Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 10/3/13

The Brandon Weeden era in Cleveland appears to be completely over, and quickly forgotten. After winning two straight games for the Browns, Brian Hoyer has his team on top of a weak division, and with the Bills up next, there’s no reason the Browns won’t push their winning streak to three games. Much was made of the Browns’ decision to deal Trent Richardson away to the Colts, a move I maintain was the best case scenario for the Browns. Richardson wasn’t giving the Browns the production we would expect from a top running back taken in the first round of the draft, and the fact the Browns were able to steal a first round pick for mid-round production says as much about Cleveland’s strategy moving forward as it does the Colts’ plans. Still, Brian Hoyer has relieved virtually all pressure from Cleveland’s front office by simply winning football games. After beating an admittedly weak Vikings squad, the Browns took on their intrastate rival and shut down one of the league’s best young offensive attacks in football. With their most recent victory, and a little help, the Browns are in first place in the AFC North, and their recent play has us wondering, can they actually win their division and make a playoff run? Well, the bad news for the Browns is actually very simple. Brian Hoyer makes plenty of mistakes with the football, but he does know how to push Cleveland down the field. The fact is, he’ll have games that sink any chance of winning with poor decisions. On the other hand, that gunslinger mentality actually gives the Browns a chance. As it stands, the Bengals look somewhat lost on offense, and the Ravens are clearly missing the leadership they lost over the offseason. The Browns, by contrast, are just heating up, and their confidence has to be through the roof at this point. Will they win the division? Maybe they will, and maybe they won’t, but it’s a possibility. [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

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