Trailing 24-23 with 2:46 left on the clock, Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns offense took the field. After squandering a lead that saw the Browns dominate defensively in the early stages of the game, the team now had to rely on the offense to create some magic and avoid losing a 10th straight home opener.
Browns fans everywhere were surely running every possible scenario through their minds on how their team would manage to lose this game. Perhaps some were even convinced the game was already over. It’s Cleveland. We’re used to these things.
Term: “Same old Browns.” Definition: Always finding a way to blow the game.
Not so fast. Hoyer had other plans, and the 2014 edition of the Cleveland Browns showed they have some fight in them.
Starting from their own four-yard line and having all three timeouts at their disposal, the Browns marched 85 yards down the field and punctuated the drive with a game-winning 29-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with :03 seconds remaining in the game. On the drive, Hoyer completed eight of his 11 attempts en route to 78 yards through the air.
Channeling his inner “Kardiac-Kid,” the hometown quarterback delivered in the clutch. This is a trait a Cleveland QB hasn’t demonstrated for a very long time.
To put things in perspective, it has been 10 years since the Cleveland Browns won their home opener. For only the second time since the team returned in 1999, the Cleveland Browns won their home opener.
For the first time since Brian Hoyer graduated high school in 2004, the Cleveland Browns actually won their home opener.
That’s right, the last time the Browns actually won a home opening game was when their current starting QB was graduating high school. That last win came Sept. 12, 2004, when Butch Davis patrolled the sidelines as head coach and Jeff Garcia was at the helm of the offense. “Goodies” by Ciara ft. Petey Pablo was the number one song on the Billboard top 100. It’s also the same year “Yeah” by Usher and “Hey Ya” by Outkast came out and monopolized the airwaves.
Talk about a throwback.
During this 10-year drought, the Browns have deployed nine different starting quarterbacks (including Hoyer) to start the season. They’ve also rolled out seven different head coaches. That’s a ton of inconsistency, especially for a professional franchise.
If anything can be said about this year’s team from the first two games, it’s that they have offered the fans of Cleveland hope—hope for a competitive team, and hope for the potential of stability at the most important positions for the franchise to find success.
An early analysis would indicate that Cleveland fans are in for a fun season.
Here’s to hoping these aren’t the “same old Browns.”