Maybe Brandon Weeden just needs a little time.
After getting hammered in the national media following a dismal Week 1 performance, Weeden’s used the last five weeks to show why the Browns gambled on the Oklahoma State gunslinger with a late first-round pick.
As a 29-year-old rookie, Weeden’s shown potential that goes beyond being a punch line for national pundits.
Yes, his four-interception, 5.1 passer-rating in the season opener was nightmarish, but since then, the 6'3" 220-pounder has shown signs of being a quarterback that can lead the Browns back to the playoffs—and maybe beyond.
From weeks two through six, Weeden's thrown for seven touchdowns against six interceptions while averaging 280.2 yards per game.
Canton bound? Hardly, but compared to other division rivals, the first-year signal caller is holding his own.
In the same stretch, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has passed for 278.2 yards per game and six touchdowns against four picks.
Andy Dalton’s thrown for 12 scores against eight interceptions while averaging 301 yards—and he’s got a guy named AJ Green hawking balls out of the air. Weeden’s Browns are seventh in the NFL with 13 dropped passes.
Weeden doesn’t have the separation in the touchdown to interception ratio like Browns country would like, but he’s hanging with his peers and coming off the best game of his NFL career.
With the Week 6 win over Cincinnati, Weeden became the last of the five rookie starting quarterbacks to earn a victory.
He completed 17-of-29 passes for 231 yards, including touchdown throws of 71 yards to Josh Gordon and three yards to Ben Watson. His only mistake came in the first quarter, when a pass that was blocked at the line of scrimmage fell into the hands of Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson.
The Gordon throw stands out because Weeden was going up against 29 mph winds in Cleveland Browns Stadium. All Browns fans can agree, it’s a throw Colt McCoy can’t make.
That’s what makes Weeden a good fit in the AFC North. He’s a big, strong-armed quarterback, and from here on out, weather will probably play a factor in all divisional games.
Weeden’s not Flacco or Roethlisberger yet, but he’s got potential. He’s already the best Browns' quarterback since the franchise returned in 1999.
Here’s to hoping that Weeden, like a fine wine, only gets better with age.