Anybody who expected Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns to roll over and quit had another thing coming on Sunday. Hoyer capped a 55-yard drive with a seven-yard pass to Jordan Cameron less than a minute before the end of regulation to give the Browns an unexpected 31-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Coming off a week where they traded running back Trent Richardson to the Colts and promoted their third-string quarterback, Hoyer, to the starting job, many believed the Browns had thrown in the towel on 2013. Hoyer had other ideas, throwing for 321 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Cleveland headed into halftime with a 24-17 lead, but saw that wiped out quickly in the third quarter as the Vikings put up 10 unanswered points to take a 27-24 lead. After quarterback Christian Ponder scored on an eight-yard draw play with 2:42 left in the third quarter, Blair Walsh booted a 30-yard field goal to give the Vikings the three-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Adrian Peterson opened the scoring for the Vikings, powering into the end zone from two yards out to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive on the team's first possession.
Hoyer and the Browns fired back though, scoring on back-to-back drives to go up 14-7. The first score came when Hoyer found Josh Gordon down the sideline for a 47-yard touchdown strike. Hoyer then pushed Cleveland in front with a 19-yard pass to Cameron, the first of three scores for the tight end.
Things got crazy for the Browns in the first half as they pulled out all the stops with a pair of special teams trick plays. Facing a 4th-and-1 at their own 38-yard line, Josh Aubrey picked up 34 yards on a fake punt. The Browns would eventually get three points on the drive after a field goal by Billy Cundiff.
Later in the half, the Browns kept the trickery going with a fake field goal. On 4th-and-4 from the Vikings' 11-yard line, place holder Spencer Lanning pulled up and flung the ball out to the flat to a wide open Cameron, who ran in for his second score.
Fantasy Studs and Duds
Perhaps not a standout game by his standards, but Peterson was solid with 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Wideout Greg Jennings remains a non-factor in fantasy, grabbing just three passes for 43 yards.
Whether Brian Hoyer will be a constant fantasy play moving forward is unknown, but if you took a fling on him Sunday (which you probably didn't), he rewarded you with 321 yards and three scores, though he did have three picks as well. He seems to have developed some serious chemistry with tight end Jordan Cameron, who caught all three touchdowns and had 10 catches for 146 yards.
Did they cover?
Minnesota opened as 6½-point favorites, but obviously didn't cover with their loss.
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET: Cincinnati vs. Cleveland