The Cleveland Browns have won three straight games since they “gave up on the season.”
With backup quarterback Brandon Weeden taking over for an injured Brian Hoyer, the Browns earned their third straight win with a 37-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. For the time being, the Browns hold a half game lead over the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North.
Weeden completed 13 of 24 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown in relief of Hoyer and T.J. Ward sealed the win for the Browns with an interception of Bills’ backup Jeff Tuel returned for a touchdown in the closing minutes.
The Browns lost Hoyer in the first quarter to a knee injury that head coach Rob Chudzinski fears includes torn knee ligaments. Bills starter EJ Manuel went down midway through the third quarter. Both injuries happened on scrambles by the quarterbacks.
Hoyer had his legs bend awkwardly underneath him while being tackled by Bills’ linebacker Kiko Alonso. Manuel had spun away from pressure from the Browns defense and run for 14 yards and a first down on a 3rd and 8 play. Manuel didn’t slide and was hit by Tashaun Gipson on his way out-of-bounds directly on his right knee. Tuel managed to finish off the Bills drive as Fred Jackson scored on a 1-yard touchdown to give the Bills a 24-17 lead. It would be the last points of the night for Buffalo.
Weeden connected with Josh Gordon for a 37-yard touchdown to even the game at 24-all late in the third quarter. Billy Cundiff converted a pair of field goals to give Cleveland a 30-24 lead. The Bills had a chance to drive for the winning touchdown but Ward intercepted Tuel on a pass for Robert Woods to add to the lead and cement the victory for the Browns.
Neither player was able to return to the game.
Manuel was 11 of 20 for 129 yards before leaving the game. Tuel finished 8 of 20 for 80 yards and an interception.