Wash, rinse, repeat.
What's been said about the 2013 Cleveland Browns countless times over the past few weeks was again reiterated following the team's loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday evening. Cleveland is not, minus the occasional result that prevents them from losing every game, winning with Brandon Weeden starting at quarterback.
Weeden's stats at Green Bay, 17 of 42 completed passes for 149 yards and a touchdown with an interception, are ugly. Just as ugly, if not more so, was the apparent lack of life seen in the offense of the Browns throughout much of three quarters of play. Wide receivers again ran poor routes and dropped catchable balls. Offensive linemen seemed to give up on certain plays.
Teams win games and teams lose games. This is not at all lost on me. It's 2013, and the days of clubs winning without having at least a pretty good quarterback are long gone. Don't believe me? Ask Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy (off the record) about that very topic.
Look at what occurred on the other side of the football time after time during Sunday's game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay didn't steamroll over a lesser opponent, but the hosts did have a quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who could, much of the time, make the big play in third down scenarios and in the red zone.
QB play absolutely made the difference in the contest. One guy was shaky, indecisive, and, in the fourth quarter, came close to repeating one of the worst interceptions in NFL history. The other found the end zone on three occasions and finished the game with an overall QB rating of 117.8.
No position in sports is as vital as is the quarterback of a team. He is the leader in the huddle and on the field, and he is who an offense is built around. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson aren't just very good players. They are the cornerstones of their franchises.
The best quarterbacks in the game have an uncanny ability to make those around them better. Eli Manning made Victor Cruz, Kevin Boss and Mario Manningham. Tom Brady made Wes Welker. Is there anybody out there who thinks that Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin would be where they are today without the previously mentioned Rodgers slinging the ball to them on Sundays?
Cleveland has potential stars in Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon. That has been made clear in the early stages of the campaign, even in games that the Browns haven't won. Both were rather pedestrian against Green Bay with Weeden running the offense.
Weeden turned 30-years old on October 14. He lacks poise in the pocket and touch on his passes. He holds onto the football far too long. Weeden is clearly, at best, a work in project. The front office and coaching staff of the Browns now have to ask the difficult question:
How much is this guy really going to improve before his body begins to betray him?
Cleveland is not in a position where they can only, at this point of the season, think about the future. The AFC North has only one team above .500. That's the Cincinnati Bengals, who lost to the Browns when the Brian Hoyer Experience was still a thing. This division is still winnable for every team, and that includes Cleveland.
But only if the Browns start a quarterback who can lead them to victories.
Browns lose to Packers as Brandon Weeden again fails Cleveland offense
Wash, rinse, repeat.