Browns Weekly: Hoyer leads new look Kardiac Kids to thrilling win
The year is 2014 and Brian Hoyer has channeled his inner Brian Sipe from 1980. In version 2.0 of the Kardiac Kids, Brian Hoyer lead his hometown Browns to the largest comeback on the road in NFL history. The Browns faced a twenty five point deficit in the second quarter and scored twenty six unanswered points for a thrilling victory. Hoyer played his best game of the season leading a relentless comeback and proving he is the leader of the Browns offense. Such a comeback would not have been possible if the team didn’t trust Brian Hoyer.
The strong offensive comeback began with the Browns sticking to the running game despite being down big so early. The Browns running backs rushed for 175 yards and were led by a strong game back from injury by Ben Tate, who rushed for a career high 123 yards. The running game set up a fantastic passing performance for Brian Hoyer. Hoyer finished the day 21 for 37 passing (56%) for 292 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Hoyer remained calm after getting into an early hole.
Hoyer and the Browns could not get into rhythm during the first half. Drives consisted of 3 and outs and the Browns defense could not get off the field. With 2:38 to play before the half the Browns desperately needed a score. On the first play of the drive Hoyer found Travis Benjamin on a deep out route for a gain of 21. Hoyer hung in the pocket and took a hard hit. Hoyer delivered a strike knowing a big hit was coming. This got the Browns offense into sync and was capitalized by a one-yard touchdown to Jim Dray. Scoring before the half proved to be the momentum the offense needed to make a comeback in the second half.
Down by 18, the Browns elected to go for fourth downs despite being in field goal range. The offense was stopped both times. With 13:02 to play in the game the Browns trailed 28-13. They had a second down and 3 from the 5 yard line. It was a designed roll out to the right and Hoyer had a wide-open Andrew Hawkins for an easy six but Hoyer overthrew Hawkins. The Browns ended up turning it over on downs and missed a golden opportunity to get back into the game sooner. Luckily for Hoyer and the Browns, they were provided more chances to get themselves back into the ball game. When trailing, Hoyer needs to take advantage of every chance to score. The Browns wont always be able to manage to get a blocked punt safety to get back into the game. During the drive after the safety, the Browns to work in minimal time. With 6:57 to play at the 17 yard line, Hoyer play action faked and rolled right, a free rusher came right at him. Channeling his inter Johnny Manziel, Hoyer eluded a defender, stepped up and found an open Travis Benjamin for a touchdown. Benjamin was running a corner route and he broke the route off perfectly back to the left as the play broke down. Benjamin was left wide open and Hoyer made a terrific play to find Benjamin and give the Browns much needed momentum.
Hoyer’s best throw of the day came when the Browns needed it most. Trailing 28-22 with 1:15 to play, the Browns were threatening at the six yard line. Hoyer worked through his progressions on the right and middle of the field and worked his eyes back right to hit Travis Benjamin for the go ahead touchdown. Hoyer demonstrated poise and remained calm in the pocket delivering a perfect throw over a defender for the score.
In one of the most stunning games in Browns history, Brian Hoyer lived up to the occasion and delivered for his hometown team. Despite being down Hoyer did not force throws into coverage down the field. He worked through his progressions and shredded the Tennessee defense. The passing game was opened by the Browns strong running game and their will not to abandon the run despite being behind. Hoyer went from “game manager”, to proving he is a game winner. The big moment doesn’t faze Brian Hoyer and he lives for pressure situations. Brian Hoyer showed he is more than just a serviceable quarterback and can lead and win games playing quarterback in the NFL. The Browns have a favorable schedule in the coming weeks and this is great news for a red-hot Browns offense fueled by Brian Hoyer.