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Teammates stand up for Browns' Weeden

The SportsXchange

BEREA, Ohio -- Teammates are standing behind Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, whose interception thrown late in the game Sunday eliminated any chance of beating the Lions.

Weeden threw two touchdown passes to help the Browns to a 17-7 halftime lead, but his pick thrown with 4:36 left and the Browns behind, 24-17, led to another Lions touchdown.

"We're still behind him," linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said. "He's still the guy. Defensively, it wasn't a good day for us."

Coach Rob Chudzinski is behind Weeden, too. Weeden will start Sunday in Green Bay, Chudzinski said. He did not excuse Weeden's backhanded flip that Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy picked off, but he says being outscored 24-0 in the second half was not the result of one bad play by the quarterback.

"This was one game," Chudzinski said. "I thought Brandon played well in spurts, and at times he made a couple critical mistakes. It's never just about one play or person to assign blame.

"We all can be better and there are many correctable points and things that we can grow from going forward with our players as we make the corrections."

The only other quarterback on the roster is Jason Campbell and the Browns passed on him twice - first when Chudzinski went to Brian Hoyer because Weeden had a sprained thumb and again when Weeden recovered enough to be Hoyer's backup in the Buffalo game. Weeden came off the sideline against the Bills when Hoyer was hurt and completed 13 of 24 for 197 yards and one touchdown.

Hoyer, out for the season with a torn ACL, was placed on injured reserve Saturday. The Browns have not signed a third quarterback.

"I feel good about Jason," Chudzinski said. "I thought Brandon played well and did a lot of things to make plays to beat Buffalo. We have to just work on those critical errors."

Weeden ranks 28th among quarterbacks. Hoyer ranks 21st overall and 32nd of 35 in attempts (96) because he played only two full games with four pass attempts before being injured in the Buffalo game.

Weeden ranks 30th in completion percentage (56.2). He is 31st in touchdowns passes (four), which is one fewer than Hoyer despite throwing 57 more passes. Weeden has completed barely half (29 of 57) of his fourth quarter passes.

"Anytime you talk about offense, there's a lot of different people and moving parts involved," Chudzinski said. "It takes 11 guys to be successful. We're playing well at times and at times we're not playing so well.

"When you look at it, Brandon's doing some good things. It's really just a matter of cutting out the critical mistakes."

The Browns scored one offensive touchdown in the second half of the four games Weeden played. His 37-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter against the Bills tied the game 24-24.
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