The Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Cleveland Browns to Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday, and an 8-0 record, and the NFL’s best story, will be on the line.
The Browns enter the game with a 3-4 record and have lost two straight to the NFC North, losing to the Lions and Packers respectively.
No game in the NFL ever comes easy though, and to make things even more difficult for the Chiefs in regard to preparation, the Browns have decided to go with a new quarterback.
Brandon Weeden, who has thrown five touchdowns and six interceptions this season, will be out, and veteran Jason Campbell—who has been in the league for nine years, playing for the Redskins, Raiders, Bears and now the Browns—will get the nod.
Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski likes what Campbell brings to the table for his team, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com:
“I think that looking at Jason and the things that he brings to the table, leadership, his experience, he’s been productive and he’s been successful in the league,” said Chudzinski. “I think when you look at his arm strength and you look at his mobility and some of those things and tie it into as far as a game plan standpoint, it’s what we feel like we need for this game and gives us the best chance.”
Campell has a career completion percentage of 60.8 and has thrown for 14,688 yards and 76 touchdowns (52 interceptions). He’s also rushed for 1,096 yards and six touchdowns.
He has a 31-40 record as a starter.
Just who is the 2013 version of Jason Campbell though?
His only regular season game action this year game against Baltimore in week two. It was in the fourth quarter when the Ravens forced Brandon Weeden out with a thumb injury.
He went 1-of-4 for six yards, which isn’t much of a sample size, but none the less, here’s what the tape says on Campbell.
Talk about the worst starting field position ever for a backup quarterback, right? Poor Campbell had to start from his own one. Still, the score was Ravens: 14, Browns:6 with over three minutes left in the game. Cleveland still had a shot to get back into this game with a nice drive and two-point conversation:
I like how he stands tall in the pocket despite being in his own end zone, and he’s undoubtedly a big quarterback at 6’5”, 230 pounds:
He riffled the ball out with good zip, but unfortunately he threw it into double-coverage. Fortunately, the Browns got bailed out by a pass interference call:
Here’s another angle of that read:
I get that Campbell was trying to make a play here, but that was probably not an advisable throw.
The next pass was a check-down to Davone Bess, which should have been caught, but wasn’t.
On the next play, Campbell was flushed out to his left and had to make a throw on the run. Do notice that he’s athletic enough to get out of the pocket, and that’s something to keep an eye on if you’re a Chiefs fan. Kansas City will undoubtedly get after the quarterback, but Campbell can get out of trouble if he needs to:
Unfortunately for Campbell, his throw was horrid and out of bounds.
In fairness, I think (and hope) that he was throwing it away.
After that, Campbell had to evade the rush and threw a sloppy ball into the dirt, and he finished his series off with a fourth down underhand toss to the tight end, who wasn’t able to pick up the first:
Overall, not all that impressive.
Do keep this in mind about Campbell: He’s a big, experienced quarterback who can make plays with his arm and feet. He does have a powerful throw and he can be elusive, so it’s not a huge shock that Cleveland elected to go with him this weekend.
One series does not an evaluation make, so this isn’t a complete guide to what Campbell can do for the Browns. He’s a veteran with talent, and that deserves to be respected—even if you’re the elite Chiefs defense.
Note: Film courtesy of NFL Rewind. Markings are my own.