Browns: Hoyer's slide to the sideline?
Ever since the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel No.22 overall, there have been whispers about his potential debut. “Whens” turned to “ifs” after a fruitful opening stretch, but the narrative surrounding incumbent starter Brian Hoyer has changed dramatically since then and suddenly he finds himself on the cusp of being benched in favor of the flashy first-round rookie.
Through the first 10 weeks of the season, Hoyer rewarded the Browns’ patience with production levels of a mid-level starting NFL quarterback. His PFF Passing Grade, QB rating, and Yds/Att were all average or above. His TD-to-INT ratio was a healthy 5:2.
There were early warning signs, however, in a 67.7% Accuracy Percentage that, fueled by a consistent flurry of underthrows (28) and overthrows (32), had him ranked 33rd out of 36 QBs.
Hoyer’s decline over the last three weeks has been dramatic. In fact, going back as far as the PFF database will allow (2007), no Cleveland quarterback has graded worse over a three-week span than the -17.7 that Hoyer just accumulated. His QB Accuracy dropped to a league-low 60.2% during that stretch and he lobbed six interceptions to only one touchdown.
The Browns haven’t made the playoffs since 2002. If they want to remain in the hunt, they need to quickly stabilize the quarterback position by supplanting Hoyer or doubling-down with hopes of game-planning around his weaknesses. Head-coach Mike Pettine is due to announce his decision on Wednesday.