It’s slightly surprising to see the Cleveland Browns at 3-3, tied for second in the AFC North. However, considering how badly they’ve done this season after the halftime break, regardless if it’s been Brandon Weeden or Brian Hoyer at quarterback, makes it even weirder that they’ve won so much this season.
After three consecutive wins over the Vikings, Bengals and Bills, the Browns went back to their losing ways, beaten 31-17 by the Detroit Lions. One of the big problems about this loss was being shutout in the second half, giving up 24 unanswered points after a 17-7 lead at halftime.
However, this isn’t new, especially in games Weeden is playing for them, although it’s not just the quarterback suffering from the second half syndrome.
They’ve outscored opponents 78-43 during the first half of games, but have been outscored 82-40 in the third and fourth quarters. To make things worst for Weeden and his credibility as a second half starter? The Browns lead the game 30-7 when he starts, but they’ve been outscored 55-3 in the second half when Weeden’s started games, and haven’t been able to score one touchdown.
It’s more than just the quarterback, as we mentioned. They average 4.5 yards per carry in the first half, but that number drop to 3 in the second. They’ve scored 8 first half touchdowns this season, but only three in the second half. The first half passer rating is 84.4, but it drops to 63.5 after the break.
The defense hasn’t been doing much better after the break: They unit gives up 3 yards per carry in the first half, 3.9 during the second. The yards per pass attempt go up from 4.9 to 5.9, and the Browns, giving up four total touchdowns in the first half this season, have given up 10 during the second half.
According to Rob Chudzinski, halftime adjustments are overrated. Maybe that’s why teams have been able to handle the Browns so well later in games, although it also might have to do with Brandon Weeden being a bad choice for a starting quarterback in the NFL.