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Campbell boils to the top in Browns' QB soup

The SportsXchange

BEREA, Ohio -- Although he was the losing quarterback in his first start of the season last week at Kansas City, Jason Campbell is the man the Cleveland Browns hope will provide the kind of spark Brian Hoyer did upon taking over for Brandon Weeden in the third game of 2013.

Campbell, a nine-year veteran, will start Sunday in FirstEnergy Stadium when the Browns play host to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens beat the Browns, 14-6, in the second game of the season when Weeden started. Weeden suffered a sprained thumb midway through the fourth quarter of the game in Baltimore.

The injury prevented him from starting the next two games and Hoyer won both, beating the Vikings and Bengals. He also started against the Bills but suffered a torn ACL in the first quarter. Weeden came off the bench and won the game, but lost the next two.

Weeden is on the sideline again, but this time it is because he did not play well enough to hold his starting job. The Browns lost to the Lions and Packers and looked sluggish on both sides of the ball.

The Browns played with more energy when Hoyer started and they played the same way in the 23-17 loss to the Chiefs.

"He puts us in a position to win," outside linebacker Paul Kruger said. "If our defense would've come out last week and played the first half the way we did the second it would have been a completely different ballgame."

The Chiefs scored 20 points and rolled up 281 yards of offense in the first half. They gained just 50 yards and scored on a field goal in the second half. Putting two solid halves together Sunday is something else the Browns are working on.

"It's something we're taking a hard look at," coach Rob Chudzinski said. "Our early execution wasn't very good defensively, offensively either. You go to the specific plays. You look at the first (Kansas City) drive, the 15-yard penalty that hurt us. Then some individual breakdowns, we had a multitude of those in the first half.

"We cleaned them up for the second half, and we were able to play better. Whether it's looking at other games where we played better in one part of the game or the other, it's been different points in the game. The thing that I like about our guys is when you focus them on something to improve hey respond and make the corrections. That's what we'll have to do in this case."

The Browns have the league's seventh ranked defense, but they are 31st on third down defense. An inability to stop the Ravens on third down in the second half is a major reason they lost in Baltimore. The Browns led, 6-0, at halftime and held the Ravens to one conversion in seven third down situations.

The second half was a different story. The Ravens were seven of nine on third down and outscored the Browns, 14-0, in the final two quarters.
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