Wednesday, September 11, 2013
QB Watch: Browns' Brandon Weeden
By Jamison Hensley
A weekly analysis of the Browns' quarterback play:
Rewind: Brandon Weeden got off to a rough start, completing 49 percent of his passes and throwing three interceptions in the season opener. But two of those picks came off deflections, and it didn't help that he had Dolphins pass-rusher Cameron Wake in his face all game. Nothing came easily for Weeden. He was was 11-of-28 with two interceptions on throws 5 yards or fewer downfield, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The only other quarterback with a completion percentage under 50 percent on short throws was Blaine Gabbert.
Fast-forward: Weeden is 0-2 against the Ravens, and his numbers reflect that. He completed half of his throws in the first meeting at Baltimore, and he threw for 176 yards when the teams played in Cleveland. Weeden has no touchdowns and three interceptions against the Ravens. Baltimore, though, has two new starting safeties and allowed seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning in the season opener.
Not on hot seat (yet): Not sure if this really counts as a vote of confidence, but coach Rob Chudzinski said Weeden isn't on a short leash. What hurts Weeden is the inability to make plays when the pass protection breaks down. He doesn't have the athleticism to break the pocket and too often locks on his first read.
Prediction: Expect similar numbers to the season opener because it's a similar situation. Weeden still doesn't have his top target, Josh Gordon, who is serving the final game of his suspension. He won't get much time in the pocket like last week because Haloti Ngata and Elvis Dumervil will be crashing the right side of his line, which struggled mightily against Miami. Weeden will have a better chance to succeed when Gordon and injured right guard Shawn Lauvao return.