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Shutdown Corner

Brandon Weeden finally wins in his rookie season … on his 29th birthday

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

Yes, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has heard all the AARP jokes, but on Sunday, the oldest rookie quarterback to be a serious starter was able to shut all the comedians up. The former baseball star, who came to college football late as a result of his dual sporting passions, helped engineer a 34-24 upset of the Cincinnati Bengals. The win broke an 11-game Browns losing streak, tied for the longest in franchise history.

[Also: Undefeated Falcons find way to pull off another win]

Weeden, starting the sixth game of his NFL career, went 17 of 29 for 231 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception; one scoring pass went to Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who was selected in the second round of this year's supplemental draft after a series of off-field issues got him kicked off the Baylor squad in 2010. He transferred to Utah, sat out the 2011 season, and has looked none the worse for wear after all that off time. He caught a 71-yard TD pass from Weeden in the second quarter, and finished with three catches on four targets for 99 yards.

Browns receiver Greg Little, meanwhile, developed a new affinity for running into Gatorade containers.

Cleveland's defense, a squad that has been trying to get it together all season, was much more solid Sunday. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was intercepted three times, including a pick-six by Sheldon Brown halfway through the fourth quarter.

[Also: Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden gets first win on 29th birthday]

It was a pretty serious improvement from Weeden's previous performance, last Sunday's 41-27 loss to the New York Giants in which the Browns actually led 14-0 at one point. At another point, Weeden threw a pass to himself, and then tried to hit his tight end Jordan Cameron. This week, Weeden managed to keep most of his throws on the right side of the line of scrimmage.

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