Not even the Cleveland Browns saw this one coming. Third string quarterback turned starter Brian Hoyer led Cleveland to the biggest upset of the NFL season with a 31-27 victory over Minnesota on Sunday night.
With Trent Richardson gone and nothing to lose the Browns went all in with Brian Hoyer. He threw the ball 54 times! The move worked. He connected with receivers on 30 of those passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns.
Josh Gordon, back from a two game suspension, caught 10 balls for 146 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Jordan Cameron had three touchdowns, one on a fake field goal near the goal line.
On the Minnesota side, Adrian Peterson was held to 88 yards rushing while Christian Ponder went 25 of 42 from under center with no touchdowns. Ponder did run for two touchdowns, but it’s hard to deny the third year starter just hasn’t been good this season.
Brian Hoyer’s performance shocked the NFL. After the Trent Richardson trade, a number of analysts declared the Browns were giving up on the season. If that’s the case they might want to put Brandon Weeden back in as soon as he’s healthy.
Of course, Hoyer wasn’t perfect. He threw three interceptions to go along with his three touchdowns. He played brilliantly the first half before falling out of rhythm and looking like a third string quarterback.
In the fourth quarter and down by one score, Hoyer came through for the Browns. He drove Cleveland down the field and hit Jordan Cameron for the go ahead score with 51 seconds to go.
Next Sunday the Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals and one of the league’s best defenses. If Hoyer is still starting it will be a great test for him, and the entire Browns team.
Are you surprised by Brian Hoyer’s success against Minnesota?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]