There was one glaring question
during the off season and coming into today's week one match up against the
Miami Dolphins. Is Brandon Weeden the guy who can take this Cleveland Browns
team forward? As the game progressed Browns' fans saw the same confused,
inaccurate quarterback that took the field for last year's 5-11 Browns' team.
Weeden threw three interceptions before driving the team down field in the final minutes of the first half ending on a seven yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron. With a 7-6 lead over the Dolphins going into halftime things seemed salvageable.
The second half didn't get any better for the second year quarterback out of Oklahoma State. Unable to capitalize on third down situations Weeden finished the game 26 of 53 for 289 yards a touchdown and three interceptions passing behind a shaky offensive line. Third string lineman Oniel Cousins got the start for injured right guard Jason Pinkston and held the offense back with costly penalties and mental mistakes.
The rushing attack was nowhere to be found this afternoon at the newly named First Energy Stadium. Second year running back Trent Richardson carried the ball 13 times for 47 yards in a very quiet effort. Richardson who was targeted five times was only able to pull in one reception for 18 yards.
A bright spot for an offense playing without suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon was the emergence of Cameron who led the team with nine catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. We also saw some promise is in free agent acquisition Davone Bess who finishes with five catches and 47 yards.
Ray Horton's new "hybrid" defense looked very good early on against a Miami offense led by second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Two sacks from Desmond Bryant, and a sack each for linebackers Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves kept Tannehill on the run for most of the contest. Star corner back Joe Haden held Dolphins' wide receiver Mike Wallace to one reception for 15 yards. The inability to stop Miami on third down, and a lack of pass coverage opposite Haden proved to be the downfall for the Cleveland's defense today and the Miami Dolphins rolled to a 23-10 victory.
Next week the 0-1 Browns face an angry Baltimore Ravens team at home. New head coach Rob Chudzinski failed to lead the Browns to their first season opening victory since 2004 and the Browns are now 1-14 in week one of the regular season since returning to the NFL in 1999. It will be a tough test for Chudzinski's young team as the Ravens lead the all time series 21-7. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco is coming off of 362 yard 2 touchdown passing performance Thursday against the Broncos and Flacco will certainly look to pick apart the inexperienced Browns' secondary.