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  1. #1
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    Brandon Weeden's Final 5 Games

    Figured I would start a thread regarding Weeden and more over his final 5 games (Oakland already played) of the season that more than likely will decide his future here with Cleveland at least for 2013 since there has been a lot of talk about keeping him or not in recent posts and random other threads.

    1. Weeden's team won.

    The skinny: No question the Browns defeated a bad team; the injury-plagued Raiders dropped to 3-9. But the NFL regular season affords just 16 opportunities for victories, so every 'W' should be cherished. The Browns are not in position to minimize victories, regardless: They improved to 4-8.

    The Browns won on the road, snapping a 12-game losing streak away from home that dated to last season. They won on the West Coast, which can be dicey for a Midwest or East Coast team, no matter the opponent.

    Maybe, just maybe, the Browns have begun to extricate themselves from the culture of losing that has vice-gripped the franchise for years. They have won two in a row and are 4-3 since Oct. 14. Weeden, as the quarterback, has a right to feel good about such progress.

    2. Weeden overcame a rough start.

    The skinny: On the first two plays of the Browns' opening possession, Weeden scrambled for 7 yards and connected with Josh Gordon for 14. But matters quickly went awry for him. On first-and-10 from the Oakland 33, Weeden was wild high, intended for tight end Benjamin Watson. On the next play, Weeden's heater intended for Watson sailed on him again, this time landing in the arms of safety Matt Giordano at the Oakland 3. Giordano returned the interception to the Oakland 27.

    If doubt began to infiltrate Weeden's mind, it would have been understandable. Interceptions have been a problem for him, and he had not exactly set the world on fire in his previous four starts. The most recent, against the Steelers last week in Cleveland, ended with a concussion. Even though the concussion's effects were minimized as the Browns' preparation for the Raiders intensified, backup Colt McCoy no doubt was on higher alert than normal.

    One of the encouraging signs with Weeden is that, when he has started poorly in games, he recovers -- the notable exception being his debut Sept. 9 against Philadelphia. After beginning 1-of-3 for 14 yards and one pick against Oakland, he was 24-of-33 for 350 yards, one TD and one interception.

    3. Weeden engineered a five-star drive in a huge spot.

    The skinny: It will not go in the books as a comeback, but it felt like one. For a fourth-quarter possession that lasted 6:04, the Browns drove 94 yards in 14 plays, capped by Trent Richardson's 3-yard run with 3:27 remaining. Phil Dawson's extra point gave the Browns a 20-10 lead, creating a cushion that enabled them to absorb an Oakland "prevent defense'' touchdown with one second left.

    Weeden went 5-of-6 for 70 yards, the only miss having resulted from getting hit on release. He kept the drive alive twice -- once with his arm and once with his legs. On third-and-3 from the Cleveland 13, Weeden hung in as the Raiders rushed six and delivered a strike to Gordon in space for an 11-yard gain. On fourth-and-inches from the Oakland 45, Weeden burrowed into the line for 3 yards. (Officials had created the fourth-down situation by butchering the spot on Weeden's third-and-inches sneak.)

    Weeden also contributed with his voice. On third-and-1 from the Oakland 10, Weeden's hard count drew the Raiders into a neutral-zone infraction. Two runs later, Richardson was in the end zone.

    Browns coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress deserve credit for their calls during the possession. Helped, of course, by having a lead, Shurmur and Childress used the pass to get out of trouble but did not downplay the run. Seven of the last nine plays were runs, including the two sneaks.

    4. Weeden changed his cadence, with positive results.

    The skinny: Weeden largely has been robotic at the line this season, repeating his calls the same way and rarely audibiling. His job is to run the play as sent in, and that's what he's going to do.

    Weeden did not appear to audible against the Raiders, but he did burn them with three hard counts that triggered penalties. The most prominent occurred on the 94-yard drive. He did so without bobbing his head too much, which would have gotten him flagged.

    5. Weeden shocked the Raiders with a quick-strike possession in the second quarter.

    The skinny: On first-and-10 from the Cleveland 38, Weeden threw an 18-yard pass to Greg Little on the left side. On the next play, Weeden found Gordon along the left sideline for a 44-yard TD and 10-0 lead. And that was that: two plays, 62 yards, 49 seconds.

    Gordon beat press coverage with a go-route and snatched the ball out of the air at the 7. Weeden did not turn his head toward Gordon until the last instant, ensuring safety help would not come soon enough.

    6. Weeden and his receivers delivered big plays.

    The skinny: Thirteen of the Browns' pass plays gained 10+ yards, including nine for 18+. For the most part, dink and dunk were on hiatus.

    Early in the season, the Browns' young receiving corps was struggling with drops and, in part because of suspect route running, was not making enough plays for its quarterback. In recent weeks, the drops have been sparse and much less impactful and the routes more precise.

    Against the Raiders, the closest the Browns came to a drop was when Richardson got his hands on a short pass that Weeden essentially threw out of bounds.

    In the West Coast offense, one of the equations that has stood the test of time is: accurate quarterback + receivers running precise routes = yards after catch. Weeden and his crew produced 198 YAC. The best example of YAC's impact Sunday came on first-and-10 from the Cleveland 30 in the third quarter. Mohamed Massaquoi grabbed a Weeden fastball that traveled 15 yards in the air and turned it into a 54-yard gain. Massaquoi beat his man on a crossing route and was able to inflict major pain because he did not need to break stride.

    7. Weeden threw the ball well.

    The skinny: On a scale of 1 (lousy) to 3 (expected for NFL QB) to 5 (superb), Weeden averaged 3.22 on 31 graded throws. Five passes were not graded because of throwaways (two), rejections by the d-line (two) and hits at time of release (one).

    Weeden's second interception, graded a 2, could have been ungraded. In the second quarter, he attempted to connect with Gordon on basically the same play that produced the first-quarter touchdown, except that it originated from the Oakland 37. Gordon beat press coverage, but Weeden was unable to step into the throw because guard Shawn Lauvao's man bull-rushed Lauvao's leg up against Weeden's leg. The pass ended up being short-armed, resulting in too much loft.

    Given that Oakland owns one of the league's worst pass defenses, an average grade of 3.22 might not seem overly impressive. It reflects well on Weeden in this case, though, because it came while he faced a steady stream of rushers. Weeden had 38 dropbacks: 36 passes, one scramble, one sack. On 20 of the 38, the Raiders had five or more rushers at the time of the pass or scramble/sack. They sent four 16 times and three twice.

    The Browns' offensive line has done a good job of protecting Weeden this season. Still, it owes him a debt of gratitude for having allowed only the one sack Sunday. Weeden was under pressure throughout but avoided sacks with decisiveness, a quick release and pocket awareness.

    8. Weeden was physically tough.

    The skinny: The Raiders kept knocking him down, and he kept getting up. Most importantly, he did not flinch when a throw needed to be made.

    One of the game's most important plays went Cleveland's way because Weeden was willing to get hit. With the Browns leading, 13-10, in the final seconds of the third quarter, they faced third-and-10 from their 9. The Raiders batted down the previous two passes at the line, and the crowd at O.co Coliseum was going wild. Weeden, seeking to connect with Little, absorbed a nasty hit upon release that caused the ball to wobble. It had enough juice to get to Little, who made an excellent adjustment and catch on the ground. The Browns eventually punted from their 45 -- enormously different than punting from the end zone.
    http://mobile.cleveland.com/advcleve...l=true#display

    I'll try finding more of these articles regarding the Pro's and Con's of each of the final games for Weeden as the season continues to progress but everyone's opinions are welcomed on what you think should happen with the him during the offseason.

    Should have went to FSU too.

  2. #2
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    The biggest thing for me about the Oakland game was that final drive. When we needed him to lead us down the field he did exactly that. He was crisp and efficient in his reads and found the right guys in space. It was just a beautiful drive at the time we needed it most.

  3. #3
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    Great read Otto!

    props to Bee for the sig!!

  4. #4
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    I've enjoyed Manoloff breaking down Weeden after every game this year. Just goes to show the never-ending criticism QBs face in the NFL. Despite the 1 TD to 2 INTs I think this was Weeden's best game of the season. It also came against their weakest opponent.

    He's played better than I thought he would and for those of you trying to compare him to Colt McCoy last year, remember this point... Last year the Browns had the 4th easiest schedule (correct me if I'm wrong) They played:

    Cincinnati - rookie Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski
    Indianapolis - Kerry Collins
    Miami - Chad Henne
    Oakland - Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller
    Seattle - Charlie Whitehurt
    Jacksonville - Blaine Gabbert
    Arizona - John Skelton

    Pretty weak if you ask me. Mind you, every team ran all over the Browns last year so they didn't need great QB play to get by Cleveland. However, Weeden had stood toe to toe with some of the better QBs in the leage this year and kept his team competitive to the very end. Something has to be said about that.

  5. #5
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    Not understanding the continued criticism of Brandon Weeden, he's a rookie! Going back to Colt McCoy would castrate that offense.
    Ryan Lownes, NFL Draft Analyst.

  6. #6
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    The continued criticism comes from homers that think Colt McCoy can consistently throw the ball over 20 yards off of Erie. Its nothing more than a fanbase that has to have a QB controversy or they can't sleep at night. Anyone with two eyes can see what Weeden drastically brings over McCoy. Yes he might have got a raw deal but if he was this great as the fanbase makes him out to be then the Browns would not have had such a hard time trying to trade him in the offseason and would have had to picked him up before the 3rd round. The rest of the league views Colt McCoy like I do apperantly, a very good Backup QB that you can trust in spot starts. Nothing more.

    Should have went to FSU too.

  7. #7
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    • Cleveland, Brandon Weeden: Again, money isn't the issue here, production is, as is a regime change that is already afoot. More changes could come in the front office and coaching ranks. Weeden has struggled since new owner Jimmy Haslam took over, was a controversial choice in the first round prior to Haslam's arrival and league sources say the Browns are not in any way averse to making a change at this position in 2013 if need be. Even though he is a rookie, Weeden is already pushing 30, and he may not be a fit in a new offense the Browns figure to run in 2013 after changes are made.
    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/2...d-rent-not-buy

    Hopefully this isn't true....

  8. #8
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    Brandon Weeden's Final 5 Games

    What offense wouldn't he fit ? Only way I could see he'd be out is say a Chip Kelly gets hired and requires a more mobile QB. Then again a coach should mold an offense around what he is provided with and then pick away at it over the following years . Just my opinion but I hope we keep Weeden.

  9. #9
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    I don't see an option better out there than Weeden even with his flaws this year. FA or trade candidates you are probably looking at Alex Smith or Mike Vick. Um no. They cannot use another first round draft pick on a QB after they just did at least IMO so you are looking at a 3rd and later draft pick QB that most likely will be guys like EJ Manuel, Ryan Nassib, possibly Mike Glennon. Um no. Geno, Barkley and Wilson will probably go in the first and I can see Bray and Landry going in the second if Bray comes out. I don't have a problem with them looking at a developmental QB in the fourth or later or if one of the top guys fall to the 3rd but Weeden should be the starter again at least for one more year to allow him to use the experience and growth that he has taken this year especially with another offseason of familiarity. The Browns are finally in position I believe to start taking elite talent instead of worrying about the depth of the team this offseason and I think they should try doing that on the defensive side in the draft to find players that can make impacts and take over games.

    Should have went to FSU too.

  10. #10
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    Weeden will be our QB next year. No reason for me to believe any diff.

    props to Bee for the sig!!

  11. #11
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    1. Weeden's team won (again).

    The skinny: The Browns won their third in a row to improve to 5-8. They are 5-3 since Oct. 14. For a franchise used to losing in recent decades, going 5-3 at any point is noteworthy. For a young team trying to gain traction, it's significant progress.

    Quarterbacks are measured by victories, and Weeden's five are the most by a rookie in Browns history. He broke a tie with Bernie Kosar, whose four came in 1985.

    Yes, the caliber of competition during the winning streak has been suspect. The Browns defeated the Steelers with Charlie Batch at quarterback, the three-victory Raiders and the two-victory Chiefs. But the NFL does not discriminate, especially at this time of year. Teams that have defeated the Browns are not putting an asterisk next to the 'W'; no need for the Browns to apologize for beating the teams on the schedule.

    2. Weeden achieved a milestone.

    The skinny: The 217 yards gave him 3,037 this season. He joined Tim Couch (2001) and Derek Anderson (2007) as the Browns with 3,000+ yards since 1999.

    Some evaluators wondered if Weeden would sniff 3,000 in any season -- if he got more than one. They thought he was nothing more than a product of a pass-happy college system, the spread, and would not be able to transition to the NFL. Weeden remains at or near the bottom in several important statistical categories, including passer rating and interceptions, so he has a ton of work to do if he wants to be good in the league. But throwing for 3,000 yards in 13 games as a rookie counts for something. It does not, in and of itself, prove the doubters wrong, but it is a small piece of evidence to suggest something might be brewing.

    3. Weeden did not commit a turnover.

    The skinny: Whenever a quarterback plays essentially the entire game and keeps the sheet clean, it's a good thing. Weeden entered with 15 interceptions and four fumbles lost. He rebounded from a two-interception game, both coming deep in Oakland territory.

    There were close calls against the Chiefs. Weeden mishandled a snap before picking it up and handing off, and he nearly threw two picks. Weeden chastised himself for those two throws but did not need to do so because, upon closer examination, they were not as bad as he let on.

    On first-and-10 from the Chiefs 34 in the third quarter, Weeden attempted to connect with Benjamin Watson near the 20. The pass wobbled en route and would have been intercepted if not for Watson breaking it up. The reason it was wobbly and tardy: Kansas City lineman Ropati Pitoitua's deflection.

    On first-and-10 from the Chiefs 19 late in the third, Weeden fired a heater into the end zone intended for Josh Gordon. The ball went in and out of the hands of safety Tysyn Hartman, who was part of double coverage. At first glance, Weeden made a bad decision and bad throw. Upon review, the decision was upgraded to questionable and the throw to decent.

    Throwing into double coverage, especially in the end zone, is dangerous. But at least Weeden had the moxie to trust his arm and try to thread one. It was a high-risk, high-reward play -- and he took the risk, to the only wide receiver in the pattern.

    The throw actually was on time and accurate. In this case, Hartman deserves more credit than Weeden does blame. Hartman did his job very well, leaping high to break up a pass that would have landed in Gordon's gloves.

    4. Weeden had back-to-back TD passes nullified by (supposed) penalties.

    The skinny: On third-and-goal from the 4 in the third quarter, Weeden flipped a pass to Watson on the right side of the end zone. The play was called back because, according to an official, Watson and Greg Little committed an illegal shift. Given that Watson had a hand in the dirt and did not move until the snap, the official must have mistaken him for Jordan Cameron. Yes, Cameron was moving, laterally -- but Little was not moving at all.

    On the third-and-goal from the 9, Weeden made his best play of the game. He took a shotgun snap and created space by rolling right, his eyes on Trent Richardson, who was blanketed by linebacker Justin Houston. As Weeden threw on the run to Richardson's back shoulder, T-Rich released himself from Houston's clutches at the goal line and caught the pass. The Browns finally had their TD -- except Richardson was flagged for pass interference. Richardson, among countless others, couldn't believe it.

    On third-and-goal from the 19, Weeden completed a 13-yard pass to Watson that the Chiefs gave the Browns. Phil Dawson kicked a field goal for a 20-7 lead.

    If Weeden had gotten the TD, his passer rating for the game would have been 90.6 instead of 79.4.

    5. Most of Weeden's incompletions did not result from bad throws.

    The skinny: Included in the 13 were two passes dropped; two batted behind the line; one pass deflected; one while Weeden was being grabbed; and two throwaways.

    The drops, by Gordon and Montario Hardesty, would have resulted in double-digit gains at a minimum. According to CBS, the Browns have 27 drops -- although, in fairness to the targets, drop rates have been on the decline.

    The pass while Weeden was being grabbed ended up a couple feet short of Watson at the goal line. Watson was open.

    6. Weeden continued to struggle with batted balls.

    The skinny: He entered Sunday tied with Cincinnati's Andy Dalton for the NFL lead with 15, then added two. He also had the one deflection.

    Batted balls are difficult to classify as bad throws because they don't travel far enough to tell one way or another. Defensive linemen seemingly have gotten smarter, especially those who watch bat-master J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. But just because it isn't a bad throw doesn't mean a quarterback should escape culpability where decision or execution is concerned. Weeden needs to cut down on the batted balls, period.

    One way Weeden can help himself is by not locking on to a receiver long enough for a lineman to read his intentions. It happened a handful of times Sunday, including near-misses. Weeden also can adjust his release points to account for the big guys directly in front of him getting ready to jump or raise the paw.

    7. Weeden failed to avoid two of the sacks.

    The skinny: On the Browns' third play from scrimmage, Weeden was sacked by linebacker Tamba Hali. No shame there: Hali, a talented player, quickly beat tight end Benjamin Watson and gobbled up Weeden from the blind side. The other two sacks, though, are on Weeden insofar as they occurred when the Chiefs rushed just three. Somehow, some way, quarterbacks must do no worse than a throwaway when facing three-man rushes.

    8. On a scale of 1 (lousy) to 3 (expected for NFL QB) to 5 (superb), Weeden averaged 3.15 on 26 graded throws.

    The skinny: A 3.15 is far from electrifying, but it is solid, especially when the means to the end is consistency. Weeden avoided sequences of wild throws that make teammates, coaches and fans cringe. He could have used more than one 5 but stayed away from any 1's.
    http://www.cleveland.com/browns/inde...rd_wee_10.html

  12. #12
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    Thanks Melo for putting this up. I just can't seem to get myself to go to Cleveland.com anymore. I f'ing hate that website with a passion and its mainly due to the comment sections. Awful fans in there. Plus I despise MKC.

    Weeden really needs to improve with the batted balls at the line. Besides that decent game that he did enough to win and not to lose.
    Last edited by ottograham14; 12-11-2012 at 12:47 PM.

    Should have went to FSU too.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, I agree with you on both points. I just really liked the idea of this thread and figured we should keep these coming.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottograham14 View Post
    Thanks Melo for putting this up. I just can't seem to get myself to go to Cleveland.com anymore. I f'ing hate that website with a passion and its mainly due to the comment sections. Awful fans in there. Plus I despise MKC.

    Weeden really needs to improve with the batted balls at the line. Besides that decent game that he did enough to win and not to lose.
    I stopped going after Grossi got canned. I cannot stand MaryKay. She acts like her **** don't stink and thinks she knows it all and writes lousy articles that are pure speculation and opinon.

    props to Bee for the sig!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottograham14 View Post
    Thanks Melo for putting this up. I just can't seem to get myself to go to Cleveland.com anymore. I f'ing hate that website with a passion and its mainly due to the comment sections. Awful fans in there. Plus I despise MKC.

    Weeden really needs to improve with the batted balls at the line. Besides that decent game that he did enough to win and not to lose.
    While I agree that he really needs to work on hit batted balls, one this game was a lose-lose situation. Joe Thomas released on what looked like a WR screen and left Tamba Hali untouched. Weeden either tried to get it past him or risked pump-faking and not drawing him into the air and getting a sack.

    One of the main things I think though is that the OL is not getting enough blame for this issue. I have noticed it mainly from the Guards rather than Thomas, Mack, and Schwartz. While Weeden needs to work on finding the throwing lanes, the guards really need to work on keeping the defenders engaged. If they are staying engaged the defenders will have a hard enough time getting their arms up, let alone being able to jump.

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