Redskins vs. Browns, Week 15: Cleveland's playoff bid halted by poor 3rd quarter

Matt Sullivan

Brandon Weeden and the Browns gave up a 14-10 halftime lead on Sunday with an extremely poor third quarter offensively.

Unable to pull off their fourth consecutive win and continue the late-season resurgence, the Cleveland Browns came up well short on Sunday afternoon against a talented Washington Redskins team.

The Browns took a four-point advantage into the locker room at half, but came out completely flat after intermission to effectively fall from the AFC playoff hunt with their ninth loss of the season. A pair of costly third quarter interceptions from quarterback Brandon Weeden may have been the biggest turning points in the game, and Chris Pokorny at SB Nation's Cleveland Browns blog Dawgs By Nature points out that Weeden simply did not have his best stuff all day long:

This is a hard loss to take, given the recent optimism for Browns fans. You almost wish you could chalk this up to just an "off day" for the Browns, just like the Giants and Buccaneers were completely dismantled by teams like the Falcons and Saints. Digging deeper, though, Weeden clearly never had it. He wasn't comfortable throwing against a poorly-ranked pass defense. Even when Cleveland had some opportunities in the second half, he threw two interceptions that gave all of the momentum to Washington.

While he now has amassed 3,281 passing yards and 14 touchdowns on the season, the 29-year-old Weeden has still been wildly inconsistent in his first year under center in the league. His two interceptions on Sunday marked the sixth time this season where he has been picked off at least twice in a game, and his 17 total interceptions overall currently rank second in the AFC through 14 games.

Despite a lackluster showing in Week 15, Weeden still appears to be making a decent amount of progress in the second-half of the season . The organization continues to evaluate whether he is a franchise player at the position or not, and it may be imperative for the rookie quarterback to limit his turnovers over his final two games of the year.

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