Ranking the Browns 28 Starting QB’s Since 1999
By Mitch Zoloty
No. 13: Cody Kessler
Cody Kessler: the best Cleveland Browns quarterback to never win a game. An interesting title, to say the least. Kessler was a third-round pick by the Browns in the 2016 NFL draft, playing his college ball at USC. His biggest problem was his lack of arm strength, which has held him back from being a good starter in the NFL.
Kessler was thrown into the fire early, starting in Week 3 of the 2016 season. This was an overtime loss to the Dolphins, by a score of 30-24. This was mostly due to Cody Parkey’s three missed field goals.
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Kessler played quite well, going 21-of-33 for 244 yards. He was assisted by Terrelle Pryor, who had eight catches for 144 yards.
The theme of this season would be the Browns losing close games in pretty much any way possible, as they would finish a miserable 1-15. Kessler did have a decent rookie season, but never start another Browns game again after losing to the Steelers in Week 11.
The following season Kessler would see some playing time as the backup, but seemed to have lost a step. His performances were drastically worse than the previous season.
Kessler would finish his Browns career with an 0-8 record, tossing six touchdowns, three interceptions. He did have 1,506 yards, and a respectable 63.8 completion percentage though.
In the 2018 offseason, Kessler would be traded to the Jaguars and is currently a backup quarterback there.
No. 12: Jake Delhomme
One of the few quarterbacks to make the Pro Bowl on this list, he did so with the Carolina Panthers, not the Browns. The Browns got Jake Delhomme near the end of his career. Delhomme was an undrafted quarterback out of Southwestern Louisiana, playing for the Saints, Panthers, Browns, and Texans.
During his tenure with the Cleveland Browns, he would start four games, winning two of them. The 2-2 record alone sets him apart from many of the quarterbacks before him on this list.
Delhomme’s first start as a Browns quarterback would be a 17-14 loss to the Buccaneers as the veteran threw for 227 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Unfortunately, he wound up getting hurt in the game.
Delhomme’s next start would be against the Panthers Week 12, securing a win over the team he once guided to the Super Bowl.
The following week Delhomme would get the nod again, starting against the then 6-6 Miami Dolphins. He led the Browns to a 13-10 win in this game with 217 yards passing and a score.
This would be the final game Delhomme would win as a Browns starting quarterback, as he was notified of his releasedthe following offseason.
With the Browns, the veteran was 2-2 as a starter, with a couple touchdowns but seven picks. He had 842 yards through the air with a 62.4 completion percentage.
His touchdown-to-interception ratio is pretty horrid, especially compared to Jason Campbell and Cody Kessler. He got the nod ahead of Kessler on this list due to his ability to lead the team to a .500 record.
No. 11: Brandon Weeden
Brandon Weeden is a name that will forever be etched into Browns fans minds. The 22nd pick in the 2012 draft by the Cleveland Browns was already 28 years old when he was drafted. The Browns took him over younger quarterbacks they could’ve gotten in later rounds, like Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, or even Nick Foles.
Weeden’s tenure with the Browns was rather long in comparison to some other names on this list. He would start 20 games for the Browns, going 5-15 over those 20 games.
He would start Week 1 of his rookie year against the Eagles. His performance was impressively bad. The Browns lost to the Eagles 17-16 and Weeden was 12-of-35 with four picks.
The oldest rookie quarterback’s first win as a Browns quarterback would come against the Bengals in Week 6, a 34-24 win against the then 3-3 Bengals. Weeden would throw 17-of-29, 231 yards, two touchdowns — but of course still a pick. He did have an impressive 71-yard pass to Josh Gordon for his first score.
He would later beat the Chargers in Week 8, having a not so impressive game. Weeden would lead the Browns on a three game win streak from weeks 12-14, beating the Steelers, Raiders, and Chiefs.
The Week 14 win against the Chiefs was the last win Weeden would have as a Browns quarterback. That game would be highlighted by two rushing touchdowns by Trent Richardson, and a 93-yard punt return by Travis Benjamin.
The following season Weeden would start five games, losing them all. Weeden’s last start would be a miserable game against the Packers, losing 31-13. The former baseball player was benched for Jason Campbell for the rest of the season.
Weeden would be released the following offseason, finishing his tenure with the Browns with 23 touchdowns, 26 interceptions, 5,116 yards, and a 55.9 completion percentage.