In two quarters of play last night in Green Bay against the diseased carcass of the Packers defense, Brandon Weeden exceeded our expectations by completing 12/20 passes for 118 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions for a rating of 76.7. Thanks to a Montario Hardesty fumble in the first quarter and time running out at the end of the second quarter, only six of Weeden’s drives lasted more than one play. Four of those drives ended in scores (three field goals and a touchdown), three of the four scoring drives started in Green Bay territory, and two of the four were an average of four-and-a-half yards long.
Packers “starters” played for about one quarter yesterday. Yet Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and Weeden were both quick to say after the game that Weeden faced “a lot of pressure,” which is pathetic, not only because nobody brings “a lot of pressure” in the preseason, but also because Bernie Kosar repeatedly pointed out from the announcer’s booth that the Packers weren’t bringing any pressure at all (e.g., “Green Bay’s only rushing three again.”).
On the other side of the ball, Jordy Nelson owned Joe Haden on two different plays on the first Green Bay drive after Hardesty’s fumble. The first resulted in a badly missed throw by Aaron Rodgers when Nelson had Haden beat by 8 yards on a 20-yard route. The second was a touchdown when the Packers went right back at Joe with the same call two plays later. Green Bay was chugging along again on their next drive, moving 40+ yards on seven plays without needing a third down, before Sheldon Brown made a nice play to strip the ball away from Randall Cobb and the Browns recovered the fumble. Rodgers threw incomplete on 4th-and-2 on his third and final drive before backup quarterback Graham Harrell entered the game to solidify his spot on the 2012 NFL Preseason All Bath Salts team and take a blowtorch to the Colt McCoy trade talk powder keg.
Miraculously, no significant injuries were suffered, and on the whole, from preseason week 1 to preseason week 2, the Browns went from looking like a team that will definitely finish 0-16 to looking like a team that might not finish 0-16. If you want to say anything more about it than that, you should go back and read what Tony Grossi wrote in the Plain Dealer after two preseason games last year.
Alright, home against the Eagles next Friday for a game that promises to be even less interesting than last night’s, but at least we won’t have to worry about any airports, and more importantly Cheddar Bay kicks off in less than 2 weeks. (!!!) This is your weekend open thread. Use it lovingly and wisely as always. Thanks.