The Browns have defied expectations all season, and they’re continuing to do so on Thursday night against the Bills.
After starting quarterback Brian Hoyer left with a knee injury, Brandon Weeden came in to take his place. And although Weeden’s play wasn’t always pretty as Cleveland fell behind 10-0, the Browns clawed their way back into the game and took a lead late in the second quarter.
With Weeden at quarterback, the Browns had two drives that included some ugly passes but also got the job done: A seven-play drive gained only 19 yards but ended with a Billy Cundiff 30-yard field goal, and a 14-play, 74-yard drive that lasted almost half the second quarter ended with a Willis McGahee one-yard touchdown run.
McGahee, whom the Browns signed after trading away Trent Richardson, looks older and slower than the player we’ve seen in the past with the Bills, Ravens and Broncos. But McGahee did just enough to help Cleveland move the chains.
And then, after Cleveland’s underrated defense forced a Buffalo three-and-out, Cleveland’s Travis Benjamin sprinted, cut, twisted and turned his way on a sensational 79-yard punt return for a touchdown.
That gave the Browns a 17-10 lead. Even without Hoyer, the Browns aren’t going down without a fight.