Reporting Scott Garceau
Five games does not make an NFL season but the AFC North has a very bizarre look right now. Yes, that’s CLEVELAND at the top of the heap. Yes, the Browns lead by Brian Hoyer one week and Brandon Weeden the next.
These are not Otto Graham’s and Jim Brown’s Browns. Weeden, who’ll turn 30 next week turned the boos to cheers Thursday night when he came to the rescue of the injured Hoyer and lead the Browns to a 37-24 with over the Bills.
The Browns with Billy Cundiff kicking and Willis McGahee and Bobby Rainey running have won 3 straight and lead the AFC North. They have 3 more wins than the Steelers and the Ravens and Bengals are chasing the Browns? C’mon man!! The Browns haven’t won a playoff game since they were re-born in 1999. In their only post season game Kelly Holcomb threw for 429 yards and 3 TD’s but the Browns still lost in Pittsburgh 36-33 in the wild-card round of the 2002 season.
They’ve had 19 starting quarterbacks in the past 15 years, 6 head coaches and only 2 winning seasons. In 9 of their last 10 years they’ve had double digit losses. The Browns have been bad to the Dawg Pound bone. A couple weeks ago it looked like the Browns were giving up on this season when they traded star running back Trent Richardson to the Colts.
Jimmy Haslam, the Browns new owner, was alleged to be involved in a rebate scandal that rocked the trucking industry and resulted in federal fraud charges with two dozen companies suing Haslam’s business. Perfect! the troubled owner for the tormented team. None of that seems to matter today in Cleveland.
So what if they beat Jeff Tuel Thursday night, so what if a 3-2 record is a modest start for most teams. The Browns 3-2 start is their best in 12 years. Look right there at the top of the AFC North standings can you believe it. Mistake by the Lake, not today. CLEVELAND First Place.