In Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer was benched in the fourth quarter allowing rookie, Johnny Manziel see his first real action of the season.
The thing I find most interesting about this is Hoyer’s interception count before Josh Gordon came back from suspension, compared to after the suspension was over. Throughout the first 11 weeks of the season Hoyer threw a total of five interceptions. Week 12 against the Falcons was Josh Gordon’s first game back, and Hoyer threw three interceptions. Of these three interceptions, two of them were thrown to Josh Gordon. Week 13 the Browns played the Bills. In this game Brian Hoyer threw two interceptions. This means the past two weeks Hoyer has thrown the same amount of interceptions that he did throughout the first 11 weeks.
The only logical answer for Hoyer’s recent struggles is the return of an elite caliber receiver who Brian has little chemistry with. Throughout the course of the season Brian Hoyer has been doing a good job going through his progressions. Against Tennessee when he hit Travis Benjamin in the end zone to win the game, Hoyer mentioned how Travis was his third read on the play. With Gordon back in the line up, Brian Hoyer isn’t taking his time to get the full read on the play. He has been staring down Gordon and throwing it up to see if he could make a spectacular play.
Josh Gordon’s first game back he led the team with eight receptions. Andrew Hawkins was second in receptions with just five. Against the Bills, Gordon led the team once again in receptions with seven on the day. Andrew Hawkins, who leads the team in receptions throughout the whole season, only caught the ball two times. You can really tell that Josh Gordon is Brian Hoyer’s go to guy, but it isn’t working as well as when all off the receivers are involved.
Even without Gordon, Hoyer has really struggled to find the end zone in recent games. His last passing touchdown came against Houston. When Johnny Manziel came in, he scored on an 80 yard drive in just eight plays. Coach Mike Pettine announced after the game that the decision on who will start next on Wednesday.