Welcome to Bad Quarterback Performance Of The Week, a recurring feature in which we celebrate the worst quarterback play the NFL has to offer.
We’re getting to the point in the season when it becomes apparent that the NFL’s lack of good quarterback play is more of an issue for bench players than starters. This isn’t to say that there aren’t a lot of very bad starting quarterbacks, because there are. It’s just that the players backing those starters up are even worse. This would not be such a problem if football were not as brutal as it is, but football is exactly that brutal and long story short Aaron Rodgers has a broken collarbone and one of the better teams in the league now has its fate chained to Brett Hundley.
Kevin Hogan started for the Browns on Sunday not because any injury forced him into the lineup, but because head coach Hue Jackson wanted to give struggling rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer some time to regroup. From the perspective of Browns fans, this was like having the jumbo shit sandwich they were reluctantly eating suddenly snatched away and replaced with an even bigger, fresher, wetter shit sandwich.
Hogan finished the day with 20 completions on 37 attempts for 140 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. The first pick, which Johnathan Joseph returned 82 yards for a touchdown, played like the climax of a short horror film.
The first scene:
The second scene:
And the bloody conclusion:
Any pick-six is a great moment in a football game. It’s one of those few plays in which all the mistakes and poor decision-making that went into producing it can be seen and interpreted at once. You don’t need a replay to understand that it was the pulling guard who missed an assignment that produced the disastrous results; there’s just a quarterback who mistakenly thinks he has a window, the corner who knows he doesn’t, and then the thrill/terror of watching a defender run into the end zone untouched.
Hogan somehow managed to produce an entirely different sort of pick-six. The clean, familiar Pick-Six rhythm of throw-interception-touchdown was replaced by something more ornate—throw; hey nice that guy’s open; oh wow okay that’s a really bad throw; I just witnessed a shark attack on a football field. I commend Hogan for elevating the genre.
Hogan was tortured by Joseph throughout this game. The veteran corner defended three passes in the game and picked Hogan off twice. The second pick probably could have been another pick-six had Joseph just been a little more precise with his footwork:
Okay, what else do we have here? Ah, yes, at one point in the third quarter Hogan had a receiver wide open and an 80-yard touchdown right there for the taking:
The theme of the day was “throwing the ball over everyone’s head.”
Yikes. All signs point to Kizer reclaiming the starting quarterback role next week.