Shutdown Corner

Brandon Weeden throws pass after ball is deflected back to him, discovers that the NFL doesn’t like it

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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It's been a season of frustration for Brandon Weeden. (AP)

Brandon Weeden has had a tough first five weeks in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns' rookie quarterback is either at or near the bottom of most quarterback ratings, whether traditional or sabermetric, and the fact that the Browns haven't won a game this year despite playing pretty well at times puts even more pressure on the first-round pick.

Sometimes, that pressure forces you to do interesting things. In Cleveland's 41-27 Sunday loss to the New York Giants -- a game in which the Browns once had a 14-0 lead -- Weeden got on the wrong side of the NFL rulebook. With 9:22 left in the game, the Browns had the ball on the Giants' 5-yard line. Weeden dropped back to pass, threw the ball, and ... well, this happened.

Weeden's pass was deflected by Giants lineman Justin Tuck (actually, the ball went off Tuck's mega-cool facemask), the ball floated back to Weeden, and he tried to throw a second pass on the same play. That's an illegal forward pass, which negated Weeden's effort to throw a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron.

On the very next play, Weeden threw another pass -- just the one this time -- but the ball went to Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn, and the drive was stopped.

The only thing the Browns got out of the "double whammy" was a play line for the archives:

3-B.Weeden pass short middle to 3-B.Weeden to NYG 13 for -8 yards


"I don't like being 0-5," Weeden said after the game. "We all had a part in it, but I feel like I was a big part of it. I've got to change something. I've got to do something to give this team a chance to win. Being the quarterback, you can't put it all on your shoulders, but you're the guy.

"You're talking about one of the best defensive lines in all of football, so I think, up front, we played really, really well," Weeden said of his team's efforts against the Giants' defense. "There were just a couple plays here and there. That's what this league is, one play here, one play there."

And sometimes, it's two plays here when it should be just one play there.

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