Browns vs. Colts game preview: Andrew Luck hosts Brandon Weeden and the Browns

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Weeden was just named the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns and goes to take on fellow second-year quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts in Week 3 of the preseason.

The Colts rebounded well from their Week 1 shellacking at the hands of the Bills as Andrew Luck was near perfect in a 20-12 win over the New York Giants in Week 2. Owner Jim Irsay tweeted an apology to fans after the Week 1 loss and must be followed on Twitter by Luck, who threw for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

All is well in Cleveland as the Browns sit tied with the Bengals and the Ravens for the AFC North preseason lead; unfortunately, it is the preseason. But the Browns are feeling good after a 24-6 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 2.

Meet the Colts

The talk after the game against the Giants centered all around the Colts' young franchise quarterback. Stampede Blue has a great break down of every play Luck was involved in, but the takeaway away was clear: Luck was at his best. He finished the game with a 133.7 passer rating, a 14-yard rush (the longest by any Colt) and, most importantly, a 17-3 lead.

Luck might have a couple of new faces to throw the ball to this week; the Colts traded for David Reed and signed Maurice Williams from the Arena Football League this week. The Colts' top receivers have been as advertised, but Griff Whalen is dealing with a groin injury and LaVon Brazill is suspended for the first four games of the season. With rookies Lanear Sampson and Jeremy Kelley struggling during the preseason, there is an open spot to be filled here.

Meet the Browns

The Browns' defense was on display against the Lions, but for as good as the victory was, Cleveland still came out a bit short. Rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo suffered a bruised lung and running back Dion Lewis broke his leg in what is most likely a season-ending injury. The Lewis injury hurts the most as running back Montario Hardesty is still recovering from knee surgery.

Since the game, Brandon Weeden was officially named the starting quarterback, and the Browns traded for John Moffitt before voiding the trade after he failed his physical exam. Although backup Jason Campbell also played well against the Lions, Weeden basically secured the job by halftime as he led the Browns to a 17-3 lead, connecting with tight end Jordan Cameron for two touchdown passes.

Local Takes: Colts

Josh Wilson from Stampede Blue isn't happy with tight end Coby Fleener's preseason performance.

A little later in the game, playing with Matt Hasselbeck this time, Fleener wasn't even looking while running across the field and the pass hit him in the back. Really? Come on, man - pay attention! He then left the game with a sprained knee and it was a coaches decision on whether he would return, but really, nobody returns in the preseason, we all know that. So far, in two games (and less than 4 quarters of actual playing time, I'd estimate), Fleener has two big drops, a fumble, a pass that hit him in the back after he wasn't paying attention, a concussion, and a sprained knee. Yeah, he really needs to step it up BIG TIME.

Local Takes: Browns

Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature gave the game ball last week to Cameron.

Cameron's blocking still leaves a lot to be desired, but we won't have to worry so much about that if he keeps making the type of catches he made against the Lions. His effort was everything that we had been hoping to see from Cameron in terms of athleticism. This could be Cameron's defining moment -- he needed a confidence booster to help establish himself as the starter, and he did just that. It's a big plus in the preseason when you can cross a position off your "question marks sheet."


The Colts opened the spread favored by four points but that has fallen just a tad bit as the week has gone on, according to

Next Week

The Colts head to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in their final preseason game. The Browns finish out the preseason at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears.

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