearer and clearer. For a number of reasons -- his play, the lack of a running game, the receivers' inability to get to the spot, Weeden losing confidence, two systems in two years -- his play has regressed since midway through his rookie year. It's not working for him, and because of that, the Browns' offense is struggling. Teams just aren't going to give a 30-year-old quarterback a whole lot of time.
Not there yet: Josh Gordon is the biggest, fastest, most athletic player on the Browns' offense. But in this game, Gordon was handled by Davon House and Sam Shields. And on one of the more important plays of the game, Gordon waited for the ball to come to him, which allowed House to make a play on it and break it up. Instead of jumping and extending for the ball and using his ability, Gordon was lazy. As a result, a key fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
Interesting decision: Down 17-6 early in the fourth quarter, the Browns had fourth-and-15 at the Green Bay 31. A long field goal would have been a challenge, but Billy Cundiff has the leg. The value of the field goal: three points makes it an eight-point game -- a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski chose to go for a tough fourth-and-15, and the Browns didn't convert. Had they kicked the field goal, they'd have been down eight in the fourth quarter instead of 11.
What's next: It gets no easier for the Browns and their quarterback as they travel to Kansas City to face the undefeated Chiefs and their pass rush, which is among the league's best.