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Brian Hoyer to Make Second Straight Start for Browns


After the Cleveland Browns announced that third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer would start week three’s game against the Vikings in place for the injured Brandon Weeden, hopes for a winning 2013 campaign in Cleveland were arguably at an all-time low. However, Hoyer showed he had game and moxie, as he led the lowly Browns to a thrilling 31-27 comeback win, throwing a clutch game-winning touchdown with less than a minute left on the clock. Now with a 1-2 record, Browns fans have something to hang their hats on and someone to cheer for as the season rolls on this week.

With Weeden still ailing from a sprained right thumb, it comes as no surprise that the Browns are sticking with Hoyer under center for Sunday’s match-up with the Cincinnati Bengals. The team made the official announcement this week, following Hoyer’s performance, which seemed to inspire not only the fans, but his teammates as well.

“He came in and played with great composure,” Cleveland’s Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said, according to ESPN.com. “Obviously, this was his first live snaps with the No. 1s, and he did a great job, just seamlessly coming in and throwing the ball on time where it needed to go, saying the play in the huddle confidently, directing the offense. Those are the type of things that were impressive.”

Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski stressed that he doesn’t have long-term plans in place for who will play quarterback and that the team will evaluate the situation each week and make the best decision it can for the success of the franchise.

“We’ll just approach it from a week-to-week basis and see where everybody’s at, and we’ll make the best decision for what I determine gives us the best chance to win,” he said.

Even in victory, Hoyer wasn’t without some mistakes. He threw three interceptions last Sunday, but as an inexperienced pro player, it seems some miscues were par for the course and Hoyer believes he will only grow from them.

“The interceptions were just bad decisions,” Hoyer said. “Things that I should have known better and you learn from it and you move on. Football is football. You get out there, you play and you get into a rhythm and you do the best you can.”

After throwing 321 yards last week, Hoyer is certainly the hot hand in Cleveland, but fans and bettors will see if bypassing an experienced starter in second-string QB Jason Campbell will result in back-to-back wins this week. Then again, in going up against the Bengals – who just knocked off the Packers a week ago – it may not matter who the Browns put under center. Cincinnati is currently listed as a 5.5-point favorite over Cleveland and with the way it is playing, I’d have to think that the Bengals will be able to cover that spread, even on the road. Still, keep an eye on Hoyer and the Browns to see if they might actually compete in the AFC North this season.

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