After being accused of tanking -- which happens when you trade a star running back while turning the offense over to a third-string QB -- the Browns are looking far from a team that's thrown in the towel. Four consecutive scoring possessions have powered Cleveland to a 24-17 lead at halftime.
Brian Hoyer, who took over at quarterback for a struggling Brandon Weeden by leapfrogging second-string Jason Campbell this week, has already thrown two touchdowns in the first half. First, he found Josh Gordon down the sideline for a 47-yard strike, then tossed a 19-yard score to tight end Jordan Cameron on the first play of the second quarter.
The Browns are pulling out all of the stops, having already converted on a fake punt and a fake field goal. From field goal formation 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.
Replacing Richardson has not been as successful. Replacements Bobby Rainey and Willis McGahee have rushed for a combined 12 yards on six carries.