At the age of 29, Brandon Weeden needs to prove his NFL worth a lot faster than his fellow rookies.
Despite a nightmarish first week, Weeden’s come on strong of late and not just with his stats.
During the Browns' win in monsoon-type conditions over the Chargers Oct. 20, Weeden was calm, cool and collected.
His stats (11-of-27, 129 yards) weren’t going to garner any Player of the Week nods, but they didn’t have to.
Weeden looked like a eight-year veteran managing the offense. There was never an indication that he was going to lose the game.
And with the Ravens, he’ll get the chance to knock out his next NFL obstacle.
He’ll try to win back-to-back games for the first time in his NFL career while the Browns try to defeat Baltimore for the first time since 2007.
That game probably rings a bell because Phil Dawson hit the stanchion on a controversial kick, which sent the game into overtime—yeah, it’s been that long since the Browns beat the purple and black.
When the teams hooked up earlier this season, Weeden posted an impressive line. He was 25-of-32 for 320 yards and a touchdown.
But now he’s got to do more than put up numbers. He’s got to win.
Ever since that first game, the 6'3" signal-caller has showed signs of being the guy the Browns have been looking for since the franchise’s return in 1999.
He’s only thrown three interceptions in the last three games. If you take out the Philadelphia debacle, the former Oklahoma State signal-caller has thrown nine touchdowns against five interceptions.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has nine touchdown and six interceptions on the year.
A Weeden and Flacco comparison is necessary and fair, not only because the Browns and Ravens play a similar schedule, but because Weeden is supposed to fit the Flacco mold.
Like Flacco, Weeden’s supposed to be the big, strong-armed quarterback that can stand in the pocket, withstand a few hits and throw touchdowns.
He doesn’t have to be Flacco yet, but he has to start sooner rather than later.
And that can start with a win Sunday.