The Cleveland Browns have had a decent, yet unremarkable season so far. Their current record is 2-2 and as of now they are tied for first in the North Division of the AFC. This sounds good, but most analysts don’t seem to think the Browns are going to be the team to watch this season. We will see if this ranking changes Thursday night after they play the Bills at home in Cleveland at the FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Buffalo Bills also have a 2-2 record so far this season, so the game will be a good matchup.
Brandon Weeden was the Browns starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, and was unfortunately sidelined when he injured his thumb. In his place, Brandon Hoyer stepped up to the plate, winning two games in a row for the Browns. Hoyer led the Browns to victory both on the road against the Minnesota Vikings immediately following the trade of their 2012 first round running back, Trent Richardson, and at home against the Cincinnati Bengals — the latter obviously being a big win.
Head coach Rod Chudzinski seems to be happy with the way Hoyer has been playing football, and believes in his ability to gather more wins. Even though Weeden has been cleared to play, Chudzinki announced that he will start Hoyer as quarterback on Thursday nights game against the Bills.
A win against the Bills on Thursday could go a long way for the the Browns. It would be be the first time in two years that they could boast more than fifty percent wins. Statistically that would be nice for the team, being that it’s pretty sad if you are barely keeping a 50/50 record. More importantly, the morale boost would be huge for the team. Everything helps, and the extra confidence could be the winning factor in making them a contending team in the AFC.
If Hoyer keeps playing like he has been, Chudzinski might have to make a difficult decision. Weeden is a well loved member of the team, and the Browns appreciate what he has invested so far in the team. However, football is a game, and a competitive one at that. Chudzinski has to make the decision that will help his team win games, not necessarily the decision that shows loyalty and encouragement. The game against the Bills will be a great indicator of Hoyer’s capability, and Chudzinski’s decision about the rest of the season will most likely be a direct result of the outcome.