Browns struggle again in loss to PackersPublished 12:49am Monday, October 21, 2013
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Brandon Weeden vows to keep fighting on despite another bad game.
But he’s not helping his cause in remaining the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback.
Weeden was 17 for 42 for 149 yards and a touchdown on a rainy night, and the defense struggled in a 31-13 loss Sunday to the Green Bay Packers.
The Browns also struggled against the Packers tough run defense. Willis McGahee gained just 39 yards on 11 carries.
But the hot topic after the game was Weeden — again.
“You can cuss me all you want, but I’m going to leave everything out on that field,” Weeden said. “I’m going to fight until that clock says zero.”
Time might be running out, though. The Browns (3-4) have been struggling since Brian Hoyer went down with a knee injury earlier this month.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said switching to backup Jason Campbell on Sunday wasn’t an option. He also didn’t give Weeden a resounding endorsement.
“I’ll look at the film and we’ll evaluate his play and everybody’s play after the game,” Chudzinski said.
He got a good look at Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Despite an undermanned supporting cast, Rodgers threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, while Eddie Lacy ran for another score and 82 yards.
Once again, the Packers (4-2) grinded out a win and in the process took over the lead in the NFC North.
“Hang with us fans, it might not be the prettiest game,” Rodgers said. “But we’ve got to kind of win with defense, not turn the ball over and make the plays that are there.”
Tight end Jermichael Finley had a 10-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter before leaving with a neck injury in the fourth quarter. Browns safety Tashaun Gipson was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty before Finley was carted off on a stretcher.
The Packers said Finley had movement and feeling in all his extremities. He was brought to a hospital for more tests.
Gipson said he went over and prayed while Finley was being carted off.
“I’m pretty sure I can get in contact with him and when I do I’m definitely going to shoot my condolences to him,” he said. “There wasn’t any ill intent.”
Rodgers finished 25 for 36 despite already being without two of his top targets in injured receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb.
The defense took care of the rest against a struggling Weeden. The Browns’ Jordan Cameron caught a 2-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 11 with 6:09 left.
Cleveland thought it caught a huge break after recovering an onside kick, only for the play to be erased by an offside penalty.
The Packers got the ball back, and Rodgers found Jarrett Boykin for a 20-yard touchdown and a 31-13 lead. Boykin, making his first start at receiver with Jones and Cobb out, finished with eight catches for 103 yards.
“This was a very rewarding victory,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “You go through the course of the week, obviously we had unusual challenges. I can’t say enough about our players.”
The Browns did have two nice fourth-quarter kickoff returns that helped set up drives into Green Bay territory, including an 80-yarder by Travis Benjamin that led to Cameron’s score.
On an earlier drive, a fourth-down pass from the 31 to Josh Gordon was broken up after Davon House reached up to knock the ball loose at the last second. House also had the first-quarter interception of Weeden.
Gordon has been the subject of trade rumors, but Weeden said his top receiver plays “extremely hard. I would never second-guess that.”
Afterward, Gordon said he wasn’t bothered by the trade talk.
“It’s been weeks now that I’ve been hearing about it,” he said. “If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. That’s just how I’m looking at it.”
Penalties had bogged down the Packers after jumping out to a 14-point halftime lead.
Rodgers connected with Finley for a 7-0 lead after the tight end caromed off defenders and into the end zone. Lacy followed on the next drive with a 1-yard score to give Green Bay a two-touchdown lead.
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