The NFL Network started the game by touting Brian Hoyer’s quest to become the first Browns quarterback to win his first three starts.
However, the narrative quickly changed when Hoyer’s leg crumpled awkwardly as linebacker Kiko Alonso clobbered him near the sideline. Hoyer hobbled off the field, leaving the game in Weeden’s hands. Hoyer suffered a sprained knee and will undergo an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to see if his injury is more serious.
Weeden lost the first two games for the Browns and he couldn’t get the offense going at first last night, struggling to make connections with his receivers.
However, Weeden settled down and started running the offense effectively. Willis McGahee helped by running the ball just well enough to keep the heat off Weeden. McGahee gained small chunks of yardage in the first half and bigger portions in the second half. McGahee finished with 26 carries for 72 yards and a score that tied the game 10-10 in the second quarter.
After the Browns stopped the Bills on defense, Travis Benjamin electrified FirstEnergy Stadium with a 79-yard punt return touchdown. His 179 return yards in the game broke the team record held by Eric Metcalf, according to ESPN.
Weeden’s performance as the Browns’ backup quarterback was the difference in the game, because when the Bills lost their quarterback, E.J. Manuel, their offense fell apart.
Jeff Tuel couldn’t move the Bills offense, and the Browns rallied from a 24-17 deficit to score the final 20 points of the game.
The big plays were Josh Gordon’s 37-yard touchdown reception and T.J. Ward’s 44-yard interception return to ice the game with 1:44 to go.
The Browns can enjoy a 10-day break before hosting the Detroit Lions on Oct. 13.
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